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Our People

Jade Kudrenko
General Manager

A lifelong Central Australian, Jade brings experience in advocating and working for the healthy futures of arid lands and its people, having held operational and leadership positions within the Natural and Cultural Resource Management, Local Government and Aboriginal Employment sectors. 

Over the past decade Jade has worked with Traditional Owners and Indigenous people across the Southern half of the Northern Territory, leading the workforce development efforts of the Aboriginal Ranger Program across Central Australia. Extensive work throughout the Central region has ingrained Jade’s appreciation for the arid environment and a commitment to be an effective ally of Aboriginal custodians caring for country. 

Previously, as an elected member to Alice Springs Town Council, Jade is known for defending Australia’s iconic desert and strategically driving inclusive and progressive change. 

Alex Vaughan
Policy Officer

Alex relocated to Mpartwe/Alice Springs from Sydney, where he completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney majoring in Environmental Studies and Plant Science, as well as completing Honours in Geography. Alex has published an academic paper on Sydney’s renewable energy transition, in addition to tutoring geography at USyd.

Alex loves to hike and camp, read about Indigenous history and Indigenous land management practices, cook tasty savoury treats and develop his native plant identification skills.  He is excited to be in Mpartwe/Alice Springs, to continue the fight to protect water, land, climate and culture. 

Hannah Ekin
Fracking Campaign Coordinator

Hannah Ekin first became involved in the anti-fracking campaign as a member of the Central Australian Frack Free Alliance community group. Hannah holds a degree in geography and has a long-held interest in the politics of land use and extraction.

Prior to moving to Central Australia, Hannah spent several years living in Indonesia researching and making art about struggles against eviction and the privatisation of Jakarta Bay. In Indonesia, Hannah was introduced to many great examples of community organising and coalition building for environmental justice goals, principles she always aims to apply her work in Central Australia. 

Kaz Philips 
Community Garden Network Coordinator

Kaz has recently returned to live in Alice after many years working in the food security, fair food sector in Melbourne with a small NGO called Cultivating Community. She is a passionate food gardener and has      worked most recently as a Public Housing Community Garden Support Worker and Local Food Systems Project Worker. Kaz is a qualified Community Development Worker and Trainer. She brings a high level of cultural competence and strong communication, relationship building and networking skills. 

Kaz' lifelong passion for edible gardening is influenced by regenerative permaculture design principles and her professional practice is informed by human rights, social justice and feminist principles and analysis.

Hayley Michener
Program Manager - Community Solutions - Future Grid

Hayley has spent her entire working career in Alice Springs, save for a  brief contract working for a freshwater biology lab in Brisbane. Hayley began working for a local environmental consultancy doing flora and fauna assessments before moving more into sustainability programs including commercial water auditing for Alice Water Smart and managing a household sustainability program, desertSMART COOLMob.

For five years, Hayley was the Environment Officer at the Alice Springs Town Council where she was responsible for a range of community and technical projects in energy, solar and waste. She holds a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and enjoys hiking and getting involved in the arts scene of Alice Springs.

Arid Edge Environmental Services


Ra Sim
Landscape Designer, Horticulturist

Ra is an Alice Springs based designer, junior architect, horticulturalist and community worker, with 10 years experience working in both urban and remote contexts. She is passionate about well designed, sustainable and practical solutions for housing and public spaces in central Australia and particularly remote Aboriginal communities.


Sunil Dhanji
Environmental Consultant & Landscape Supervisor

Suni is a passionate conservationist and experienced horticulturalist who has worked in the rural sector and land management arena across arid central Australia and central Queensland for over twenty years. This work has included Parks and Wildlife management in Queensland, natural resource management and community engagement for Greening Australia, Northern Territory, and fire planning and control with Bushfires NT. He is the author of the book “Weeds of Central Australia, a field guide” and is involved with Alice Springs Landcare to help protect and conserve patches of remnant urban bushland.

James Gomez
Landscaper & Waste Consultant

James is an experienced Landscaper with a passion for the environment and sustainable waste management. James has been involved in a variety of projects across central Australia including extensive experience in leading diverse teams and on-site project delivery in challenging work environments. James Prides himself on work safe practices and employee welfare.