The Story Behind Member Jungle

We started Member Jungle as we saw too many people running volunteer-run organisations spending all their time doing paperwork, rather than enjoying their club.

Clubs are about passion for a thing; a motorcycle, a sport, a common interest, but the most passionate people don't have any time left over to enjoy their club. We knew we could develop a system using the latest tools to help these people. To help you.

The Member Jungle membership software system is delivered using tried and tested technology to help make clubs and associations easy to manage, profitable and sustainable for years to come. New features are continually being added to help with the time-consuming and problematic issues faced by committee members. 

Across all areas of our business we are continually focused on providing a sustainable future for our kids. The integrated Member Jungle membership system is hosted by our own 100% green hosting team ensuring our customers 99.99% up-time and unparalleled security.


Michael Barwell - Member Jungle

Michael Barwell

CEO and Founder

Team Management and Herding Cats , High End Database Technology, UX System Design and Development, Knowing what book to recommend

Interests: Member Jungle, Craft Beer, Making Craft Beer, Fiddling around with electronics, Hanging with the family

Clubs: Tesla Owners Club of Australia, Manning Point Fishing Classic, Throsby Creek Oenological Phalanx, Merewether Bowling Club

Favourite Jungle Animal: The Capybara - It's the world's largest rodent and one of the most interesting animals on the planet.

Michael isn't your typical CEO. Sure, he's an expert in team management (essential for wrangling our passionate team!). Still, his background also boasts high-end database technology, UX design, and a knack for recommending the perfect book (to keep our minds sharp!).

Michael's early adventures with large-scale Oracle databases took him around the globe. This experience sparked his vision to leverage this technology for websites, just like it powered massive corporations.  His ideas blossomed into Member Jungle's content-driven system, built on the sturdiest software and security available.

Michael is fiercely committed to leaving a healthy planet for future generations.  He's the driving force behind Member Jungle's zero-carbon footprint.  His love for renewable energy fuels our extensive use of solar power, and let's just say he has a serious fondness for his Tesla (we wouldn't be surprised if he whispers sweet nothings to it every now and then).

When Michael isn't leading the Member Jungle pack, you might find him indulging in his love for craft beer (or even brewing his own!), tinkering with electronics, or spending quality time with his family

Jeff Pond - Member Jungle

Jeff Pond

Technical Operations Director

Cloud Architecture & Security, Managed Web Hosting, Technical Support

Interests: Trail running, long rides on his Harley-Davidson, cigar collecting, fishing, and spending quality time in the Aussie bush doing conservation activities.

Clubs: Harley Owners Group, fishing club, cigar aficionado club, and a running club.

Favourite Jungle Animal: Thylacine, a.k.a. Tassie Tiger - Likes to avoid people by pretending to be extinct but doesn't mind appearing now and then just to keep things spicy. 

Our resident Technical Operations Director, Jeff Pond, isn't your average office dweller. Sure, he reigns supreme over the cloud architecture, security, and web hosting domains, but beneath the digital prowess lies the heart of a true adventurer.

When he's not wrangling servers, Jeff can be found conquering roads on his trusty Harley-Davidson, casting a line in search of the perfect catch, or meticulously curating his cigar collection. But Jeff's wild side extends beyond personal pursuits. He's a dedicated conservationist, actively involved in protecting the Aussie bush and our awesome native wildlife.

Speaking of wild things, Jeff's favourite jungle creature is the elusive Thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian Tiger. Like this fascinating (and possibly extinct) marsupial, Jeff prefers to keep things interesting. He's the mastermind behind Member Jungle's rock-solid cloud hosting environment, ensuring our systems run smoothly 24/7—even if he prefers to avoid the limelight sometimes.

Jeff's talents extend far beyond the digital realm. In a past life as a carpenter, he honed a knack for fixing things – a skill that comes in handy around the office (even if he playfully protests the "beneath him" requests!). With a smile that's always there and a willingness to help anyone in need, Jeff is a true asset to both the Member Jungle team and our valued customers.

On top of his technical mastery, Jeff also leads our awesome technical support team. That means you might find him responding to your questions and support tickets – all while keeping the jungle running smoothly behind the scenes.

Leigh Clover - Member Jungle

Leigh Clover

Director of Membership and Marketing

Digital Marketing, Membership Management Systems, SEO & User Experience Metrics

Interests: Family, Live Music, Soccer, Water Skiing, Touch Football, Oztag

Clubs: Doyalson Wyee Wolves Soccer Club, Lakes Football Club & Evolve Performing Arts 

Favourite Jungle Animal: Tiger Cub - they are playful and fun animals that look like you just give them a cuddle, but can never be underestimated. 

