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Meet the Team

Fair Wood Manager Liz Zlotti sitting in a forklift

Meet Liz (she/her)

Meet our new Fair Wood Manager, Liz Zotti! Liz brings 8+ experience in the Furniture & Design Industry, working across manufacturing, trade shows through to business management and design.

Passionate about sustainable design, Liz has built her own design practice advocating for accessible good design through responsible practices. Joining the CERES Fair Wood team, she was inspired by our commitment to bridging the design industry with sustainable alternatives.

Can you share a brief overview of your professional background and experience? 

I began my working life out of uni as a production assistant in film and television working both in Australia and New York. After returning to Australia from living overseas I did a night course in basic joinery skills and fell in love with furniture making. I then immersed myself in the design industry working in production settings as well as sales, eventually studying Furniture Design at RMIT where I further enhanced my design skills.

I have been working in the design and architecture industry for many years now, slowly building my own design practice doing commission work. I am passionate about sustainable design and sharing that with the masses. I am excited to share my industry knowledge with the Fair Wood Team to help build a robust sustainable alternative for designers and the general public.

What is your favourite timber we have in the yard and why?

Gosh, there are so many! But I have a very strong draw towards the Japanese Cedar we have in at the moment. It has exceptional qualities to it: beautiful colouring, straight grain, natural durability and resistance to decay which make it ideal for construction and bespoke joinery projects. It also possesses a distinctive fragrance which provides a lovely sensory effect when processing it.

You only have to marvel at traditional Japanese architecture to fully comprehend its strength, versatility and beauty.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I’m not spending time with my family, I love to go hiking, spend time gardening or enjoying a natural wine in the sun while sketching designs.

What's an exciting project you are looking forward to?

I am very much looking forward to repping Fair Wood and expanding our client base and product range. 

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to presenting work as part of this year’s Design Week.  

Lee Amundsen of CERES Fair Wood

Meet Lee (he/him)

After ten years in the book trade and 15 in government communications, Lee (he/him) realised he is happier renovating houses and making things with wood. Lee joins us most recently via Timbecon and is a fount of woodworking tools knowledge.  We asked Lee some questions

What is your favourite timber we have in the yard and why?

That's like asking which of your kids you like best. Ed and Blackwood.

What do you do in your spare time?

Cooking, bike riding, cleaning up the shed, domestic renos, long walks on the beach. The usual stuff.

Why do you work for CERES Fair Wood?

I get to learn more about local timbers.

What's an exciting project coming up for you?

Saturday trading.  

Photo of Kate Sutton

Meet Kate (she/her)

Kate is the person behind most of the posts. The comms person who is dedicated to getting the good word of Fair Wood out there.  Coming from a background in commercial media, Kate (she/her) made the shift to the not-for-profit space a few years back and now uses her skills for good. Kate helps organisations to shape their story and find their audience.

Prior to Fair Wood, Kate was part of the start-up phase of the Melbourne Food Hub with Sustain: The Australian Food Network and has spent a good chunk of her time supporting the transition to a local and resilient food system future. Kate’s partner is also a furniture designer and maker so she’s been around the world of timber for a while now.

What is your favourite timber we have in the yard and why?

I like when the obscure stuff comes in, like the Himalayan Cedar or Japanese Tulip… I also have a soft spot for the Elm. It feels really underrated and I get excited when makers embrace it. 

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m on the committee for Growing Farmers, we are turning backyards into market gardens in the North of Moreland. I also spend a lot of time hanging out as a family with my partner and toddler son and walking my dog on the Merri.

What has been the most memorable experience since working with Fair Wood?

Going on a trip to South Gippsland and visiting Dan from Amber Creek Sawmill and Frank and Sharon Hirst in Ranceby on Bunurong land. Seeing all the parts of the puzzle that make up the bigger story was really powerful for me.

Why do you work for Fair Wood?

Even though I come from a food system change background, I was really excited to work with Fair Wood as it's so values aligned. My partner is a woodworker so I have been around timber for a while now and I find the issues facing this industry just as important as many of the issues in my other passion areas like food. Also the more I learn about the industry and wood, the more I want to know.

What's an exciting project you are looking forward to?

I’m cooking up a few new things this year like being able to buy some of our products online! and getting out to more of our suppliers to tell their stories and thinking about partnerships, if you want to partner, drop me a line.

Meet Rachael (she/her)

Meet Rachael, our new digital whizz. Rachael works across CERES HQ and Fair Wood as our new Digital Communications officer. She brings 6+ years' experience working in the purpose-driven digital space, and is passionate about using her skills to support the missions of people, projects and organisations creating positive change in our world. 

She’s worked on many sustainability and climate-focused initiatives over the years, and is incredibly inspired by the people, work and scale of impact being made across the CERES-verse.

Can you share a brief overview of your professional background and experience? 

Like many millennials, I’ve forged a non-linear path. Starting my career in the Indigenous advocacy policy space in local government in Aotearoa NZ, I knew I wanted to contribute to positive change in the world, but quickly realised this was not the place for me to thrive.

In 2018 I was lucky enough to gain a scholarship to gain invaluable digital skills (UI/UX design, web development) and never looked back. 

Prior to joining CERES, I had been running my own digital studio where I collaborated with many charities, not-for-profit organisations, tertiary institutions, and government agencies on their visual identities, UI/UX design and website development. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and helped me better understand the needs of communities and how they can best be supported and served digitally and otherwise.

What is your favourite timber we have in the yard and why?

I’m a real newbie when it comes to timber but I’ve been learning a whole lot on the job. Kate has introduced me to a few of the cedar varieties that can be found in the workshop and I have to say, I find the aroma absolutely intoxicating!  

Building a tiny house is a big dream of mine, so I’ve been learning more about cypress too! 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I absolutely love to cook for my loved ones. Food is an obsession, and I love to use organic and locally grown produce (often à la Fair Food veg boxes) as much as possible. Most weekends I’ll pile as many friends as possible around my absurdly large dinner table to break bread together.

What's an exciting project you are looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming trade shows where we’ll be able to showcase some of the stunning work being done by our carpentry team, as well as some of our ReBoxCo offerings.

More team profiles coming soon.