#9 Social and environmental justice in community food organising

Wednesday 23 September 2015 5.00—6.30pm

This event has passed


Level 6 seminar room | Charles Perkins Centre | University of Sydney


Comprehending the “justice” in food justice

In recent years, we have seen an explosion in the number of community organisations that orient themselves around the production and distribution of food. These food justice groups often focus on improving the availability and quality of food in urban environments, on reducing food waste, and on building local economies. How, though, does the “justice” of food justice manifest itself in practice? How do groups articulate, value and embody social and environmental justice concerns? And how is it that we can best achieve these goals? This event draws together academic and community perspectives on these questions.

David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and 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. Most recently, he has co-authored Climate-Challenged Society (Oxford 2013) with John Dryzek of ANU and Richard Norgaard of UC Berkeley; the same team edited The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (Oxford 2011). Professor Schlosberg has held visiting appointments at the London School of Economics, Australian National University, and Princeton University. His current research includes work on climate justice – in particular justice in 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, housing, transportation, and crafting and making.

Luke Craven is a PhD student at the University of Sydney and the Sydney Environment Institute. His interests lie in the application of social and political theory to contemporary policy problems, with a focus on food politics, policy, and system reform. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney, where he won the University Medal for his thesis which examined the implications of temporary migration for questions of vulnerability, equity and sustainability in rural Vanuatu.

Sharelle Polack is the Community Gardens Team Leader at Cultivating Community, currently managing 21 community gardens in public housing for over 800 gardeners. She has experience working for government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas and has lived in island communities in the North, South and East Pacific where a reliance on food imports and a loss of traditional growing techniques can make local communities extremely vulnerable. Through working on a range of community food projects she has experienced how food can be a vehicle for improving sustainability and also for improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.