regional and national urban agriculture speaking tour

Sustain’s mandate is to support communities and organisations that are collaborating to build better food systems around Australia. So we are delighted that the following events comprise a national festival of discussion and collaboration on urban and peri-urban agriculture, and sustainable and regenerative food systems more broadly.


Blueprint for future food systems in regional Victoria

Tuesday 20th February, Bendigo
This half-day workshop will bring together planning, health and food systems experts with producers, vocational trainers, and food industry professionals, to reflect on the many years of accumulated experience and practice in Bendigo, and to explore the question: where to from here? Topics to be discussed will include farmland preservation, local food network development, regional food strategy and policy work, TAFE Food and Fibre Centre of Excellence and curriculum development, and lessons from the Cardinia Food Circles project and the Alphington Community Food Hub.
Sponsored by the City of Greater Bendigo and Bendigo Kangan Institute

Grampians Food Forum: strengthening food security in the Grampians Pyrenees region
Wednesday 21st February, Ararat
This whole-day forum is an opportunity to learn about, discuss and build on the many approaches that can be taken by different sectors to improve our food system. Together with contributions from Dr Lenore Newman and Dr Nick Rose, case studies, panel discussions and break-out sessions will take place on a wide range of topics including Planting in Public, Building a Resilient Food Business, Connecting Community, Building a Resilient Regional Food Industry, Local solutions for Local Government and Building Community Capacity – community solutions to cooking, growing and waste.
Organised by: the Grampians Food Alliance in conjunction with Sustain: The Australian Food Network
Sponsored by Pyrenees Shire Council,  Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group, and the Grampians-Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership.

Urban agriculture and social enterprise: Lessons from Perth
Thursday 22nd February, Darebin
As part of its support of the Darebin Food Leaders Forum, the City of Darebin will host Urban Agriculture Forum presenter Toby Whittington, CEO of the Perth-based Green World Revolution. Toby will share some of the successes and insights of operating an intensive city farm on a small site (400m2) in East Perth, creating jobs for people living with mental health challenges and long-term unemployed persons, through selling produce to Perth CBD restaurants.
Sponsored by: the City of Darebin

Urban farming: feeding the future
Monday 26th February, Sydney
Research on urban farms shows that not only do they provide local employment, but can serve as hubs of innovation in agricultural technology and logistics. But urban farms also face challenges from regulation, standardisation, food testing, land use and the hyper-commodification of urban real estate. This public forum will include contributions from Dr Lenore Newman, Toby Whittington, Associate Professor Robyn Alders and Megan Battaglia.
Sponsored by: Sydney Environment Institute

Urban agriculture workshop
Tuesday 27th February, Sydney
Bringing together Sydney researchers, policy makers and practitioners with Australian and international experts, this half-day workshop will showcase the role of urban agriculture in shaping more liveable cities, communities and homes. Participants will share and explore success stories and lessons of practice and policy from around Australia and internationally. The aim is to create a shared space to rethink how cities are organised and can be re-organised through and by food and agriculture.
Sponsored by: Sydney Environment Institute

Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities: Pathways for regeneration from farm to fork
Wednesday 1st March, Perth
This interactive and participatory whole day workshop is the first step in a whole-of-system collaborative effort aimed at creating major change in Western Australia’s food system, for the benefit of all. The workshop will lay the foundations for transformational co-learning to drive key changes in policy, planning, resourcing and investment. Joining Dr Newman and Nick Rose will be author and regenerative farmer Dr Charlie Massy (Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth), leading regenerative farmers Ian and Di Haggerty, Associate Professor Andrea Gaynor (Harvest of the Suburbs), Professor Amanda Devine (Edith Cowan University) and many more.
Sponsored by: Edith Cowan University and the Heart Foundation (WA), in partnership with the University of Western Australia / The Presencing Institute, Commonland (Netherlands), Perth Natural Resource Management, and Hassell Architects.