About us

Soulfully serving our community.

Delivering hope and healing

Soul Café was the vision of Life Church and was formally established in 2003. The vision was to build a charity dedicated to helping the most vulnerable in our community. As well as serving up meals, they wanted to go beyond this to cater to the whole person.

The guests who come through Soul’s doors today are from all walks of life. We see large levels of brokenness, homelessness and mental challenges, but we never judge. We’re simply here to offer sustenance, a friendly face, and many other types of essential support.

From accommodation to drug and substance abuse programs, haircuts, laundry and legal and medical services, whatever our guests need, we help them access it. Most importantly we deliver hope – hope that people care and that lives can heal.

Volunteer serving coffee to a guest

Take the Soul tour

Take a short tour through the doors of Soul where we serve our guests and provide essential support each and every day.

Our people

Our Soul family is made up of volunteers, staff, a management team and a Board of Trustees and is as diverse as our guests. Between them, our 220+ volunteers give back over 620+ hours per week to the community.

Matthew Ortiger

General Manager

Matt studied science at Sydney Uni but quickly realised he wasn’t cut out for a white lab coat. As a result, he’s spent the last 30 years in various forms of management in the community / charity sector. Since early 2019, he’s been Soul’s General Manager and says it’s one of the best jobs he’s ever had.

Sue Prosser, Soul Floor / Kitchen Manager

Sue Prosser

Floor / Kitchen Manager

Wife to Rick and devoted mum and Grandma, Sue has been the Floor / Kitchen manager at Soul Cafe for 10 years. She loves what she does every day, serving some of the most vulnerable people in our community. She also appreciates her amazing team, who she sees as family and calls the ‘best in the world’.

Timothy Hennessey, Soul Cafe Mental Health Clinician

Timothy Hennessey

Mental Health Clinician

Tim has worked in both general and mental health, and in opiate, drug and alcohol services in both hospitals and the community. He’s also a trained counsellor. After meeting an unhelpful but sharing mosquito, he became very crook and moved from Queensland back to Newcastle and joined the Soul family.

Jocelyne Lamarche Soul Volunteer

Jocelyne Lamarche

Social Worker

Originally from Canada, social justice seeker, outdoor lover, and cook, Jocelyne has years of experience working in diverse community settings. She’s supported the homeless and those with substance abuse and mental health issues, developed creative programs, and trained in mindfulness, FASD and crisis intervention.

Penny Holt Soul Chaplain

Penny Holt

Volunteer Chaplain

Our happy chappy’ chaplain Penny was raised on a dairy farm before flying the nest to join the RAFF in 1992. After meeting her husband Simon, she became a teacher and had three beautiful children. From here, she moved into mentoring and her passion, chaplaincy. Her goal in life is to help others realise their full potential and purpose.

Lorraine Price, Soul Finance and Venue

Lorraine Price

Finance & Venue

Lorraine arrived in Newcastle from Perth after retiring from Golf WA where she worked for 17 years. She wanted to live the retirement dream by the beach, but boredom set in, and her volunteering days with Soul began, eventually leading to a role in finance. Lorraine loves her job and all the interesting people she meets.

Michelle Richards

Admin Team, Donor Appreciation and Events

Michelle is a lover of nature and an avid swimmer, she is also CPA Accountant and has worked in a variety of industries ranging from Retail, Tax, Corporate and Mining.  Being a travel bug and a having a desire to make a difference, she has participated in several volunteer programs overseas wanting to give back in some way.  She is excited now that she can not only use her skills in finance, organizing and process improvement to assist in Souls` administrative area and events, but be part of something that supports the lives and wellbeing of others.

Nic Cade

Media, Communications and Donor Appreciation

Nic has a heart for service particularly, serving the vulnerable and lonely members of society. Nic started as a volunteer in November 2021 at the age of 17 and later begun a traineeship in Certificate IV in Community Services with Soul Café.  When not studying or working Nic loves hanging out with mates, listing to music, surfing and following the Parramatta Eels (we try not to hold this against him). Nic describes working at Soul as “a dream job in everyway, Soul is my family.”

Our trustees

Soul Cafe is a business name held by LifeShapers Family Services Trust which is a registered charity. Life Church Ltd (ACN: 069 609 356) is the corporate trustee for Life Shapers Family Services Trust (ABN: 67 385 398 045). The charity is part of the vision and mission of Life Church. The trust is managed by a board of Trustees.

Rick Prosser CEO Soul Cafe

Rick Prosser

CEO (Trustee) & Management Team

Rick is incredibly passionate about Newcastle and its people. His leadership has been a catalytic in pioneering church, community and civic partnerships over decades across the region – for which he’s been widely recognised. It’s with Rick’s guidance and heart that Soul has become the much-loved charity it is today.

Howard Mole Soul Events Management

Howard Mole

Trustee, Events & Management Team

Originally a country lad with a career in farming, Howard moved into youth work then landscaping before becoming a Salvation Army minister, where he spent 20 years working as manager of a welfare centre. He acts as the points leader for our major fundraiser, Sleepout for Soul, and sits on the Management Team.

David Zammit Soul Trustee

David Zammit

Trustee

David is a retired registered architect with over 20 years of business experience as CEO of his own enterprises. He also served full time at Compassion Australia for 11.5 years and started serving on NFP boards from 1991 onwards, joining the Soul Board of Trustees in December 2016. David loves photography, kayaking and travel.

Anthony Cummins Soul Trustee

Anthony Cummins

Trustee

Outdoor-man Anthony has over ten years’ experience in accounting and currently works as a Senior Financial Accountant at a large Not-For-Profit in Newcastle. Wanting to use his skill set to help the vulnerable of our city, he started providing accounting support to Soul in March 2017 and became a Trustee the following year.

Linda Rolland Soul Trustee

Linda Rolland

Trustee

Linda is the newest addition to our trustee team. She’s had a passion for helping the marginalised and disadvantaged from an early age and currently works as a program manager supporting children with disabilities or delays and their families. She has diplomas in social science and teaching and a quirky sense of humour!

Our annual reports

Our annual reports provide a summary of each year’s activities, data and statistics around the support we offer our community and stories from our guests and volunteers.

2021 Annual Report
2020 Annual Report
2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report

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