Where did you like to play as a child?
Our favourite question conjures up the nostalgia of childhood adventures spent outdoors, scraping knees and climbing trees. We wanted to bottle that feeling and recreate it for children, one playground at a time. With the help of a highly-motivated, compassionate team who pride themselves on the shared belief that nature rules and children should have the freedom to play in it - we are Wearthy.
In the yard
"At a local footy club where my mum was the secretary. She was obviously always busy there so she let us run around the footy club and kick the ball with our mates and just let us run a-muck really. Play up at the local pig pen and let us do the score board for the local footy games."
With over ten years building experience, Kurt’s workmanship, carpentry skills and creativity have become a trademark of Wearthy playgrounds. Kurt runs a tight ship onsite and works closely offsite with Lukas, bringing us closer to our vision every day.
"Anywhere and anything. I grew up on a farm so I played in the dirt, made mud-pies and fed the animals. I was always barefoot, shirtless and BUSY as a kid!"
Ryan personifies the Wearthy brand with his approach to life and consideration for the environment. He brings a contagious, admirable energy to the team and also his marketing expertise with engaging onsite Instagram stories.
"Well, I had acreage as a kid and going down there and just exploring was probably the best thing - it was just awesome. I loved doing it. Going on little adventures down the back to the dam."
Our youngest Wearthy tribe member, Jed made the big move from Gympie to Brisbane to join our team. He is a super loyal, quick learner and constant great support to the boys onsite.
"We had a pool growing up and lived by the ocean so I was always in water (when the weather was decent in Melbourne). Otherwise you could find me shooting hoops out by the carport."
Caitlin is very much the voice of Wearthy. She handles all creative content and manages the socials, along with Lukas’s public speaking and training events. Caitlin is our content gal who contributes abundantly with her creative flair and playful personality.
If you’re interested in having Lukas speak at your centre or conference – get in touch with Caitlin.
"We lived in this old historic house on the Mississippi river in Iowa, it backed onto a national park. My friends and I would wake up and pack a picnic lunch, leave the house and would not come back until dinner at like 9pm! We hiked, rode bikes, sled, ice-skated and went to the local pool with every other kid in town. We were completely free and our parents were never worried (so neither were we).It was seriously bliss!”
As Lukas’s right-hand lady and Wearthy clog-turner, Flora brings enthusiasm and pizazz to the Wearthy office. Her love of plants, passion for play and big-picture mindset make her an important contributor to the team.
"One of my favourite memories was playing for hours and days on end in the vineyards while visiting family in Italy one summer – it was secluded play at its best! Also racing billy carts with my neighbours down the steep path in the bushlands near our houses."
Vanessa is the behind-the-scenes Queen of Wearthy. Since the inception of Own Grown Organics and evolution of Wearthy, Vanessa has worn many hats – from marketing, design, accounts, operations, to vision and strategy – her hat collection is strong!
With over a decade of Advertising and Production experience, managing boutique creative agencies in the UK, Middle East and Australia, Vanessa has been fundamental in the growth and innovation of Wearthy. Her creative business mind and harmonious, empathic management style contributes tremendously to Wearthy’s culture and progress.
Vanessa met Lukas in Dubai in 2010 and they got married in 2013. A year earlier, Vanessa decided to follow her intuition towards a sustainable lifestyle and became a yoga teacher and reiki practitioner. She taught classes and facilitated teacher training for five years while having two beautiful children and creating a business with Lukas. Vanessa is a true advocate of children and believes every child is deserving of an imaginative, loving childhood.
"Being one of 6 boys I was always engaging with my brothers – whether it was down the river exploring, or building something in the backyard. It was all about challenge, risk and freedom."
Keeping children curious, creative and confident through offering the adventurous childhood they deserve - this is the principle that elevates Lukas Ritson's play environments.
Lukas believes that play should be a holistic experience for children - one that fosters connection, encourages resilience, and cultivates compassion. His innovative playground designs emphasise sustainable, quality materials, as they create a healthy stage for limitless learning opportunities.
His work has touched the lives of tens of thousands of children Australia-wide. He has collaborated with childcare centres, schools, community gardens and educational nature-based events, such as the Green Heart Fair Brisbane and Childhood Summit 2019 by Nature Play QLD. He has also presented keynote talks on sustainability and ‘risky-play’ in Finland, the United States and across Australia.
Lukas’s extensive knowledge as an outdoor educator heavily influences his design style: green open spaces scattered with native plants for free-range exploration; recycled timber structures to climb and welcome risk; secluded zones for quiet moments. A background in the culinary arts drives him to ignite a positive early relationship with food, by incorporating garden beds and chicken coops into early educational centres and schools.
Respect for nature is the ultimate philosophy of Lukas' work, and his life. He currently calls the surf coast of Queensland, Australia, his home - specifically a house in the hinterland with distant views of the ocean. When he’s not on his surfboard, recentering among nature, he is reminded of the importance of play while wrangling his two wild children alongside his wife, and Wearthy co-founder, Vanessa.