As keynote speakers are confirmed their information will be added below. 

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Professor Jennifer Clapp

Jennifer Clapp is a Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability and Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. She has published widely on the global governance of problems that arise at the intersection of the global economy, food security and food systems, and the natural environment. Among her recent books are Food, 3rd Edition (Polity, 2020), Speculative Harvests: Financialization, Food, and Agriculture (with S. Ryan Isakson, Fernwood Press, 2018), and Hunger in the Balance: The New Politics of International Food Aid (Cornell University Press, 2012). Jennifer is Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee of the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the UN Committee on World Food Security and a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems. She is currently working on a book on corporate concentration in the agricultural input industry.

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Professor Mark Lawrence

Mark is Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. He has 37 years’ experience working as a practitioner and academic in food and nutrition policy at local, state, national and international levels. Mark’s research interests focus on healthy and sustainable food systems, dietary guidelines, ultra-processed foods and food regulation. His latest research book is titled, ‘Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems’, Routledge. He is:

  • External advisor, World Health Organization;

  • External advisor, Food and Agriculture Organization;

  • Member, International Union of Nutritional Sciences Task Force on Sustainable Diets;

  • Founding member, Advisory Board for Cochrane Nutrition;

  • Board member, Food Standards Australia New Zealand;

  • Team leader, Australian Research Council project, ‘Reforming evidence synthesis and translation for food and nutrition policy’; and

  • Member, National Health and Medical Research Council’s Synthesis and Translation of Research Evidence working committee.

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Dr Jean Adams

Jean Adams co-leads the Population Health Interventions programme at the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge.

The overall goal of her work is to investigate the potential of interventions applied to whole populations to shift population diet patterns (and inequalities in these) by altering fiscal, physical or social environments.

Examples of current interventions we are studying include restrictions on food advertising, calorie labelling in chain restaurants, taxes on sugary drinks, and planning restrictions on where new hot food takeaways can open.

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Professor Mario Herrero

Mario Herrero is Professor of Food Systems and Global Change, an Atkinson Sustainability Scholar, and Peter and Nancy Meinig family Investigator in the Life Sciences at Cornell University. He works extensively in the areas of sustainable food systems, climate change, healthy diets and the future of food, in many locations around the world. Before joining Cornell he was Chief Scientist of sustainability at CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency. Mario is a regular contributor to the key global sustainability initiatives (IPCC, Lancet Commissions, UN Food Summit and others). He is a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he is in the top 10 of Reuters Hot List of the most influential climate scientists globally, and is also a Highly Cited Researcher according to the Web of Science.

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Mr Joshua Gilbert

Joshua is a Worimi man, farmer and academic, who shares the narration of Indigenous identity through agricultural truths in light of modern contexts.

Josh’s work seeks to connect traditional Aboriginal knowledge and history to current contexts, translating past wisdom and learning to future opportunities. His work combines the old and the new, weaving them together to develop new insights and findings.

 He is undertaking higher degree research at Charles Sturt University, is the Indigenous Co-Chair of Reconciliation NSW and was recently recognised within the world’s top 50 young gastronomers.

 He is an entrepreneur and business advisor, working predominantly in the Aboriginal cultural, agricultural and environmental spheres. He has worked with numerous of not for profits, businesses and the government to develop change and bring people on a journey of change.

 Josh pursues transformation through modern truth-telling, bringing new concepts to the forefront through acknowledgement of the past.

Professor David Raubenheimer

David Raubenheimer is Leonard P. Ullman Chair in Nutritional Ecology and Nutrition Theme Leader in the Charles Perkins Centre, an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Sydney. He obtained his PhD in Zoology at Oxford University in 1992, where he remained as Lecturer until he moved to the University of Auckland in 2002. In 2013 he took up his current position at the University of Sydney. David has played a leading role in developing Nutritional Ecology, the field that studies how diets and their consequences are driven by the interactions between animals and food environments. He has studied a wide range of species, both in the laboratory and the wild, from insects and spiders to fish, birds, and many primates including non-human apes. Over the past decade he has applied perspectives and techniques from nutritional ecology to understand the epidemic of diet-related disease in industrial food environments. He has published over 350 journal papers and two co-authored books.

