Kirsty Bishop-Fox – MC
Kirsty Bishop-Fox is an environmentalist known for motivating people to prioritise sustainability. She’s a sustainability consultant, educator and strategist who works with businesses, government, and community to transform the approach to waste, recycling, and sustainable living. Kirsty’s recognised for focusing on the environmental big picture and relating it to practical actions, and achievable changes to help people make more sustainable choices. Kirsty’s also the president of Zero Waste Victoria and director of the Zero Waste Festival.
They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, but when it comes to waste, Kirsty’s all treasure. She’s in her element when talking rubbish – inspiring you to live today, like tomorrow matters.
10.00 am – Can we recycle our way out of it?
Bill Verhagen is a qualified Plastics Engineer and Business Graduate with more than 35 years experience in plastics and packaging.
Bill was a Technical Specialist for one of Australia’s first post-consumer plastics recycling projects, aimed at demonstrating that packaging could be recycled into new applications. He has worked on a number of developments, focused on improving packaging sustainability through Circular Economy principles, and is the current Vice President of the Society Of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANZ as well as a member of the Australian Institute Of Packaging (AIP).
Passionate about inspiring the next generation, Bill began educating in 2020. As Education Facilitator for Precious Plastic Melbourne (PPM), Bill facilitates recycling workshops across education, community and corporate settings.
Elisha of Sustainable Plastic Solutions grew up in tobacco country in central Canada and came to Australia for a “2 year adventure” (about 15 years ago). She then commenced a decade long stint as a teacher, and relocated to Cavendish VIC from Melbourne. After being at the helm of The Bunyip Hotel in Cavendish for 4 years, Elisha and her husband Matt have now established a state of the art, full service recycling facility in Hamilton Victoria which is focusing on creating circular economy/closed loop solutions for agricultural waste that has traditionally been sent to landfill. With a company motto of “Green Without Compromise,” they always aim to put the environment first and foremost.
Dr Deborah Lau
Dr Deborah Lau leads CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission. She coordinates a portfolio of scientific, technological and data driven innovations for the entire plastics life cycle to support community, government and industry initiatives, with the goal of diverting plastic waste that can end up as pollution or landfill into resources that build Australia’s circular economy. With over 30 years of research experience her passion is guiding teams to deliver successful projects in advanced materials science and sustainable materials circularity.
Scott Douglas (Green Lab Futures)
Scott is based in Gippsland, where he has lived both metropolitan and regional lifestyles over his journey. An emerging associate researcher with a passion for delivering user-experience-led teaching and education in the vocational and higher education sector. As a Startup Founder, Scott has designed, launched and exited startups, while also designing and delivering Innovation programs using the human centred design thinking (HCDt) model for ASX listed companies. Right now, Scott is focused on supporting the development of the national Biocircular economy and Regional Innovation Eco-system.
Erin coordinates the Sustainability program at the South Melbourne Market which is on a mission reduce the environmental impact of its operation and become a leader in its field. Erin has also been running sustainability tours at the South Melbourne Market since 2013. She is passionate about the Market’s award-winning waste diversion program and sharing this information with visitors and students eager to learn about how we reduce our carbon footprint.
11.30 am – Confronting the Fashion Waste Crisis
Sarah Knop is the Advocacy Manager at Baptist World Aid Australia, leading the Ethical Fashion Project and Report involving 120 of the largest Australian and global fashion companies. She is passionate about bringing about systemic change in the fashion industry and inspiring global citizens to change their fashion habits. Sarah’s in-depth knowledge of fashion’s supply chains and the complex systemic issues began with fashion studies at RMIT University and continued during her career as a fashion buyer with some of Australia’s most prominent retailers including the Cotton On Group. In her pursuit of a better world for all, she has also worked as a brand and product specialist for World Vision and Salvos Stores. Alongside her work, Sarah is cultivating a slower, more sustainable way of living which she practices daily with mixed success with her husband and 2 daughters in Melbourne, Australia.
Roxy Uzureau Zhu
Reuse model founder, textiles and materials obsessor, problem solver, nature lover…. with a persistent personality and an insatiable curiosity for how things work, I think of design (of products, tools, systems) as a pathway to create a liveable planet for all. I bring a vast amount of knowledge across sustainable concepts, design, products and businesses coupled with a passionate communication style and people-focused leadership that are the backbone of how I strive for positive impact.
Co-founder of EMREN THE LABEL, an Australian focused period pant brand looking to reduce stigma around periods to increase uptake in lower waste alternatives to single use options. Focusing on sustainable and ethical sourcing and production, the brand sets itself part with its transparency and waste minimisation.
With a B Environmental Science and background as a parks ranger, Renee’s love for the natural word turned her an avid borrower, reuse, reduce and recycler, often becoming the ‘voice’ in family and friends heads when it comes to waste. Currently working at CEMAC technologies, learning and spreading news on latest developments in recycling machinery and how the future of recycling might look here in Australia.
