Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Repurpose.
It's our mission at Urban Upcycle to help preserve the Earth by minimising negative environmental impact.
We educate the community to rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse and repurpose.
We facilitate fun, creative, upcycled crafting experiences in schools, kindergartens, early learning centres, events, festivals & birthday parties.
Our crafting experiences provide the opportunity to plant the sustainability seed, helping to create eco-friendly habits and lifestyles, which can have an everlasting impact on our environment.
We must preserve the one and only Earth we have.
It is imperative that we educate our children as best we can to help preserve the one and only Earth that we have. As parents, teachers & role models, it is our responsibility to help pave the way to a happy, healthy & sustainable future for generations to come.
If we all start by making a small effort, it will shortly become habit. As you lead by example, these habits will become other’s habits and the flow on affect will continue. Start small and huge things will happen. Give it a go and you’ll see for yourself!
Some people you will meet at your crafting experience.
Nicole has been the Sole Owner of Urban Upcycle since 2018, having Co-founded it with her sister in 2015.
Her love of the environment started from a young age, with her earliest memory of such, taking part in Clean Up Australia Day as a Brownie (Girl Guide). At the age of 14, Nicole became a vegetarian, having developed a strong devotion to animal rights.
Previous to Urban Upcycle, Nicole held a role in the waste industry, spending time at landfills, recycling centres and businesses whom often produced large amounts of unnecessary waste. During this time, it opened her eyes to the need for education throughout the community to assist in limiting waste to aide in reducing negative environmental impact. From here, her passion for the environment grew immensely, as she felt a strong desire to help make change and that’s when Urban Upcycle was born.
Spending time with children and watching the excitement of creating something new from something old, helped Nicole realise where he heart lay. It became her main objective to create a fun, relaxed, non judgemental environment for children to learn, experiment, express themselves all whilst caring for our planet. After all, the children of today, are the leaders of our future. She wants all children to learn that they can make a difference and that everything they do, can have an affect, whether large or small. Nicole takes delight in parents telling her that their child refuses to throw anything away anymore, just in case they can make something new from it!
In 2020, Nicole chose to streamline Urban Upcycle’s services, specialising in creating memorable and impactful experiences, all whilst spreading the rethink, reduce, reuse, repurpose message within our community, far and wide.
In 2021, Nicole completed a Cert IV in Environmental Management & Sustainability.
Having worked with Urban Upcycle since 2019, Coraleigh enjoys the hands on creating time with the children, encouraging them to use their imaginations and helping them to discover what amazing creations they are capable of producing, all the while using repurposed items.
Coraleigh has always been an avid lover of the arts, having been a mural artist from the age of 17 and studying a diploma in visual arts when moving from Zimbabwe to Australia at the age of 18. This lead to her providing children’s art classes during school holidays, also at kindergartens and early learning centres during term. Coraleigh also co-ordinated events for a repurpose/reuse business previously operating in Geelong named Waste Werks which included facilitating obstacle courses using repurposed materials.
On returning to Zimbabwe in 2008, Coraleigh worked as an early childhood educator for five years with 2-3 year olds, then two years teaching 3-4 year olds. She is pleased to say that her main source for teaching educational art sessions was preloved materials.
Coraleigh returned to Australia in 2018 and has continually surrounded herself with children from all walks of life providing the opportunity to continue to teach and share her knowledge. Not only is Coraleigh part of the Urban Upcycle team, she also works casually in Disability Support and child sitting roles, and in 2023 completed a Cert IV in Disability.
Masami has worked casually with Urban Upcycle since 2021 and most of all enjoys seeing the children come up with their pure ideas!
Masami was born in Japan where she grew up and completed her schooling, then moved to Australia in 2009. She loves going back to her home country and tries to visit at least once per year. As there are still so many places throughout Japan which she would like to explore, Masami will continue to visit as often as she can. She hopes to one day travel throughout Europe, child free!
Throughout Masami’s working life, she’s tried her hand at a number of roles, having worked as a nanny, in childcare, working in a supermarket, fruit & veggie store, sushi shop, and in administration.
Masami has recently discovered a love for gardening & indoor plants. It may even been an obsession! She is also super passionate about cooking & baking, experimenting with a wide variety of foods. Her favourite dishes & treats to create are matcha brownies & cheesecake, tiramisu, Indian curries, Korean noodles, Italian pastas, kimchi & pancakes. What a lucky family she has!
Sophia has worked casually with Urban Upcycle since 2021, after completing her VCE studies at Grovedale College. On graduating, Sophia won an art award, with the college buying her Studio Art final piece.
Various streams of art pique Sophia’s interest such as drawing her own cartoons, creating characters and developing entire stories around them. She really loves to make clay sculptures, making human figurines & faces. Not only this, Sophia is an absolute whizz when it comes to crocheting, being completely self taught!
Along with Sophia’s love of art, she is obsessed with moving pictures and hopes to one day attend a school of film and television. She really loves story telling and her favourite tv show at the moment is ‘Anne with an E’
When it comes to working with Urban Upcycle, Sophia enjoys seeing the children’s quirky and kooky imaginations come to life when working on their creations. One of her most favourite moments has been helping a student create ‘Gary the Turtle’!
Rarlee’s youthful zest, creativity & mechanical mind, adds that 'something special' to our team.
Helping out during school holidays & at events on weekends, Rarlee considers himself to be a bit of a pro on the hot glue gun. He's also exceptional when working with children, having not long ago been one himself!
When Rarlee's not spending time with the Urban Upcycle team or at school studying for his VCE, he's at his casual retail job which he’s been in since 2020. He also enjoys visiting local skateparks to refine his scooter techniques.
Rarlee’s true passion lies in dance, specialising in industrial tap & hip hop, where he has an outlet to showcase his creative flair. Dance also provides Rarlee the opportunity to share his skills & love of dance with children, having recently become a teacher of tap!
We proudly support these community groups.
Urban Upcycle supports the Mark West Foundation as it was set up ‘to strengthen the legacy of Mark West who set an amazing example of how to make a difference to those around him through participation, community involvement and striving to be the best you can be.’ These too, are attributes we find are important within our personal lives and within the Urban Upcycle business framework. Nicole, having been friends with Mark over her secondary school years, has a great fondness for this Foundation.
If you too would like to support the Mark West Foundation, we are selling the now fully digital Entertainment Book, of which a percentage of the purchase price goes to support them. Alternatively, please visit The Mark West Foundation website to check out how they are supporting our local community.Buy an Entertainment Book
Foundation 61 provides a live-in community on the outskirts of Geelong, offering hope and direction for people dealing with life-controlling issues. They provide an individually focused rehabilitation program and their residential program includes full board with onsite staff offering 24-hour support. Their holistic approach aims to support participants on their journey to full recovery, providing a variety of resources and life skills to assist individuals to rebuild their lives. We love and fully support this much-needed service in our community.Make a Donation to Foundation 61
As lids are not accepted in our household recycling bins, the only other destination for them is landfill, that is until Lids4Kids provided an alternative! The Holden Rally Team coordinates the Lids4Kids project nationwide to rescue plastic bottle lids from milk, water and soft drink bottles to benefit the environment and kids. We love this so much! If you have bottle lids, please get in touch with them to find out your local drop off point.Visit Facebook Page
When we heard about Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs and their amazing work, supporting them was a given. Not only are they helping raise money to supply wheelchairs in South Africa (a neighbour of team member Coraleigh’s home country Zimbabwe), they are also keeping bread tags out of our environment and landfill, plus getting them recycled into something new. Everyone is winning! Find your local drop off point on their website.Find Your Local Collection Point