Leigh is one of the most passionate people you will ever meet. She brings a passion for taming the organisational jungle. With many years of experience in marketing and online content management systems, she has experienced firsthand the challenges faced by volunteer-run organisations struggling with outdated and minimal systems that were more tangled than a wild vine.

Leigh is responsible for our marketing, sales, and account management team, ensuring that her team members have a clear path through the jungle of tasks.  Her excitement and passion (and incredibly fast talking) are contagious to all her team members. Leigh's commitment to continuous growth fuels her desire to see Member Jungle flourish.  She's constantly exploring new avenues to expand our reach and connect with organisations yearning for a more streamlined membership experience.

When Leigh isn't leading the pack at Member Jungle, you might find her on the soccer field or cheering her cubs (her family) on a rugby league field or at a dance.

Beau Gibson - Member Jungle

Beau Gibson

Development Team Lead & Lead Software Engineer

Coding God, Software Development, Mobile App Design & Development, Technical Infrastructure, Answerer Of Difficult Questions

Interests: All things tech - robots, computers, drones, phones, you name it! Stepping lightly on the planet (hunting invasive pests and eating what I can, growing as much produce as possible, buying local produce\

Clubs: Poissons et Boisson Extrêmes (Manning Point Fishing Club)

Favourite Jungle Animal: Numbat

Beau's a technical mastermind here at Member Jungle, leading the development team and wrangling code like a coding god. From crafting mobile apps to building our technical infrastructure, there's no problem Beau can't solve – he's our resident answerer of difficult questions! 

But his talents extend far beyond the digital jungle. When he's not creating in our virtual one, Beau's passionate about protecting the real one. He's a champion of sustainability, keeping his footprint light by focusing on ethically sourced produce and enjoying the fruits (and vegetables!) of his labour through homegrown bounty. Whether buying local produce, brewing his own beverages, or cultivating a thriving garden, Beau's all about self-sufficiency. In fact, his dedication even led him to chase his dreams across the Tasman, where he now enjoys a life off the grid in his remote country cottage in New Zealand.

We admire Beau's ability to juggle his impressive work ethic (he even finished his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science while already with us!) with his passion for the planet. But Beau's impact goes beyond just solving problems. He's a core part of why the Member Jungle software and mobile app are constantly evolving for the better.  Beau is a champion of 'There is Always a Better Way,' a core value here at Member Jungle, and he's always on the lookout for new and innovative solutions to keep our technology at the forefront.

Renee Krischer - Member Jungle

Renee Krischer

Project and Account Manager

Sensible Human, Account and Projects Manager, Technical Support

Interests: Sustainability, Regenerative Farming, Showing my Golden Retrievers, Miniature Horses, My Family, and Music.

Clubs: Australian Miniature Horse Society, Dogs NSW, Golden Retriever Club NSW, Local Soccer Club 

Favourite Jungle Animal: Lion -"The King of the Jungle", they're  powerful, fearless and loyal to their pride.

Our very own "Queen of the Jungle," Renee Krischer, isn't just a project and account manager – she's the sensible human who bridges the gap between our tech team and amazing customers. Fluent in both languages (human and Member Jungle!), Renee's an expert with our system inside and out.

New to the Member Jungle family? Renee's your friendly guide! She's there to smooth your journey from onboarding to website creation, content transfer, and membership system configuration. Need some creative problem-solving during setup? Renee's your gal. Want to learn more about Member Jungle's features? Catch her bi-weekly training webinars. Got a design question? Our tech support team has Renee ready to assist.

But Renee's talents extend far beyond the digital jungle. Her dedication to family, regenerative farming, and her champion Golden Retrievers and miniature horses fuels a deep understanding of clubs from all angles. Having experienced them from both a member and committee perspective, Renee offers a 360-degree view, allowing her to guide and support Member Jungle customers with an insider's perspective. When it comes to combining a passion for technology with a love for clubs and sustainability, Renee truly embodies the spirit of the jungle – leading the way, fiercely loyal to our customers, and always finding new ways to make Member Jungle thrive!

Julie Potts - Member Jungle

Julie Potts

Office Manager

Accounts and Finance

Interests: Family and friends, walking, yoga, gym, bridge, reading

Clubs: Newcastle Bridge Club

Favourite Jungle Animal: Chimpanzee - I love how clever and expressive they are.

Since day one, our resident "Jungle Accountant," Julie Potts, has been a vital part of the Member Jungle pack. From keeping our dollars and cents in check (including wrangling Michael's spending habits!) to invoicing and financial management, Julie is the mastermind behind it all.

