The Venny’s staff are its greatest asset and provides safe attachment figures for the children and young people they engage with. Our staff use trauma informed frameworks and reflective practice principals in their work and maintain current best practice approaches with professional development and training, predominately with the Australian Childhood Trauma group. All Staff at The Venny have a current Working with Children Checks, Police Checks and First Aid certificates.
David Kutcher- General Manager (currently on leave)
David has managed The Venny for the past 18 years. He previously worked as an outreach worker for Open Family and at Aboriginal Affairs Victoria.
Some of the highlights of David’s years at The Venny include the construction of the new building and play space, studying similar models in Play in the UK, Europe and Scandinavia, developing a sustainable financial model, and increasing the usage and profile of the playground. He gains particular satisfaction from listening and responding to the needs of marginalised local children and youth and whether that is by providing assistance with development, growth, health, housing, education and advocacy.
Jonny Schauder- Acting General Manager
Jonathan Schauder is a corporate psychologist who has taught negotiation and strategy at Harvard law School in 1998. He has delivered final year and MBA subjects in School of Economics and Commerce at Monash University: Negotiation, Strategy, Strategic Management and Services Marketing. For 11 years Jonny was as a training, mediation and conflict resolution senior consultant with CMA in Melbourne. He took on the role of Chair of the Board for the Family Mediation Centre from 2000-2002 and was a board member of LEADR from 2002-2004. In 2008 Jonny established The Change Agent Network delivering strategic and change services to clients including Worksafe, Monash College, St Vincent’s Hospital, BetterCare Victoria, RMIT and many local and state government teams.
Danni von der Borch- Community Development and Therapeutic Support Worker
Danielle has worked in the Communal Backyard/Adventure Playground field for 16 years. Currently in the role of Community Development and Therapeutic Support, her background in creative art practices allows for a synthesis of both art and play in the sessions she runs. Danielle is a creative arts therapist and currently teaches in this field at MIECAT in Melbourne. She engages with a therapeutic intention in her work with vulnerable kids and young people and play is one of the tools she uses.
Catherine Hude- Operations Manager
Catherine has recently completed her Honours in Social Work at RMIT, which focused on the emergency response to the Covid-19 hard lockdown for the towers in North Melbourne and Flemington. She has worked within the Melbourne Inner North/West community since 2013. She has had experience in management, operations and community programming roles. Catherine has qualifications in Social Work, Psychology, Theology, Children services and Business Development.
Lloyd Greenland – Youth Development Specialist
Lloyd began working at The Venny as a youth mentor at the age of 17 years old. He comes with six years experience as a play worker and holds a qualification in Youth Work from RMIT University, Melbourne. Lloyd has travelled to over 13 countries gaining knowledge globally and has volunteered his skills to ‘The Happiness Project’ working in a play setting in Rajasthan, India in 2019. Lloyd also has experience running programs such as Dinner Night and Boys Group program at The Venny.
Hala Nur- Youth Worker and Play Worker
Hala has competed studies in Youth Work and Counselling at RMIT and is currently studying a Master of Social Work. She has been an active member of the Inner North West Melbourne African Community for several years. Hala has experience managing large community events and camps tailored for youth.
Ciara Moroney – Play Worker and Therapeutic Programs
Ciara has worked closely with children and families for the past 12 years, primarily in the Early Childhood Education sector. At the end of 2019, she completed a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Arts Practice with The MIECAT Institute and spent the final year of her studies engaged with The Venny’s kids through a photography project called “Stories of Home” as part of her student placement.
Ciara has been involved in several volunteer roles such as earthquake-relief creativity projects in Nepal, The Brotherhood of Saint Laurence’s Urban Camp project and Creative Arts Therapy Australia. She is a passionate advocate for the emotional wellbeing of children and young people, through play-based, nature-focused and creative arts practices.
Abshiro Hussein- Play Worker
Abshiro is qualified in Children Services and has been working at The Venny for nine years. Abshiro is a key African Community member and is fluent in Somali, Swahili, and has literacy skills in Arabic.
Keith Persall- Play Worker
Keith has been a play worker at The Venny for eight years and is a highly experienced play worker with many tools to draw upon such as photography, woodwork and creative building.
Tracie Overstead- Maintenance and Play Worker
Tracie has been an active member of The Venny community for 38 years and has worked at The Venny for 20 years. Tracie is a experienced play worker and currently completes maintenance at The Venny.