Founded in 2006, Boots for All was established by Joanne who recognised a significant obstacle preventing numerous families in remote areas of Australia from engaging in sports. The organisation’s primary focus is to assist these families in obtaining new sports equipment, including boots, while also fostering connections within their local communities. Since its inception, the charity has successfully redistributed over 40,000 pairs of football boots to individuals of all ages throughout the country.
12.30 pm – Reducing waste as a climate action
Alice Zaslavsky is an award-winning author, broadcaster, ‘Vegelante’ and Australia’s friendliest voice in food. Alice is the ‘You’ve got this’ Columnist for The Guardian, host of Saturday Breakfast on ABC Radio Melbourne, and the resident foodie on ABC’s hit television program News Breakfast.
In 2010 Tamara went on expedition to Antarctica to learn about climate change. She returned to launch Buy Nothing New Month in 2010 and THE NEW JONESES in 2012. Her lifestyle activation and digital doco series The New Joneses promote a world without waste, where every choice we make is good for our people and planet. A 5-time Burning Man veteran, Tamara is frequently booked to speak to media, councils, schools, corporates on sustainable living, climate action, circular economy and Buy Nothing New Month.
Tishiko King is a proud Kulkalaig woman from the Island of Masig and Badugal of Themu Clan in the Torres Straits and has recently joined the Australian Communities Foundation as their First Nations Program Manager.
Formally a campaign organiser with grassroots organisations like Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network and Our Islands Our Home, Tish continues to share knowledge and expertise as a member of the Advisory Group for the Australian Museum Climate Solutions Centre. With experience across different industries at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and the exploration and minerals industry, Tish brings a diverse perspective of First Nations and climate justice.
Simone Carson AM is a ‘Waste Warrior’ with a lifelong commitment to ending waste and hunger across Australia. She is the Co-Founder and Deputy Chair of SecondBite, a not-for-profit established in 2005 alongside her husband, Ian Carson, to help the millions of Australians that are severely food insecure.
Prior to SecondBite, Simone was a nurse working in the Intensive Care Unit [ICU] at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria. For 15 years she saw many families struggle to access fresh food and developed a deeper understanding of the link between healthy food and good physical and mental health.
Antony DiMase is the founder and practice leader of DiMase Architects with over two decades of expertise in the construction industry. His focus on daylight design and sustainability has made him a specialist in building and renovating homes that require minimal external heating and cooling.
Antony advocates for design work that minimises a dwellings’ environmental footprint, and is a proponent of home renovation and retrofitting over rebuilding, as the more cost-effective option and reduces waste. Antony has a Bachelor of Architecture and Masters in Lighting, as well as a Passive House course, and combines these three central themes into his designs – high quality, enduring spaces that minimise energy use and are aesthetically pleasing. This year, he has pivoted the direction of his podcast: Lights, Cities & Architecture by inviting people outside of architecture to discuss how we can “Design More to Consume Less”.
2.00 pm – Fixing a forked food system. With a-peeling, thrifty and delicious solutions
Dr Kate Luckins
Kate helps people reduce waste and upgrade their lifestyles—saving them time, money, and a lot of pointless eco-guilt! Kate has built a career as an academic, serial activist and entrepreneur by founding Sustainable Lifestyle and The Clothing Exchange (2004). She’s putting the finishing touches on her book ‘Live More with Less’ and launching The Kitchen Edit to help people combat food waste and make mealtimes a breeze!
‘Nanna’ Anna is a permaculture educator with a background in teaching and horticulture, and founder of The Urban Nanna. Through work with major media publications, workshops & presentations, social media, and regular radio spots, she shares useful traditional knowledge, methods and skills with people around the world much like grandmas used to do with their children and grandchildren. Firmly steeped in the ethos of Permaculture, The Urban Nanna showcases how it’s possible to live a sustainable life even while renting in the unpredictable housing market of suburban Australia.
With the bush in her bones and business in her head, Jade Miles is a poly-jobist right down to her toes (which are probably barefoot and muddy). She’s been a local food advocate and educator right across the country for the last decade and founded the Beechworth food coop and North East local food strategy. In 2020 she launched her podcast Futuresteading and with 140 episodes spanning 7 season now under her belt she has also released a book with the same name. To be sure she is putting her efforts where her mouth is, Jade is also a regenerative heritage fruit farmer.
Belle is the Chief Executive Officer at FoodFilled; a youth-led food rescue charity dedicated to combating food waste and alleviating hunger. Belle has always been a strong advocate for both environmental sustainability and food insecurity. Having co-established FoodFilled, She understands the importance of making fresh and nutritious food accessible to everyone. Through the power of education, advocacy and action, Belle is determined to empower young people to become the next generation of community change-makers and social justice leaders.
Chef, Author and Media Personality, Tobie Puttock has cooked around the world and worked closely beside Jamie Oliver on projects including 15 and Australia’s Ministry of Food. Now living in Melbourne and with a healthy plant-based food focus, he is creatively sharing new recipes and a healthy approach to the kitchen.
