2016 Review


A massive 12 months for Sustain and for healthy, sustainable and fair food systems in Australia

2016 has been an extraordinarily successful year for Sustain: The Australian Food Network. Highlights include:

  • Coordinating the inaugural Australian Community Food Hubs Conference and National Tour (8-18 August), with 13 separate events in every state and territory (bar SA and NT), attended by over 1000 people, supported by two state governments, seven local governments, five universities, four TAFEs, and numerous community organisations
  • Coordinating the Australian Urban Agriculture Forum and Speaking Tour (20-25 November). 35 national presenters and projects joined 150 people from around the country at Melbourne University’s Burnley campus for the national Forum in a celebration of a vibrant and diverse movement, laying the foundations for its expansion in the coming years
  • Securing the endorsement of the Urban and Regional Food Declaration at the September State Council of the Municipal Association of Victoria, establishing this document as a key policy reference for the principles and objectives of healthy, sustainable and fair food systems in Victoria and nationally
  • Coordinating the Local Government Food Governance Taskforce with the Victorian Local Governance Association and several councils, defining the role, challenges and opportunities for local government in the space of agriculture and sustainable and health food systems
  • Supporting the 21st Symposium of Australian Gastronomy with William Angliss Institute and Melbourne University: a feast of fine food, philosophy and utopian debate over four days (2-5 December) with over 70 national and international presenters
  • Working with Cardinia Shire Council to create and initiate Cardinia Food CirclesIn this collective impact project Sustain will act as the anchor organisation, leveraging our multiple relationships, networks and partnerships around a shared vision, set of objectives and shared indicators for a healthy, sustainable and fair food system for Cardinia’s residents, now and for the future
  • With the support of Arnold Bloch Leibler, securing full charitable and deductible gift recipient status as a Health Promotion Charity
  • Jointly conducted food hub feasibility studies and community food systems engagement strategies in Wangaratta and the City of Wyndham
  • Scoped the Community Food College sector in Ontario and Quebec, and delivered a report to the TAFE Food and Fibre Collaboration (Victoria)

Sustain has worked with and supported food and agriculture events and workshops organised by government and community stakeholders in Albany, Margaret River and Perth (WA), Mullumbimby and Tweed (NSW), Canberra, Bendigo, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Launceston.

Sustain is also delighted to be affiliated with the ground-breaking Foodprint Melbourne research released by the Victoria Eco Innovation Lab.

This work would not have been possible with the continuing generous support provided by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation through their THRIVE funding program. Sustain also gratefully acknowledges the capacity building funding received from the Myer Foundation, and the important pro bono legal advice and support provided by Arnold Bloch Leibler in the process of securing charitable registration. Sustain also acknowledges the continuing and generous in-kind support as regards office space by William Angliss Institute.

We also acknowledge and thank the work of our small but very capable, committed and talented staff:

  • Riki Edelsten, Comms and Events Manager
  • Julia Laidlaw, Events Officer and Contract Researcher
  • Henry Crawford, Events Officer and web contributor
  • Cip Hamilton, Comms and Social Media (Jan to May 2016)
  • Richard Lange, Comms (June-August 2016)

As well as the Board members who have served this year:

  • Kelly Donati, Chair
  • Ange Barry, Treasurer
  • Paul Whitelaw, Public Officer / Secretary
  • Greg Jacobs
  • Miranda Sharp
  • Richard Lange
  • Paul James
  • Kathy McConell (to Feb 2016)

We wish all our members and supporters a very happy and peaceful festive season, and look forward with confidence and excitement to another big year for food system transformation in 2017.

Nick Rose, Executive Director

Melbourne, December 2016

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