Dear Australia’s Right to Food Coalition (the RTF Coalition) community, we would like to introduce the newest members of our communications team! This post is dedicated to learn about their experiences and what makes them excited to be a part of The RTF Coalition. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, the team’s relevant social media handles are included where possible.
Hi I’m Sonal and I’m a registered dietitian and nutritionist based in Melbourne.
I knew I wanted to be a dietitian when I discovered how closely health and food were related: what we ate could make us feel a particular way or could give us energy or bring us peace. My experiences so far have provided me with insights from academic, clinical and community perspectives and I find myself more and more curious about how we communicate about food, health and broader social issues.
I have a great passion for delving into the root cause of health issues and figuring out how to solve them. While I’m still very much in the early days of my career I am working towards creating conversations and environments that allow people to ultimately take control of their own health, whether it be via community led projects to improve access, or representation and education in media or helping existing brands/organisations shift focus. It’s about creating the right environments, providing people with access and the skills to have autonomy over their wellbeing – whether it be the food they choose to eat, the parks they’re able to run and play in or the creativity they are able to express, it comes down to tackling inequalities from various avenues.
I’m very much someone who likes to consider the multifaceted nature of concepts and getting lost in storytelling and therefore found myself joining the team here at Australia’s Right to Food Coalition (RTF Coalition)I’m learning about the politics that govern so much of our daily, unconscious decisions and choices from such a diverse community. I hope I can use my diverse skill-set and passion for communication – in all mediums – to connect all those fighting for better solutions.
I’m excited to see what such diverse minds can come up with to help solve these various dilemmas facing our world.
My name is Julia. I am very excited to be a part of the RTF Coalition and the Communications Team for 2022.
I am currently in my third and final year at the Australian National University where I am studying a Bachelor of Development Studies. Through this degree, I have learnt a lot about ways in which we as individuals can contribute to creating positive social change in the world, and it is my hope that I can use this knowledge to help improve issues pertaining to food security and public health in Australia both now and in the future.
My interest in food security and public health was sparked after volunteering at a kindergarten in a local community in Melbourne, Victoria. Whilst completing volunteer work at this kindergarten, I witnessed first – hand the effects of food insecurity on health outcomes for children and was left wondering about the ways in which we can improve not only access to and supply of, but also use, of food in Australia to better children’s physical health, as well as their social and emotional wellbeing.
I believe that health outcomes in Australia cannot be improved unless the underlying causes of ill – health and disease, such as food insecurity, namely affordability and accessibility of food, are addressed. I am hoping that through this role, I will be able to assist in getting the word out there about these issues and about the importance of ensuring each Australian is given equal opportunity to not only access healthy and affordable food, but to also enjoy good health.
I am very excited to connect with other like – minded individuals in the RTF Coalition and to work together to increase awareness and action on both current and emerging issues related to food security. I also look forward to keeping up with work that is being done by organisations, experts, workers and researchers within the field to ensure a more food secure Australia.
Hi there, I’m Lizzy (she/her). I am a bike riding, baking, pro-soil health and sourdough-slinging Master of Environment student at Melbourne Uni.
I am a settler colonial child of 90s south-east Melbourne, the traditional lands of the Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation. My interest in food systems has been shaped by family meals that featured a standard “meat and three veg” and desserts lovingly prepared by mum and grandma. A brief legal career gave way to curiosity for how we use and value food and land: How it is farmed? Where does it come from? To what extent do we know and connect with the people that produce it? How does it come to reach (and not reach) our dinner tables? How might we understand foods’ connections to provenance, community, equity and health?
Previously, while completing a Graduate Certificate in Food Systems and Gastronomy, I worked as a research assistant with University of Sydney’s Strengthening Local Food Systems Governance project. And I began working with Fawkner-based Growing Farmers, a community project that supports urban regenerative farming and community resilience.
My current research seeks to understand the economic and social mechanisms that cause inequitable food access in Australia. How is it that Australia enjoys an abundance of food, with 65% of total agricultural product exported, while many Australians are food insecure? To what extent should ‘food relief’ be a solution to welfare payments below the poverty line? How can we better emphasise dignity and community care within experiences of food insecurity? Overall, how can individuals, communities and policy makers enable more equitable, sustainable and healthy food systems?