Product Stewardship

Soft Landing has been developing a mattress product stewardship scheme, alongside industry, since 2014. The Soft Landing Scheme is designed to increase resource recovery and the diversion of waste from landfill in order to minimise the environmental, health and safety impacts of end of life mattresses.

As a not-for- profit social enterprise, the Soft Landing Scheme prioritises the creation of employment opportunities for people who have experienced barriers to employment, this in-turn benefits the economic health and wellbeing of the community.

Soft Landing has worked with industry leaders A.Prince Consulting on the governance and modelling of the scheme, and in July 2016 partnered with TIC Mattress Recycling in Sydney and Melbourne to integrate world’s leading technology and logistics into our highest density cities.

The Inaugural Executive Committee meeting was held in June 2016.

Soft Landing Product Stewardship Members



Supply Chain


Soft Landing Partners


International Schemes and Peak Bodies

Committee Members

<span id="kathyjack">Kathy Jack</span>

Kathy Jack

General Manager Sales and Marketing, Joyce Foam Products

Kathy is a high performing senior manager who has worked across various industries throughout her career. Starting at BHP Steel in communications and marketing, Kathy progressed to issues management, corporate communications and product marketing, specifically for the Coated Steel division. During this time Kathy was seconded to work with the International Iron and Steel Institute, Marketing Committee on steel projects aimed at enhancing the reputation of steel on a global scale. She has also worked in the mining industry, working in global communications for a Swedish multinational, Atlas Copco, in Canada, Sweden, the UK and USA.

Previous Committee Roles include:

  • Chair, Swedish/Australian Mining Committee, Swedish Trade Council 1998 – 2000
  • Board member, Swedish Australian Mining Committee, Swedish Trade Council 1995 - 1998
  • Chair – Jamisontown Childcare Centre 1984 - 1989

Kathy has an MBA and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Kathy brings to the Executive Committee emotional intelligence, strategic thinking, financial acumen, integrity, high level communication skills and a passion for the Soft Landing Mattress Product Stewardship Scheme.

Kathy is based in Sydney, NSW

<span id="vernonfair">Vernon Fair</span>

Vernon Fair

Manufacturing Services Manager, Sealy of Australia

Vernon has 38 years of global bedding Industry experience including:

  • Executive – Cape Furniture Manufacturers Association * Council Member of the Bargaining Council of the Furniture Manufacturing Industry of the Western Cape
  • Elected Trustee Afcol Provident Fund (Steinhoff)
  • CEO and Member of the Board of Directors, Edblo Africa (subsidiary of Steinhoff International Holdings).

Vernon brings a modern, dynamic and people-oriented approach to leadership and management. Vernon has joined the Executive Committee to help drive a Product Stewardships Scheme that supports the bedding industry to take responsibility and accountability for its own growth and development, while fulfilling the agendas of all parties - manufacturers, retailers, consumers and downstream suppliers - in a socially responsible and environmentally conscious manner. His aim is for the Scheme to set an example for government, consumers and industry by how Scheme participants conduct and present themselves professionally.

Vernon is based in Brisbane, QLD.

<span id="garrybeard">Garry Beard</span>

Garry Beard

Chairman & Managing Director, A.H.Beard

Garry has been in the bedding industry for 35 years, working through the business from the factory floor, through dispatch, sales and management to his current role.

He is also Director of:

  • A.H. Beard Pty Ltd
  • A.H. Beard NZ Ltd
  • A.H. Beard Advanced Sleep Systems Pty Ltd
  • Family Business Australia

Garry is also the Chairman and director of Suparest Pty Ltd

Along with specialist bedding and furniture experience, Garry brings to the Executive Committee a passion and belief that through the Soft Landing Mattress Recycling Scheme we will be the most innovative network, focused on turning waste into wages for the disadvantaged. He sees an opportunity to not only deliver a robust mattress recycling scheme, but also a Cradle to Grave approach to bedding products.

Garry is based in Sydney, NSW.

<span id="johnweate">John Weate</span>

John Weate

Founder, Community Resources

John Weate is founder of Great Lakes Community Resources Incorporated, a not for profit community development association, charity and public benevolent Institution specialising in social enterprise*. John founded the Resource Recovery social enterprise in 1991, which has won awards for waste management excellence and won the inaugural Australian Social Enterprise of the year Award in 2013. For 25 years John has been a Local Government Councillor on Great Lakes Council, where for most of that time he chaired the Wallis Lake Coast and Estuary Management Committee.