Since returning to Melbourne, Tobie has featured in the Channel 10 hit series, Jamie’s Kitchen Australia (2006) and Lifestyle’s FOOD TV series, Tobie and Matt – Europe and Asia (2008) as well as several years as a Guest Judge with Channel 7’s ratings hit My Kitchen Rules, and most recently co-hosting ‘Wonderful Indonesia Flavours’ Season One and Two for the Asian Food Chanel (2015 and 2016). A promoter of Market shopping Tobie also became Ambassador to Prahran Market in Melbourne performing cooking demos and promoting market culture by sharing trader tips. In 2018 he also took on a 12 month role as Creative Director of Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia to encourage school kids to eat a balanced diet.
3.00 pm – Community Innovation in the circular economy
Manager Community Solutions, Sustainability Victoria. Candyce is a public sector leader my vision involves climate action for communities, how we can become more sustainable as a society and other social justice and equity considerations – in essence I want to help the community to get to where they want to go and how best to get there. At Sustainability Victoria I am privileged to work with communities, local governments, and businesses to tackle significant challenges such as how we transition to a cleaner and more circular economy
Professor Usha Iyer-Raniga
Usha Iyer-Raniga trained as an architect who co-leads the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme (SBC), United Nations 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (UN 10FYP SCP) aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 12. Usha has published over 100 publications and is currently serving on the Boards of various not for profit organisations and has also served as panel judge for a number of awards such as the Premiers Sustainability Award in Victoria, Planet Ark’s national Circularity Awards and the International Green Gown Awards.
Vanessa Nitsos Chan
Vanessa Nitsos Chan is the Urban Food Program leader at Darebin Information, Volunteer & Resource Service (DIVRS), working with a team of volunteers to grow and save food for the Darebin community. Her experience includes hospitality business owner, professional cook, event and project manager and teacher. She has a strong commitment to connecting community through food and making sure food finds a rightful ‘home’.
Recognising that half of the million plus bikes in Victoria will end up in landfill, Paul started Brainwave Bikes a year ago to work with Melbourne metro councils, hard rubbish collections and the public to enable used bicycles to be donated, refurbished as part of a transitions to work program for young people living with a disability, tested by qualified mechanics and sold as affordable bikes to families as an ongoing social enterprise. Today, with 50+ bikes donated a week, Brainwave Bikes has become Victoria’s largest recycler of used bicycles.
Jean is Founder and Managing Director of Cirque du Soil, a circular waste consultancy and social enterprise advocating for circular and regenerative neighbourhoods through the reduction and (re)transformation of waste in our urban food systems to reduce our impact on the planet. As a trained Architect and Placemaker, she focuses on a trifecta of systems thinking, people and place in her design approach to circular waste programs, such as the Community Compost Collective, Community Waste Collectives, and a soon to be launched Insight LITE program for SME commercial kitchens, to engage and enable local communities to take climate action.
4.30 pm – Film Screening – “The Endangered Generation?” (Followed by Q/A)
Dr Rebekah Henry
Dr Rebekah Henry is an inter-disciplinary researcher and environmental public health practitioner working in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University. Across her 20-year career she has applied genetic tools to understand how disease-causing organisms interact with their environment; whether that is within humans or in environments such as urban waterways, soils and sediments within Victoria and the larger Asia-Pacific region. This knowledge has formed the backbone of her current research on understanding the transmission, spread and persistence of faecal microbes within environments and how we can improve current surveillance and reporting systems to improve public health outcomes.
John Bradley is an Associate Professor in the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre at MonashUniversity. He is the Director of Wunungu Awara (a Strong and Healthy Country): Animating Indigenous Knowledges. Where animation is used as a way to facilitate cross-generational learning in Indigenous communities where languages are critically endangered. He has sat on a number national and international committees associated with the preservation of Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous understandings of climate change. He has recently been involved in a large Native Title Compensation Claim in the Northern Territory, and is presently working on a large project with Yanyuwa and Garrwa young people documenting sacred song lines. He is the author of the prize winning Singing Saltwater Country and the winner of the 2014 Future Justice Prize. He speaks three Indigenous languages Yanyuwa, Garrwa and Kriol and can hear Marra.
Mahla Bird (AKA Themme Fatale)
Mahla Bird (AKA Themme Fatale) is an award winning and internationally touring artist, author, creator, presenter, and producer, with a career that truly defies genre and medium. Equally at home in academia and on stage, they hold qualifications in Psychology, Neuroscience, and in circus arts, and have published works ranging in topic from developmental neuroscience to drag and the cultural rise of the bimbo. Their critically acclaimed performance work draws on from both practices to interrogate questions of gender, power, autonomy, interdependence, and hope. They were recently featured as the keynote speaker on drag and gender for Sydney World Pride 2023, and their work has been featured in the Museum of Contemporary art, the NGV, Melbourne Fashion Week, Archer Magazine, the Festival of Jewish Art and Music, The Encyclopedia of Behavioural Neuroscience, all over the local and international festival circuit, and was one time shared on social media by Adrienne Maree Brown, which they insisted on including.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this event are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Zero Waste Victoria or Fed Square
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