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Mrs Cherie Russell 

Cherie Russell is in the final stages of her PhD candidature in Food Policy within the School of Exercise and Nutrition Science at Deakin University. She also holds a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Sciences with honours. Her PhD presents a case study of policy actions to reduce added sugar consumption, and the subsequent changes in non-nutritive sweetener use in the food supply, to demonstrate the limitations of reductionist policy paradigms. She is also a member of the Public Health Association of Australia’s Food and Nutrition Special Interest Group Executive and a co-founder of the advocacy organisation Healthy Food Systems Australia.

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Ms Kate Sievert

Kate Sievert is currently completing her PhD with the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University, supported by an National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) postgraduate scholarship. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) and a Master of Public Health. Her research to date has focused on understanding the politics and political economy of the food system, examining the role of power and influence in policymaking in a number of areas including meat reduction, ultra-processed foods, and infant formula in Australia and on a global level. Kate has also worked in policy writing, developing and drafting position statements and policy briefs, including for the World Health Organization in Geneva and the Public Health Association of Australia.

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Ms Sarah Dickie

Sarah is a Public Health Nutritionist and a founding member of the advocacy group Healthy Food Systems Australia. She is currently completing a PhD in Food Policy at Deakin University's Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN). Sarah’s PhD analyses the politics and science underpinning the use of nutrition classification schemes in policy actions and investigates how level of processing can be successfully incorporated into ‘healthiness’ classifications for policy. Her research to date has focused on evaluating the implementation of Australia’s Health Star Rating front-of-pack labelling system.

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Dr Malak Batel

Malek Batal is Professor at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine and School of Public Health and Director of the WHO-Collaborating Centre on Nutrition Changes and Development. Holder of the Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Health Inequalities and fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, he conducts participatory research studying the link between environment and food system health and population health, in an effort to redress health inequities. Malek operates in transdisciplinary research teams with immigrant groups, First Nations in Canada and Indigenous and rural people internationally, prioritizing engagement with knowledge users from government and civil society and putting his research findings at the service of public policy.

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Mr Robert Pekin

Over the past 20 odd years Robert has been challenging and transforming the food and agricultural system in Australia. As a former organic dairy farmer and market gardener he has become known as a practical and hands-on social entrepreneur working at the systems end of changing the way business can pivot away from the malaise the current food system works.
In 2004 he founded Food Connect, a dynamic multi-farmer food distribution enterprise with an innovative community-based distribution system. In 2009, the Food Connect Foundation was launched to increase the scope of the fair food movement internationally and across Australia.
Robert is a member of the national board of Australian Social Enterprise Advisory Group, co-founder of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, and a founding member on the Board of The global software organisation Open Food Network.  He is a contributing author to Fair Food, published by University of Queensland Press.
In 2018, he co-founded the Food Connect Shed to raise over $2million with the Food Connect community to buy the warehouse they’d been renting for over 12 years, through an equity crowdfunding campaign.
Rob is a well known speaker in the Fair Food movement. He loves his blended family of four children, and his favorite foods are beer, butter and good bread.

Dr Irem Orgut

Dr. Irem Orgut is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management and an Assistant Director at the Institute of Data and Analytics (IDA) at Culverhouse College of Business at the University of Alabama. Her research focuses on using Analytics and Operations Research methods to address problems that involve multiple decision makers with conflicting objectives and various sources of uncertainty in the context of humanitarian operations management with an emphasis on food banks. She is specifically interested in developing easy-to-implement and interpretable policies and algorithms that combine statistical learning with optimization. In her role at IDA, she directs the UPWARD (Underserved Populations Workgroup for Analytics Research and Development) Initiative that aims to use data and analytics methods to solve unique challenges faced by humanitarian and nonprofit organizations and alleviate the well-being of underserved populations.


Dr. Orgut received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Statistics at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC in 2015. She received B.Sc. degrees in Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2010. Dr. Orgut’s research appeared in journals including European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR) and Production and Operations Management (POM) and her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation.

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Professor Louise Signal

Professor Louise Signal is Head of the Department of Public Health and a Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit at the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand (NZ). She is a social scientist who has worked in public health for over 30 years. Louise’s research focuses on identifying and addressing the determinants of health and health inequities. Her key areas of interest include obesity prevention, addressing harm from alcohol and gambling and tackling inequities in cancer.