Food@Sydney Seminar Series 2017 - Eating our Environment

A series of panel discussions hosted by Sydney Ideas and the Sydney Environment Institute.

Food 2017 CMS image

Photo: 'Paddy's Market - Ashley (flickrCommons)

Food@Sydney will bring together city planners, public health advocates, food system scholars, urban developers, food producers, retailers and eaters to discuss how food is woven through the fabric of everyday life in this increasingly urban century, connecting the many social and environmental injustices in the world around us. These seminars will explore what can be done to enable individuals and communities to redesign their food systems - to eat with and within their environments.

We will investigate how ecological farming practices and social enterprise can be used to empower rural women in the Global South, how university campuses are a living lab for food systems change, and how cities will play a key role in building more socially just and environmentally sustainable food systems.

Series Chair: Alana Mann, Department of Media and Communications

2017 Program

Wednesday 26 April - Cultivating our Campus

How can we make our campus food environments more sustainable?


  • Sinead Boylan, School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School
  • Tracey Ho, Sustainability Officer Corporate Services, Campus Infrastructure Services, University of Sydney
  • Sophie Lamond, Co-founder, Fair Food Challenge


Tuesday 2 May - Growing Change: female empowerment through farming and social enterprise

Early in her life Chido Govera realised the importance of food to community. Mushroom farming enabled her not only to feed her family in Zimbabwe and attain independence, but to create a healthier environment through managing food waste. For many years Chido has shared her unique skills and experiences with women throughout Africa and globally as an educator and mentor.

Chido will join Sydney Ideas for a conversation with University of Sydney researcher Alana Mann to discuss how engagement in small scale agro-ecological methods of farming can empower women, benefit the environment, and contribute to food sovereignty and food security.


Tuesday 6 June - Eating in the City

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.


  • Professor David Schlosberg, Co-director, Sydney Environment Institute
  • Allison Heller, Manager Social Strategy, City of Sydney
  • Rhiannon Cook, Senior Policy Officer at the NSW Council of Social Service


Tuesday 11 July - The Suburban Harvest … food in our own backyard

Food in our own backyard - exploring the past, present, and future for urban food production.

Australian suburbs have been a site of food production for over one hundred years. This seminar explores the past, present and future or urban food production.
Who are the suburban harvesters?
What do these histories tell us about the cultures and values of suburban Australia?
In an era of rapid social, environmental and economic change, how can the suburban harvest contribute to a vision of a more just and sustainable urban food system?


  • Associate Professor Brian Jones, Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney
  • Dr Jennifer Kent, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney
  • Dr Laura Fisher, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney