Sustain: The Australian Food Network is a meta-network that articulates and amplifies the work of the growing number of local food networks in Victoria and nationally...

Sustain is funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Myer Foundation, and receives ongoing support from Arnold Bloch Leibler. Sustain has conducted food hub feasibility studies with the City of Greater Geelong, the City of Wyndham and the Wangaratta ‘Food for all’ Network as well as food system assessments with the City of Whittlesea, Yarra Ranges Shire Council and the Grampians Food Alliance. Sustain is about to embark on a multi- year, multi-stakeholder food system re-design project with Cardinia Shire Council.
This project will include international research linkages with partner universities in Canada and Britain. Sustain is facilitating a Food Governance taskforce with the Victorian Local Governance Association and 15 local Councils to support municipalities across Victoria in implementing best practice food policies and programs. In August 2016, Sustain successfully coordinated the Inaugural Community Food Hubs Conference held in Bendigo. Attended by more than 150 people, this conference was followed by a 10 day national speaking tour with two international keynote speakers from the USA and Canada.

For more information on Sustain please visit the Circles of Food website at


The planning of the Forum is supervised by a Steering Committee of experienced practitioners, researchers and policy makers; and will be supported by the Local Government Urban Agriculture Network, which is facilitated by Sustain. The Committee Members include;

  • Dr Nick Rose, Executive Director, Sustain: The Australian Food Network
  • Julia Laidlaw, Sustain: The Australian Food Network
  • Henry Crawford, Sustain: The Australian Food Network
  • Mark Sanders, Moreland Food Gardens Network
  • Dr Chris Williams, Melbourne University
  • Anthony Gallacher, Port Phillip EcoCentre
  • Ellie Blackwood, 3000 acres
  • Peta Christensen, Cultivating Community
  • Kathi Orsanic-Clark, City of Yarra
  • Kate Archdeacon, The Victorian Farmers Market Association

3000 Acres

3000 Acres is a not-for-profit organisation working to improve the enabling environment for urban agriculture by connecting growers with land, resources and each other. 3000 Acres strives to build holistic and sustainable cities for generations to come by bringing down barriers for urban food growing and creating a platform for strong relationships between community, business, and government to achieve a common goal.     


Cultivating Community

Cultivating Community is a non-for-profit organisation that offers a range of services to assist in the development of sustainable community food projects. Their mission is to work with diverse and low-income communities to create fair, secure and resilient food systems. 

Moreland Food Gardens Network (MFGN) 

Moreland Food Gardens Network (MFGN) was established in 2011 to share ideas, information, events and experiences in urban agriculture and to work strategically and collaboratively to improve food access and urban agriculture opportunities in Moreland. Together theyadvocate for food-related issues; improve access to free/affordable & healthy food; promote healthy living, social inclusion, local food production and sustainable practices, as well as maintaining an online resource site for the wider community. MFGN has over 60 members comprising of local residents, volunteers, academics as well as professionals from a range of backgrounds including horticulture, council, policy, health promotion, education, community development and permaculture.


The University of Melbourne, Burnley Campus

The University of Melbourne, Burnley Campus is located in Richmond, approximately five kilometres from the Parkville campus. Situated amidst nine hectares of heritage listed gardens, the campus is home to the Burnley Green Roof, the first dedicated demonstration, training and research facility of its kind in Australia. Burnley has an international research profile and delivers quality education and training in urban horticulture, green infrastructure, urban waterways, urban biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation. Burnley offers a range of study options from undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, postgraduate training by research at Master and Ph.D. levels, as well as short courses and professional development. Our academic staff have strong links with industry and many are research leaders. For further study information click here.

The City of Yarra

The City of Yarra is a leader its commitment to urban agriculture. Following on from the Community Gardens Advisory Committee (2009/2010), in 2012 the Yarra Urban Agriculture Advisory Committee (YUAAC) was established to support the community in the development of urban agriculture and to work closely with Council to facilitate its growth. Their first role was to assist in the development of The Urban Agriculture Guidelines (2011). In 2011 an Urban Agriculture facilitator was employed to provide advice to the community on urban agriculture, facilitate partnerships and coordinate training and education in urban agriculture. An Urban Agriculture strategy was endorsed in November of 2014and now defines the development of Urban Agriculture in Yarra. Through this strategy many vital projects have been realized including work with our neighborhood house network, our schools, the development of the Fare Share kitchen gardens and more. For more information click here.

Port Phillip Ecocentre

Port Phillip Ecocentre is a community-managed not for profit organisation that reconnects the local community to the natural world through inspiration, education, and facilitation of practical action. Part of the EcoCentre’s strategic mission is to support and conduct food security programs, including building community gardens. The EcoCentre garden is a shared community garden featuring Aboriginal cultural plants, a rain garden, heritage vegetables, a propagation area, heritage fruit trees and an organic waste composting system for the local neighbourhood. The produce is shared by those who help to grow it. It is also an educational garden with a strong focus on sustainable gardening practices. The Port Phillip EcoCentre supports a wider body of affiliate organisations and individual members, to create a critical mass of people undertaking local action for a global future.