Leep enables people to use technology in an increasingly digital world.

By building skills to get online confidently and connect safely we are preventing the spread of poverty and disadvantage, and ensuring everyone can imagine tomorrow together. We create digital citizens one-by-one, using volunteer digital mentors.

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Our Values


We are constantly adapting and evolving the way we work.

We recognise that our fields of expertise, and the impact they have on communities, are in a state of constant flux. We ensure our methodology echoes this, responding to changing conditions to ensure relevancy.

Empowering Knowledge

We believe enabling is as important as delivering.

We share our years of expertise and proactive research to help our communities and partners better understand their options and identify potential in a changing landscape. This inspires confidence in us, and in themselves.


There are few things more powerful than clarity.

The understanding, capacity and capability we deliver to our partners and communities helps provide clarity. Clarity around options, methods and tools that enables them to act on the opportunities that matter to them.

Our Personality

We’re inclusive

We believe in building communities of value.

Our success means progress and prosperity for our community and partners. Our ambitions include the aspirations and needs of others, for their good and our own. We don’t work in isolation – we form relationships and seek input from other thought leaders and industry professionals.

We’re to-the-point

We understand the importance of our advice.

Because of our experience and understanding of our fields, our communication is transparent, comprehensible, devoid of double speak and focusses on benefits.

We’re engaged

We recognise that our clients are often disadvantaged.

Whether caused by physical, economic, or geographic constraints, we take the time to understand the issues of each situation, and shape our approach to achieve the best possible result.

Our Team

Cecily Michaels

Chief Executive Officer

Anja Bless

Acting Head of Projects and Quality

Himalee Raj

Head - Digital Inclusion

Jed Walker


Janeen Harris

Senior Project Officer

Julie Dempsey

Office Manager

Emily Sparkes

Graphic Designer and Events Coordinator

James Lloyd-Martin

Communications and Marketing Assistant

Christopher Babet

Project Assistant - Digital Inclusion

Our Board

Mike Allen


Mike Allen - Leep ChairpersonMike Allen is the former longstanding Chief Executive of Housing NSW, now part of the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

He has accrued almost 40 years experience in social/affordable housing management and asset services, homelessness services, and community and Aboriginal housing.

Mike has led a number of major reforms including more recently the development of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing.

In the 2011 Australia Day Honours, he was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in recognition of his outstanding and meritorious services to the community and for his strong commitment to the values and principles of social housing. In 2014 Mike was also made a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (FIPPA) and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Nato Foti

Nato Foti, Leep Board MemberNato is an active contributor to the Western Sydney community through his involvement with various community initiatives and private sector projects. He is a committee member of the largest young professional network in Western Sydney (Western Sydney Young Professionals) where he plays a facilitation role to get members engaged with the wider community.

In his role at KPMG, he is passionate about helping companies grow and develop their ideas by providing R&D advice, securing funding and optimising the clients ideas to drive innovation and sustainable long-term growth. He works extensively in collaboration with many incubator/accelerator programs including: Stone & Chalk, Tyro FinTech Hub, WSU Launch Pad and KPMG Innovate.


Belinda Chapman

Belinda Chapman - Leep Board Member

Belinda holds a PhD in Microbiology and has 20 years experience in the scientific and industrial field. She has worked in areas such as food, medicine and the environment while employed in state and federal government organisations, academia and private industry, specifically the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research, Vitramed Pty Ltd, the CSIRO’s Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences, the Sydney Catchment Authority, The Sanitarium Health Food Company, Macquarie University with Burns Philp and Arnotts.

She is currently Director of a small private R&D company, Quantal Bioscience Pty Ltd. Quantal Bioscience offers research consulting, science management and specialist testing services in applied microbiology and microbiomics across the health and medical, environment and agriculture and food industry sectors. Quantal Bioscience develops new IP to support commercialisation of new research. Belinda also brings her research and industry knowledge to her role at KPMG, where she works in the R&D Tax Incentives area, with a focus on working with companies in Greater Western Sydney.



 Penny Webb-Smart

Penny Webb-Smart, Leep Board MemberPenny Webb-Smart is a digital transformation expert with experience in the public and private sector.

She started her career in product marketing in the technology industry, before leading a number of large business and technology transformation projects for the Commonwealth Bank. Most recently she ran a program in the NSW government to demonstrate how a digital approach can be used to design public services that deliver better outcomes.

Penny has over twenty years experience in digital transformation, innovation, service design, technology, and change management.

Penny runs her own consulting firm, Open Strategy, as well as founding a social enterprise startup to automate day-to-day money management.


Melanie Tran

Melanie Tran, Leep Board MemberMelanie Tran is currently a student at Billy Blue College of Design, studying Bachelor of Digital Media with a major in Interaction Design. Melanie has a particular interest in UX (User Experience) Design. Melanie brings her skills and expertise as a Digital Designer into the disability sector and works closely with disability service providers. With over four years experience working in the disability sector, Melanie had the opportunity to further develop her skills and knowledge as a Digital Designer. Melanie previously worked with Muscular Dystrophy NSW, and is currently working as a Project Officer at Northcott Innovation.

Melanie is also the first person in the world with a neuromuscular condition to complete The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – she is the recipient of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award. Following from the success of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Melanie became a public speaker and spoke at many events including [email protected]


Prashant Rai

Prashant Rai - Leep TreasurerPrashant is a CPA with over 12 years experience in various industries having commenced his career with KPMG. His experience also extends to hospitality, engineering, construction, consulting and software. Prashant has an Executive Master of Business Administration from RMIT University, Melbourne. He is currently the Finance Director at Objective Corporation, an ASX Listed IT Services company.


Emily Hohnke

Emily is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years experience in finance roles across a range of industries. She commenced her career at PwC and moved into commercial roles in government and financial services industries, with a focus on forecasting, financial analysis and strategy. She recently completed a Master of Economics at University of Sydney.
Emily is currently Financial Business Analyst at PetSure, the largest administrator of pet insurance in Australia, a division of The Hollard Insurance Company.


Our Journey

Founded in 1993 Leep was known as TRI Community Exchange, originally being Incorporated as a Family Resource Centre auspiced by Penrith Council. The Centre was part of a national program to improve connections between organisations working with families and communities focusing on access & equity, Aboriginal services and providing information via a Bulletin Board which became communityNet. Despite being defunded in 1997 TRI continued to offer services funded through Networking the Nation.

TRI continued to expand receiving recurrent funding to assist the frail aged, people with disability and their carers to access services as well as support those services providing IT support and solutions, cultural competency and volunteer management capacity development.


These services are delivered in Western Sydney and Western NSW.

In June 2016 TRI rebranded to Leep, a group dedicated to creating inclusive communities for people experiencing disadvantage through communityNet, digital inclusion and volunteer solutions. We believe an inclusive community can imagine tomorrow together.