Our Committee of Management

President – Ric Butler 

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.

Council Representative COM – Jim Childs

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.

Lisa Crunden- Your Community Bookkeeper

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.

Ian Akkerman COM-

Ian Akkerman has recently joined our Committee of Management After growing up on farms in rural New Zealand.
Ian spent time in the RNZAF and farm machinery sales before moving to Australia in the late 1970s.
A corporate life and running his own small business for 27 years followed before retiring to the area.
As well as being involved in The Pollination Place Vine growing venture he is keen to assist any future ECOSS projects.

Peter Preuss- COM,

Peter Preuss 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, produces great wine and is a regular stall holder 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.

Michael Goodrich – Yarra Ranges Council Community Development Officer / Community Wellbeing – COM.

Michael assists ECOSS Committee Of Management with guidance in governance and matters pertaining to Yarra Ranges Council.

He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the committee, and we are grateful for his commitment and support.

Site Committee:

Chair – Ric Butler, Tom Neil

Admin Committee:

Chair – Bernie Lobert, Joe Butler, Ric Butler, Lisa Crunden – Accounts

Our Team

Chelsea McNab- Executive Officer – 


Chelsea manages the day to day running of ECOSS, and assists all the Staff and reports to ECOSS Committee of Management.
Chelsea has vast experience in environmental campaigning, sustainable food systems, community connectedness projects and Not for Profit organisations.
 chelsea@ecoss.org.au (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays)

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. eartheducation@ecoss.org.au

Alexandra Barton-Johnson-

Marketing Alexandra assists Leanne and Chelsea with Marketing ECOSS to the wider world and other various administrative tasks that no-one else likes to do! :D marketing@ecoss.org.au

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 ecotopiastalls@ecoss.org.au

Peter Lorback- ECOSS Native Nursery

Peter Lorback has a wealth of knowledge and experience in teaching Horticulture and Land Management.  Peter manages the ECOSS Native Nursery and can be found at ECOSS on Tuesdays 9-3pm.  nursery@ecoss.org.au

Melanie Daymond – All Abilities Program Facilitator

Melanie is the All Abilities Volunteer Program Facilitator. Melanie has Cert 4 in Disabilities and works as an independent NDIS Provider. Melanie facilitates creative projects designed for the specific abilties of the groups- working to ECOSS Masterplan and the new Crops for Communities to Market Project. allabilities@ecoss.org.au

Damian Auton- UpCycles at ECOSS.  
Damian has a prolific history in competitive bike riding and was the founder/owner of the COG cafes.
Damian is at UpCycles on Saturdays from 10-4pm. upcycles@ecoss.org.au

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:

Warburton Environment-

Warburton Environment co-locate at ECOSS offering a mutually supportive space.  Warburton Environment are involved at festivals and events as ECOSS and use ECOSS as a gathering space. 

Upper Yarra Landcare-

Upper Yarra Landcare members volunteer in our Native Nursery, propagating and growing native plants. https://www.facebook.com/groups/upperyarralandcare

The Pottery at ECOSS-

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

Silvertine Farm-

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

Tonantzin Mexican Chocolate House- 

Fernando of 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.

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

Bushwood Creations.

Shlomit Moria is a powerhouse chainsaw artists creating beautiful timber sculptures.


Melanie Wilson runs her Organic fresh produce business from ECOSS Supplying the Valley Market on Fridays and Beans and Bananas Food Co-op.

To Wesley United and Interchange Outer East:

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