Other Committee roles:

  • Foundation director of the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority from 2004-2013.
  • Director and chair of Midcoast Water from 2001-2012.
  • Founding director of Wateraid Australia (2004-2013), the Australian water industry’s aid and development charity assisting the world’s poorest people gain access to clean water and sanitation.
  • Foundation board member of WasteAid Australia, to address our global responsibilities in the waste industry

In 2013 John formed a partnership between Community Resources, the Centre for Social Impact and The Westpac Foundation to establish Resource Recovery Australia, a national social enterprise operating in the waste industry. RRA work with Councils, industry and local communities to establish and scale social enterprises that sustainably manage waste and generate local training and employment opportunities for those experiencing disadvantage.

Community Resources acquired Soft Landing from Mission Australia in December 2015, with the vision of scaling the award-winning mattress recycling social enterprise to achieve even greater social and environmental impact. We call this shared agenda #Waste2Wages.
John holds a Bachelor of Science and an MBA.
John is based in Tuncurry, NSW.

* Social enterprises are commercially viable businesses with a purpose of generating social impact.

<span id="michaelhunt">Michael Hunt</span>

Michael Hunt

Managing Director, Thermotec

Michael has over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing and distribution companies at a local and International level.

Previous executive and board experience includes:

  • Deputy Chairman, Macquarie Community College
  • Managing Director, Grief Packaging International - Asia Pacific & China
  • President & Secretary Blow Moulders Institute
  • President & Secretary Drum & Can Makers Institute

Michael brings a wealth of knowledge at a senior executive level in manufacturing across all types of materials and processes (plastic, steel, foam, pulp and paper) and first hand exposure in implementation and the effective execution of recycling systems. In his senior Executive Director and Board roles Michael has brought expertise on strategy, business development and effective implementation through to delivery of results for all stakeholders.

Michael has extensive experience in jointly setting the strategy, innovation, process development, distribution and collection, training and implementation for various products to achieve their “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” programs. These include DrumMuster, a long-running product stewardship scheme, the roll out of the Australian Packaging Covenant and Planet Ark recycling scheme in the early 1990’s, through to early 2003, a national “closed loop” cost benefit, recycling system for 205 litre drums and 1000 litre IBC’s for all the major oil and chemical companies in Australia and New Zealand. Also, a “Cradle to Grave” business model for the manufacture, recycle and reuse system for 15 litre Polycarbonate water bottles.

Michael looks forward to the Soft Landing Mattress Product Stewardship Scheme establishing a sustainable mattress recycling system that acts as a vehicle to offer employment opportunities throughout the community, and that grows to be seen as World’s Best Practice.

Michael is based in Sydney, NSW.

<span id="michaelhunt">Michael Mecham</span>

Michael Mecham

Corporate Compliance Officer, Harvey Norman

Michael has worked in retail for 24 years across a variety of frontline and support positions. Currently Michael is the Trade Practices Compliance Officer for Harvey Norman, providing a
thorough understanding of regulatory compliance matters within retail.

Furthermore, Michael is the head of non-inventory procurement for Harvey Norman. Within this role and previous roles at Woolworths Limited, Michael developed strategy, procuring services and implementation of vendors into categories including waste management.

Michael has been involved with sustainability planning and reporting and currently manages the Harvey Norman Reconciliation Action Plan.

He brings to the scheme a retail perspective on the underlying need for a realistic solution for mattress recycling.

Michael is based in Sydney, NSW.

<span id="michaelhunt">Janelle Wallace</span>

Janelle Wallace

General Manager, Soft Landing Mattress Product Stewardship Scheme

Janelle has been a consulting business owner for 17 years in business improvement and facilitating sustainability including strategy development, change management and project development and implementation. She is a panel member and has been a regular module deliverer of three Sustainability Advantage (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage) modules – Business Planning for Sustainability, External Stakeholder Engagement and Employee Engagement since 2009. She has also been the facilitator for the Responsible Construction Leadership Group for three years.

Janelle has broad business skills having established numerous small marketing businesses in Europe, South America and Asia.

She has also worked with industries from fast moving consumer goods to property management, construction to hotels and with numerous State Government agencies and Local Councils.

Janelle is based in Sydney, NSW.

<span id="michaelhunt">Simon Beaty</span>

Simon Beaty

Managing Director, Snooze

Simon has 36 years retail experience, 30 of those in national retail franchise businesses. He joined Snooze in 2008 as the Managing Director, driving the reinvigoration and growth of the Snooze brand. Simon is highly experienced in retail operations, logistics and franchise business development. He has first-hand experience of owning and managing franchise stores and managing and growing a national retail chain.

Simon’s current and past board experience includes the Snooze/G&G Furniture Board, Steinhoff Bedding Board and the Steinhoff Asia Pacific Executive Committee.