Our People

Andrea Biondo | Governing Fellow

Andrea Biondo is a Physicist looking for something useful to do that would change the world for the better. Working for multinational corporations and universities was OK for him for a while, but aside from solving some tricky technical problems for industry, the world didn’t seem to be getting much better for all his efforts. After a lot of research in the organisational psychology peer reviewed journals, it became clear that the very structure of most large organisations prevented them from doing much good, so a better way had to be found, which he did. Create a cooperative, remove inequality, fairly distribute the rewards and risk of shared capital by uttering the words, “I want to create a technology worker owned cooperative”. Words became actions and Galactic Cooperative was born. The world, (at least this small part of it), is now a better place! Mission accomplished. Now the work really begins….making this grow and sprout in other places. Creating Galactic® Co-operative was a certainty for Andrea, and at least another 4 members were needed to create his dream.

Kate Biondo | CEO | Governing Fellow

Kate Biondo, is Andrea’s ‘partner in life’ and was keen to join him and has taken seriously the role of administration and coordination throughout the business. Kate helps with any logistics needed to suit the requirements of each new endeavour we approach. From marketing to banking requirements, insurances and supplier accounts, billing, invoices and filing, to making cups of tea and supplying delicious things to eat. Before going into business with Galactic®, Kate was a sole trader in the landscaping industry where bookkeeping and logistics/project management were key skills and included O H & S. Kate’s ability to get along with others has made her invaluable in networking circles. In time Kate hopes to limit her time working in the business and spend more time on the business and see many of her duties be taken up by other dedicated members.

Dr Kate Ringvall | Governing Fellow

Dr Kate Ringvall has more than 20 years’ experience working, studying and exploring the many facets that make up Sustainability as we know it today. Her first job as graduate was in a recycling processing factory in Fremantle and Kate remains an avid recycler! Kate has a Masters in Public Policy and a PhD in Planning and her areas of expertise are in Circular Economy, Sustainable Transport Planning, Sustainable Cities, and Transit Oriented Development, and Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment. Kate currently also works with IKEA Australia to integrate sustainability actions and implementing the People and Planet Positive Strategy across all 10 IKEA stores. At Galactic Co-operative, Kate is a consultant on all parts of the business and advises on all aspects of Sustainability, Climate Action and the Circular Economy. Kate is researching and developing a Virtual Sustainability Application for release in the near future.

Kat Sherwin | Systems Facilitator | Governing Fellow

Having earned a Bachelor of Science (Ecology; Wildlife Biology) from the University of Queensland, Kat then went on to work in many different industries, gathering skills both “hard” and “soft”. She has experience interfacing between technical professionals and earthworking contractors, managing small teams of technicians, approving and issuing large volumes of crucial test results, stock management, intensive client and customer liaison and has significant creativity and problem-solving skills. Kat has a particular gift for diagnosing or locating problems in systems and she uses this skill in the Galactic team to help deliver excellent results. Kat is passionate about lifestyle change, community and the environment, and believes that a fundamental shift in all aspects of the way we do business is key to changing our impact of our daily lives. As such she takes any opportunity to speak about the co-operative business structure, community tools to build connection, and the intersection of business, community and sustainability.

Adam Binks | Accountant | Governing Fellow

Having served as accountant for Galactic® Scientific and Galactic® Co-operative since its inception, Adam has committed to join the co-operative as a member and Governing Fellow at the September 2018 AGM. Adam has run his own accounting and bookkeeping practice for the last 10 years, going by the name of Regeneration Business Services. Adam met Andrea in 1987 when they both went through a technician apprenticeship with Telstra. After a 13 year career with Telstra, culminating in stints in Melbourne helping set up an Australia-wide Operations Centre, and Sydney, assisting at the 2000 Olympics, Adam left to return to University and study to become an accountant. After 7 years of working in public practice, Adam made the move into business ownership. He is currently working with Galactic Co-operative to ensure the business adheres to the necessary financial compliance requirements. In his spare time Adam enjoys performing with his band The White Pointerz .

Stephanie Black | Health & Wellbeing Manager

Stef is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of Galactic's members and employees whilst improving business profitability through streamlining of processes. She also manages grants and awards, performs Galactic's greenhouse gas accounting and serves as inaugural Chair of Galactic's Sustainability and Ethics Committee. Stef has two decades of experience in the technology and resources sectors, holds degrees in both hard and soft sciences and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Western Australia, investigating human performance in complex environments. She serves on the Editorial Board of Australian Psychologist and the WA Committee of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA). As an avid SciFi fan, she thinks that it doesn't get any better than being a member of the Galactic® Co-operative.

Brad Hayden | Automation & Human Relationship Councillor

Brad started working in retail shopping at a young age, gaining skills in customer service with an understanding that presentation is key to success, progressing later to a commercial role using the skills gained in a B2B (Business to Business) environment. Further studies in Electronics, Business Management and Process Operations (Mining) moved Brad to having the confidence to open his own store. During his retail career he also studied gaining skills in many diverse fields. Brad is well versed in the service and maintenance of a plethora of scientific instruments, including firmware upgrades and 3D-printing of replacement parts. He is especially knowledgeable about lasers and automation. Brad is also passionate about workplace safety and is your go-to-guy for power tools safety procedures. Away from work Brad is passionate about racing and building engines.

Christian Czarniak | Instrument Service Ace

Christian is the most recent joiner of Galactic®. He is well skilled in the service, trouble shooting and maintenance of scientific instruments and is currently finishing an IT qualification. Christian is also a passionate musician.

Izzy Biondo | Tech Priest and White Hat Specialist

As Kate and Andrea’s only child, it is no surprise that Izzy is keen to be part of Galactic® Co-operative. Izzy looks after Galactic® Co-operative IT and refurbishes liquid handling robots.