ECOSS People

Our Committee of Management:

President – Ian Cuming 

Chairman ECOSS Committee of Management (COM). Member Site Committee. Chairman Enterprise Sub-Committee. Biodynamic farmer, growing kiwi fruit commercially, with over twenty years experience in bio-dynamic agriculture in Australia and the UK. Founding supporter of ECOSS

Vice Chair COM – Kellie Gee

Experienced horticultural practitioner. Worked in numerous nurseries before volunteering at ECOSS. Previously volunteered at CERES and helped set up the nursery there. President of Upper Yarra Landcare- currently situated at ECOSS.

Treasurer COM -Bernie Lobert 

Chair of Admin Committee. Previously worked for the Yarra Ranges Council now independently employed. Long time supporter of ECOSS, assists with all events and programs at ECOSS.

Secretary COM– Joe Butler

Member of the Admin Committee and Chair of Community Engagement Committee. Founding supporter of ECOSS. Previously worked in education and disabilities, Joe Butler is the main driver for the Community Garden at ECOSS.

Catherine Aulich- Upper Yarra Valley Book keeping 

Manages ECOSS accounts and book-keeping, minutes secretary. Independent book-keeping consultancy business, supporter of ECOSS .

Tom Neil COM- 

Natural Building Center instigator, coordinator, dreamer. Runs a series of Natural Building Workshops and Chair Bodging here at ECOSS, and has a private enterprise in the Natural Building Workshop and Tiny houses 2 Go.

Karina Doughty COM-  

President of Warburton Environment, Disabilties Program Facilitator, Earth Educator.  Karina takes Forest Tours in the Upper Yarra Valley Forests and is a wealth of knowledge of the local environment.

Richard Butler COM

-also Founding Supporter of ECOSS.  Volunteers on site 2-3 days per week at ECOSS.  Skilled in business management, and interior design.  Ric was on the board of Upper Yarra Community House (now Cire Services) for 20 years.  Ric volunteers on Yarra Junction Football committee and many more projects.  Ric is also sharing Tiny houses 2 Go business on site at ECOSS.

Josh Tucker- COM,

Silvertine Bio-Dynamic Farm co-owner at ECOSS, skilled in farming including Organic and Bio-Dynamic Farming, plumbing, is also an Outdoor Educator. Silvertyne Bio-Dynamic Farm also supply to Beans and Bananas Food Coop which is distributed at ECOSS.

Peter Preuss- COM,

Peter Preuss is a new member of the committee but has been a long time admirer of ECOSS.  He is the coordinating teacher at the Woori Yallock Farm School and has a long history in Environmental Education and Education for Sustainability… He has a tiny vineyard, producers great wine and is a regular stallholder at ECOSS events and markets.  Recently, Peter has planted a small patch of vines at ECOSS to demonstrate the benefits of a unique variety of grape that can be grown organically in the Yarra Valley.

Yarra Ranges Council Representatives – COM

Julian Guess

Sustainability Officer at YRC where he is engaged in supporting community sustainability programs and Council operations.  He was instrumental in the success of the Warburton Community mini-Hydro project and with ECOSS’s own solar project.  He is also a former President of Permaculture Yarra Valley.

Jessica Rae-

Yarra Ranges Council Program Manager, Coordinator Sustainability.  Jessica coordinates delivery of the sustainability program across Council, from waste education to solar panel installation to water management.

Enterprise Sub-committee:

Chair – Ian Cuming, Bernie Lobert, Ric Butler

Site/Strategic Planning Sub-committee:

Chair – Ric Butler, Tom Neil, Josh Tucker, Mary-Ellen, Kellie Gee

Admin Sub-committee:

Chair – Bernie Lobert, Joe Butler, Ric Butler, Catherine Aulich – Accounts

Our Team

Chelsea McNab – Executive Officer

Organiser of the annual ECOSS Ecotopia Earth Festival and the Sun Fest. Also manages the office, and manages and develops the successful ECOSS School Program and Practical Earth Education Program: in conjunction with Earth Education Officer Kylie Barnes.  Previous wide experience with ecological groups, environment campaigning and NFP organisations. (Tuesdays,Wednesdays and  Thursdays)

Kylie Barnes

ECOSS Earth Education and Practical Earth Education Kylie manages the schools programs at ECOSS, including ECOSS Earth Education and Practical Earth Education, delivering the day programs and developing new projects.  This position is funded by FRRR.

Leanne Arvanitakis-Hall- Event Coordinator 

Leanne Arvanitakis- Hall brings her expertise in Event organising.  Leanne works closely with Chelsea to apply for grants specialising in Multicultural events and Market organising. Founder and Coordinator of ECOSS’s annual Ngulu Festival. Contact Leanne at

Andrew Olive-  Maintenance and Volunteer Officer.

Andrew facilitates Volunteers at ECOSS undertaking Maintenence tasks, including tool training.  He also undertakes Maintenance tasks one day per week at ECOSS.

Melanie Daymond- All Abilities Program Facilitator

at ECOSS.  Melanie facilitates Wesley United Clients on Mondays undertaking creative projects designed for the specific abilties of the group- working to ECOSS Masterplan.

ECOSS people also include our wonderful ongoing volunteers.  ECOSS wouldn’t be the same without the fantastic energy of the following volunteers and Co-locators:

Karina Doughty

President of Warburton Environment, and ECOSS COM- Karina runs the Tall Trees activity during ECOSS Earth Education day programs, and coordinates the Recycled Fashion Parade.

Kellie Gee

President of Upper Yarra Landcare, and ECOSS COM volunteers in our Native Nursery, propagating and growing native plants.

Lucy Pierce

The Pottery Studio Yarra Valley, they get involved in events at ECOSS and bring traditional hand skills education to the community.

Tobias and Josh

Silvertine Farm, they help ECOSS by offering quality volunteering experiences and getting involved in the Earth Education Program at ECOSS

Derry Talvainn-

Artema Designs, Derry hosts great Graphic Design skills, producing most of our fliers and program designs.


Tonantzin Chocolate, offering delicious chocolate products at our events, bringing richness to ECOSS site hosting Traditional Sweat Lodges and Cacao Ceremonies on site.  Currently developing their Chocolate Production Factory at ECOSS.

To Wesley United and Interchange Outer East:

For all your energy in our Community Garden every week, keeping the space vibrant and fresh.

And to all our volunteers that come and go, we thank you.

Comments are closed