Eating in the City

Tuesday 6 June 2017 | 5.00 - 6.30PM

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Law School Foyer, New Law School Eastern Avenue | University of Sydney


How do we address Sydney’s food insecurity problem?

In association with Sydney Ideas
Too many Australians are going hungry in the City. Recent research from the City of Sydney found that a staggering 8% of residents were food insecure, struggling with the challenge of putting good, healthy, and sustainable food on the table. What is being done—and what more can we do—to help address this problem? What food-related urban planning policy actions are required to promote food justice? Join our panel of experts to explore this question, and to anticipate what Sydney’s urban food system will look like in the future.

What is being done, and what more can we do to help address this problem?


  • Professor David Schlosberg, Sydney Environment Institute
  • Allison Heller, City of Sydney
  • Rhiannon Cook, New South Wales Council for Social Services

David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and Co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. He is known internationally for his work in environmental politics, environmental movements, and political theory – in particular the intersection of the three with his work on environmental justice. Professor Schlosberg’s current research includes work on climate justice – in particular justice in climate adaptation strategies and policies, and the question of human obligations of justice to the nonhuman realm. He is also examining the sustainable practices of new environmental movement groups – in particular their attention to flows of power and goods in relation to food, energy, and sustainable fashion. And he continues with theoretical work at the interface of justice, democracy, and human/nonhuman relations in the Anthropocene.

Allison Heller is manager of social strategy at the City of Sydney, responsible for strategic leadership on issues relating to the social aspects of the City’s Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy.

Allison has spent her career to date in urban and social policy and research, previously consulting in the property sector on issues such as social impact assessment, social infrastructure planning and affordable housing delivery models.

Allison previously worked as a journalist in London for a decade in the urban renewal sector. She’s qualified in urban planning and is currently undertaking a Master of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

Rhiannon Cook leads NCOSS’s policy and advocacy agenda across portfolios including health, mental health and the environment. In 2016, NCOSS published the report ‘Overweight and obesity: Balancing the scales for vulnerable children’.
Rhiannon previously consulted to the World Health Organization – working across the Western Pacific Region, and has held numerous senior policy roles in human service agencies at both the State and Commonwealth levels.

Series Chair: Dr Alana Mann, Department of Media and Communications
Alana Mann joined the University of Sydney in 2007 after a professional career in the media and non-profit sectors. Her teaching and research focus on how ordinary citizens get voice in policy debates regarding wicked problems such as food security and climate change. Her book Global Activism in Food Politics: Power Shift was published in 2014.

Currently, Alana is involved in cross-disciplinary research projects concerning food systems with colleagues in the Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) and the Charles Perkins Centre. She is on a Faculty-wide project team exploring the crisis of ‘post-truth’ discourse, funded through the Sydney Research Excellence Initiative (SREI, 2017), and is co-CI on an Education Innovation project based in Glebe, the Social Justice Learning Lab. Her international collaborations include a comparative study of ‘land-grabbing’ with researchers in Brazil and South East Asia.

Alana regularly speaks about her research at public events such as Sydney Ideas, Raising the Bar and Outside the Square, and has been an invited speaker at events such as Food and Words. She is Chair of the SEI Food [at] Sydney seminar series.