USU Enviro Week: Changing Our Food System From Within

Eating ties us to the social and environmental challenges inherent in our food system. It is a system that is currently unsustainable and rife with injustices: from exploitative labour practices to the pressures of climate change, loss of farmland and food traditions to the disempowerment of communities. And paradoxically, people struggle to put food on the table, whilst so much food goes to waste. COVID-19 has not only made visible these challenges but also spurred visionary local food actors to innovate, cooperate and diversify.

A panel of change-makers discuss food insecurity and how each of their organisations are tackling this unjust system. We hear from USU operations manager, Ben Pinney, about his work transforming the University’s ‘food system’. Shaun Christie-David, CEO and founder of PlateitForward, will talk about his Sri Lankan restaurant that employs, educates and feeds some of our most vulnerable in the community. And Post-doctoral researcher Kate Johnston shares with us her work with The University of Sydney led food business incubator, FoodLab Sydney, and the intersection of research and community action.

Each organisation also explains the opportunities that a Community Kitchen Hub on campus can provide. This project needs your support to get up and running. Do you agree that it is time for the University of Sydney to join the local food revolution?

Add your voice to this quick survey


00:00   Welcome to Country – Yvonne Weldon
07:00   Introduction – Alana Mann
11:50   Empowering Communities Through Social Enterprises – Shaun Christie-David
18:20   Food Insecurity in Universities – Ben Pinney
26:00   Inspiring a New Generation of Food Entrepreneurs at FoodLab – Kate Johnston
43:00   Sourcing Sustainable Produce and Packaging
50:45   Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into Food Systems
58:50   The Future of Urban Agriculture in Sydney
1:05:25 Australia’s Multicultural Banquet
1:11:50 Launching the USYD Community Kitchen Hub

Shaun Christie-David, PlateitForward
Dr Kate Johnston, FoodLab Sydney
Associate Professor Alana Mann (Chair), FoodLab Sydney
Ben Pinney, University of Sydney Union
Yvonne Weldon, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

This event was held at the University of Sydney in partnership with The University of Sydney Union on Tuesday 20 April, 2021.

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