Our Team

Sara Mitchell - Founder

Connector, Collaborator, Community advocate and Strategist - Creating collaborative communities to strengthen local economy and social cohesion

 

Sara is a resilient cancer survivor, mother and change-maker determined to create a more just society and an inclusive, regenerative, and sustainable economic model that works at a community level based on human-centred design. 

Sara has lived in Point Cook since 2006 with her husband and family and 2 dogs.

With a background in delivering projects from start up to scaling to multi-site environments. She is a creative, agile, and experienced Manager who can get the job done by utilising relationships and resources. Skill sets include: Project Management, Stakeholder, People, and resource management, financial, operations and marketing.

A passion for local has developed over time by thinking deeply about what is most important to build a sense of connection, community, and sustainable local economy. CoLocal a Not for Profit – Social Enterprise was founded to be able to build capacity in communities to connect the heart and build strong local economies.

Full resume here  / LinkedIn profile here >

 

 

Mehak Sheik - Facilitator

Community advocate, Facilitator and Place Maker - Building and strengthening capacity in communities through asset based community development.

 

Mehak is young local resident in Tarneit, who has lived in Australia since 2012, she has lived in three countries prior and identifies as a third-generation Kenyan, Muslim Punjabi. As an advocate, facilitator, and social entrepreneur / founder, she has been involved in starting up, delivering, and participating in multiple capacity building, community and youth engagement projects on local, state and national levels. Her deep passion for identity, psychology, community engagement and inclusivity has shaped her career trajectory, including being a first-time independent in local elections and her interests, especially creating spaces for community i.e., placemaking. 

Mehak also works in social impact and capacity building for the non-profit sector with the Foundation for Young Australians and recently finished up a role with Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network in leading their Youth Leadership and Engagement portfolios. When not working, Mehak volunteers with Healthwest Partnership, has sat on various Wyndham-based advisory groups and is a newly-appointed Multicultural Safety Ambassador with the Migrant Workers Centre. 

 

LinkedIn profile here >

 

 

Alison Fong - Placemaker

Community development, Human-centred designer, Young urban planner

 

Alison is a budding young planner, passionate about connecting people, communities, stories, design, nature and the built environment through a people-centred and sustainable focus.

Currently studying the Master of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne, with an undergraduate degree in Architecture, she is a ‘stubborn optimist’ and strives to create adaptive and accessible urban places, advocating for conversations about our communities that are inclusive and approachable. Since 2018, she has been involved in leading and facilitating various placemaking and community engagement projects, working with student peers, academic researchers, Indigenous knowledge holders and local councils and authorities.

Outside of her planning and architecture studies, she enjoys working in photography, graphic design and digital communications – working for diverse clients including Place Agency, Clean Air and Urban Landscape Hub, Centre for Multicultural Youth and various not-for-profits and fashion brands. 

LinkedIn profile here >

 

 

Mike Kalyaniwala - Director

Passionate supporter of Local, Trusted advisor, Tax expert and Family man - Capacity building through strong compliance and governance

 

Having been in Public Practice for more than 17 years, Mike set up Caliyan Associates in 2012, a progressive, community oriented Tax and Accounting advisory firm. Growing the client base from the ground up, the firm now employs more than 5 souls and services a client base spread across Australia and even cross borders. Mainly employed in the areas of tax and business advisory, he has developed a passion for mentoring and nurturing junior staff to become fantastic tax accountants with an uncompromising stand on attention to detail and technical nous. He enjoys client contact and has a lot of patience with dealing with all types of clients.

He is a member of CPA (including courses in Public Practice) and an MBA combined with Cert 3 in Leadership.

LinkedIn profile here >

 

 

Avalon Rodrigues - Advisory and Treasurer

Governance, Project delivery, Facilitation 

 

Avalon lives in Point Cook and is an ICAA (Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia) qualified accountant with over 10 years’ experience in Funds Management across Australia and the UK.

Avalon actively participates in a number of events, including organizing and presenting Funds Management forums, being involved in project change teams, facilitating various training as well as other initiatives.

LinkedIn profile here >

 

 

Tim Mahlberg - Advisory 

Connector, Catalyst, Changemaker - PhD Researcher, Uni of Sydney 

 

Tim is passionate about inspiring and empowering others to thrive in their work and lives.

Tim's unique background combines a natural curiosity about people, a passion for community work, and a dedication to creating world class customer experiences. With a colourful career spanning corporate, non-profit/charitable organisations, consulting, and retail/hospitality, Tim has worked for over a decade as an organisational psychologist, helping people to realise their potential through their work life.

Some kind folk have described Tim as “a force for innovation”, “one of the world's super connectors”, “a brilliant mentor”, and “a true leader in Australian innovation”. Others have sought Tim as a source of inspiration in a range of areas including intrapreneurship, entrepreneurship and social impact, community and business innovation, sustainability, career development and leadership. 

LinkedIn profile here >             

 

 

Profile pic of Raffie, CoLocal's mascot dog.

Raffie - Pop Up Ambassador

Good Doggo, Fluffy Doggo, Enthusiastic Doggo

 

You can spot Raffie, our unofficial Pop Up Ambassador pupper on CoLocal Pop Ups from time to time with Sara and her team.

Raffie will always be rolling in the grass for quality checks, asking for pets in exchange for smiles and candid photo moments (takes a few snacks).