food for thought


Conversation 2012

A morning conversation was facilitated by convenor Fiona Winning who invited participants to read from an imaginary 'Postcard from the Future', relaying their experience of a world where food supplies had changed dramatically. In the afternoon the broadcaster Gretel Killeen led a forum titled 'The Future of Food' made up of food producers, consumer advocates, artists, food industry experts and scientists.

Platform speakers

L-R: Fiona Winning, Shane Norrish, Chris Presland and Chris Andrews

MORNING CONVERSATION: Postcards from the Future participants, convened by Fiona Winning

DR SHANE NORRISH, Director of Agriculture and Major Projects, Landcare Australia and manager of Bundanon's Living Landscape initiative.

BARBARA CAMPBELL, Artist and Siteworks associate

CHRIS PRESLAND, Landscape Manager, South East Local Land Services

CHRIS ANDREWS, Greening Australia

Platform speakers

L-R: Gretel Killeen, Lynne Strong, Jared Ingersoll, Mike Mcallum, Jodi Newcombe, John Crawford and Ingrid Just

AFTERNOON CONVERSATION: The Future of Food participants, convened by Gretel Killeen

JARED INGERSOLL, Chef, Danks St Depot

Founder of Danks Street Depot and outspoken champion of sustainable, ethical eating. Cooking for over 23 years, his passion for creating great food has taken him all over the globe, including in London at The Square and Hillaire (two Michelin stars), as well as head chef at Sydney’s much loved institution, Bayswater Brasserie. Out of the kitchen, Jared has been a regular on Channel 10’s Ready Steady Cook and The Morning Show. He also writes a monthly column for Home Beautiful Magazine.

Jared designed the lunchtime food offering on 29 September in collaboration with local food producers. He also worked alongside artist and ethno-botanist Diego Bonetto (weeds and forage) and marine scientist Pia Wynberg (seaweed).

INGRID JUST, Consumer Advocate, Head of Media, CHOICE magazine

Recipient of the Winston Churchill Fellowship for journalism in 2007, Ingrid Just has won numerous awards and recognition for excellence in journalism and communications.

Ingrid’s role as the spokesperson and Head of Media for CHOICE, Australia’s consumer organisation, sees her making regular appearances on prime time television news programs across all networks as well as programs such as Sunrise, Today, 7PM Project, The Morning Show, A Current Affair and Today Tonight. She features regularly in daily newspapers across the country and is a sought after guest on radio talkback and news and current affairs programs throughout Australia.

Her work also involves constant liaison with corporations together with government and other not-for-profit organisations. This ensures CHOICE messaging is informed and ahead of the curve when it comes to consumer issues. Additionally Ingrid is responsible for the development and implementation of CHOICE’s multi-channel media and communications strategy.


Michael McAllum is an internationally recognised speaker, author and facilitator consultant. As a futures architect, his focus is on the significant transitions required to sustain a viable 21st century society and economy and designing the transformations that demands of organisations, cities and regions. Based in Melbourne, Michael has worked with a broad spectrum of public and private sector organisations for over 20 years. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Asian Foresight Institute, is one of a select group known as Future Voices and is currently engaged in leading a conversation about a future sustainable food system for Australia.

LYNNE STRONG, Dairy Farmer

Lynne Strong is the 2012 Bob Hawke Landcare Award winner and a partner in the award winning Clover Hill Dairies at Jamberoo on the NSW South Coast. As the sustainability and marketing manager Lynne, in partnership with her husband Michael and son Nicholas has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to caring for the land, actively shaping and guiding innovative farming systems to improve sustainability and encouraging action and championing the uptake of more sustainable agriculture practices amongst other landholders. Lynne’s focus beyond the farmgate is on reconnecting consumers with farming communities. In particular, she is keenly aware of the need to effectively communicate that Australian farmers are professional and caring and committed to working towards sustainable farming production systems. Lynne is also national program director for Art4Agriculture. This network of young people design and deliver events and activities which focus on youth, career opportunities, the environment, community and the arts – all linked with agriculture. Lynne is the President of South Coast Food Harvest Inc.


John Crawford, with Judith and David Coffey, Chairs Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Sydney

Crawford was the first person to suggest the interaction between biological and physical components of soil results in the system behaving like a single self-organising ‘biomaterial’. He showed microorganisms can change soil structure, affecting water flow, retention, nutrients and carbon capture, and directly influencing the fertility of the land itself. The ability to increase soil productivity in a sustainable way has opened up new ways to enhance resilience and productivity in degraded land, and to keep nutrient-rich land in good condition. 

In recent years he has developed a systems biology approach to study the dynamics of plant cell networks implicated in metabolism, and the regulatory networks involved in diseases of the cell cycle in humans, including cancer. 

His current projects range from establishing research farms in Australia, to working with a whole range of community and business representatives on projects that focus on the social and cultural systems of food production, food distribution and food consumption. His collaborators are as diverse as Tongan rugby players, immigrant survivors of torture, major food production companies and Indigenous communities, as well as academics and researchers from a diverse range of fields. 

He has published more than 100 papers in international peer-reviewed journal articles with over 1700 citations. In the United Kingdom he chaired the main funding committee responsible for supporting research in sustainable agriculture, diet and health.

JODI NEWCOMBE, Creative Producer, Carbon Arts

Jodi Newcombe is a curator and creative producer specialising in artistic responses to environmental challenges. Jodi is director of Carbon Arts, an organisation working to facilitate an increased role for artists in generating awareness and action on climate change. An environmental engineer and economist by training with an international career in consulting to business and government, Jodi is committed to multi-discliplinary and creative approaches to progressing a low-carbon future. Carbon Arts is working with partners such as the City of Melbourne, Melbourne Museum, the Australian Network of Art and Technology and the National Institute of Experimental Arts to explore the nexus of sustainability, science, art, technology and public space.

CONVENORS: Fiona Winning and Gretel Killeen

Fiona Winning is the Head of Programming at Sydney Festival and is an independent writer and producer working in contemporary arts, across theatre, dance and visual cultures. Her roles have included Program Consultant and Co-Convenor of Siteworks for Bundanon Trust and Director of The Performance Space in Sydney.

Gretel Killeen is the author of more than twenty books, comedian, journalist and broadcaster. In 2012 she chaired the panel 'How to Change the World in an Hour' for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at Sydney Opera House.