But Julie's talents extend beyond the balance sheet. She works paw-in-paw with our customer service team, regularly checking in with member clubs and gathering valuable feedback.  She's like our sixth sense, anticipating the team's needs before they even arise! No wonder everyone loves working with Julie –  she's a true team player and keeps the jungle running smoothly.  (Let's be honest; we might also be extra nice because she controls payroll!)

In her free time, Julie enjoys walks in the wild (not the digital kind!), yoga, hitting the gym, a good game of bridge, and curling up with a captivating book.  Just like her favourite jungle animal, the chimpanzee, Julie is both clever and highly expressive – a perfect fit for our Member Jungle family!


Jayson Pido - Member Jungle

Jayson Pido

Sales and Customer Support

Interests: Photography, Design and Reading Books

Favourite Jungle Animal: Red Panda - I also enjoy napping for two-thirds of the day. 

Our very own "Tech Whisperer" and project pro, Jayson Pido, is a vital member of the Member Jungle support team.  A whiz with all things technical, Jayson's your go-to guru for any questions or roadblocks you encounter with your Member Jungle system.  No challenge is too big for Jayson – he thrives on untangling technical troubles and ensuring a smooth experience for our valued customers.

But Jayson's talents don't stop there!  He's also a key asset to Renee, lending a supportive paw with project tasks.  And Sammy?  Well, let's just say Jayson's her secret weapon when it comes to setting up incredible trial sites for new clubs and associations.

Jayson’s background in customer service, honed during his time managing a restaurant chain, shines through in his dedication to providing exceptional experiences for our Member Jungle family.

When he's not conquering technical hurdles or assisting with projects, Jayson enjoys capturing stunning photos, getting lost in a captivating book, or perhaps indulging in a well-deserved nap, much like his favourite jungle animal, the adorable red panda.  Just like the red panda, though, Jayson's dedication ensures our Member Jungle thrives!


Piper Jackson - Member Jungle

Piper Jackson

Content Manager

Creator of Quirkiness, Helpfulness and Communication

Interests: Fiction writing, spearfishing, free diving, rock climbing, kayaking, art/drawing, Rugby Union 

Clubs: The Lost Kayaking Club

Favourite Jungle Animal: Okapi - I relate to their chaotic nature. 

Meet Piper Jackson, our resident "Content Chameleon!"  This creative wordsmith isn't just about crafting informative articles – she injects a healthy dose of quirkiness and humour that makes learning about Member Jungle a joyride.  Whether you're a new member or a seasoned pro, Piper's ability to see things from a fresh perspective and communicate them beautifully ensures you have everything you need to thrive in the jungle.

Looking for the lowdown on implementing Member Jungle for the first time?  Piper's got you covered.  Need tips on streamlining your club's operations?  Her expertise is just a click away. In fact, Piper's the mastermind behind the treasure trove of resources you'll find in our Learning Centre –  so next time you're exploring those helpful articles and informative newsletters, remember the creative spark behind it all!

When Piper's not flexing her writing muscles, you might find her diving deep (spearfishing and free diving!), rock climbing, paddling across the water (kayaking with "The Lost Kayaking Club"), unleashing her inner artist, or cheering on a game of Rugby Union.  And just like her favourite jungle animal, the okapi, Piper embraces a touch of chaos – which translates into her captivating content that keeps our Member Jungle community informed and engaged!



The Work From Home Desks Of The Member Jungle Team

The majority of the Member Jungle team split their working days between our Mayfield East office and their homes. However, we do have some full-time remote employees working from everywhere, from Sunny far North Queensland to the picturesque mountains on Aotearoa New Zealand’s North Island.  

You can tell a lot about someone from their work-from-home desk. It's their Battle Station, the place where they spend a large chunk of their day. 

How well organised is it? What is and isn't important enough to take up that valuable desk space? How much have the kids' toys encroached upon it? 

If the above wasn't enough to get to know the Member Jungle team, check out the images below to see the battle stations from which they run the show.  

Michael Barwell, CEO & Founder

Michael Barwell Work from home desk


Jeff Pond, Technical Operations Director

 Jeff Pond Work from home desk


Leigh Clover, Director of Marketing and Sales



Beau Gibson, Development Team Lead & Lead Software Engineer

Beau Gibson Work from home desk


Renee Krischer, Project and Account Manager

 Renee Krischer's Work from home desk


Julie Potts, Office Manager

Julie Potts' Work from home desk


Jayson Pido, Sales and Customer Support

Jayson Pido's work from home desk


Piper Jackson, Content Manager 

Piper Jackson's work from home desk