2014 Keynote Speakers

All keynote speakers presentations are now available to view for FREE on YouTube 

Joel Berg – Executive Director | New York City Coalition Against Hunger

Joel Berg is leading the anti-hunger movement in America. He is Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He is also author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America?, the definitive and most well-reviewed book on American hunger in the last decade.A nationally recognized thought leader and media spokesman, Joel is frequently sought after for high-profile speaking and media engagements. In the last year alone, Joel has been featured on television shows such as The Daily Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox Business News, the Melissa Harris Perry Show, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, Inside City Hall on NY1, the Chris Hayes show, and in leading national print outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall St. Journal, the LA Times, The Daily News, Huffington Post, the Nation, and many more.Joel spends much of his time touring the country educating people from California to Maine on how we can work together towards a more equitable society. Currently, the Coalition Against Hunger operated a national VISTA program operating in 28 states.

For a list of Joel’s public lectures go here – Joel public lectures

Joel appeared on Radio National’s “Life Matters” program with Natasha Mitchell on Tuesday 14th October. Listen here – http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/hunger-in-the-midst-of-plenty/5810456

Catherine Harding – Government and Community Engagement Manager | The Good Foundation

Catherine Harding is a Government and Community Engagement Manager for The Good Foundation. The Good Foundation is a not for profit that was established in 2010 to focus on programs and projects that promote good health and nutrition, with the first priority program being Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia.

Catherine has extensive experience working within government, non-profit and private sectors in a number of areas including health and nutrition, social policy, criminal law, human rights law, administrative law and justice policy. She spent over seven years working in government at a State and Federal level, including as a Manager at the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet and as a Legal Policy Officer with the Human Rights Unit in the Victorian Department of Justice.

She holds a Masters in Public and International Law from the University of Melbourne and a BA LLB (Hons) from the University of Sydney. Catherine is also a Director of the Board of Women’s Health West.

Martin Laverty – Founder | Social Determinants of Health Alliance

Martin Laverty founded and chaired the Social Determinants of Health Alliance, is a member of the National Disability Insurance Scheme board, a member of the NSW Public Service Commission board, and a member of the Federal Government’s Aged Care Sector Committee.

Martin was recently appointed CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in August after serving for six years as the CEO of Catholic Health Australia.

Martin was until August this year a member of the Federal Government’s Aged Care Sector Committee, a member of the National Health Performance Authority Advisory Committee for Private Hospitals, a member of the Federal Government Clinical Trials Advisory Committee, and a member of the Australian Catholic University Faculty of Health Sciences Advisory Board.

Martin has previously held roles at the NSW Parliament, the NSW Muscular Dystrophy Association and The Smith Family. As Government Director at Burson-Marsteller, he worked in Jakarta for the Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and in the United Arab Emirates for the Executive Affairs Authority of the Government of Abu Dhabi.

Martin is the former Board Chair of the NSW Heart Foundation and member of the Heart Foundation’s national board. He is also a former Board director of the NSW Muscular Dystrophy Association, and former Board Chair of the disability service providers Challenge Southern Highlands and The Sunshine Homes.

Martin is a lawyer by training, and is near to completing a PhD in governance of not-for-profit health services. He has contributed to the book What If? and edited the book Determining the Future: A Fair Go & Health for All, both published by Connor Court. His most recent book, Exploring the Connections: Catholic Social Teaching and Social Determinants of Health was launched in August and was also published by Connor Court. Martin is married with three young children.

Professor David Adams | University of Tasmania

David Adams is Professor of Management & Innovation at the University of Tasmania. Professor Adams has served in a number of key leadership including as Tasmania’s inaugural Social Inclusion Commissioner, as Chair of the Food Security Council and as a founding Director of the OECD-linked PASCAL Observatory on social capital, place management and learning regions. David proposed, established and chaired the Tasmanian Food Security Council and led the development of the first State Government Food Security Strategy in Australia.

His major fields of research concern the locality drivers of innovation and leadership in the public, private and community sectors. He has published extensively in public policy and management focusing on local knowledge and its links to innovation and wellbeing. He has previously been a Departmental Deputy Secretary in Tasmania (Health) and Victoria (Premier and Cabinet and the Department for Victorian Communities). He has been instrumental in Victorian policy initiatives captured in the Growing Victoria Together and the Fairer Victoria programs.

Food for all Tasmanians – A food security strategy

Research based support for local food systems

ronnikahnRonni Kahn – CEO and Founder | OzHarvest 

Ronni Kahn is the founding director of OzHarvest, a not for profit organisation that rescues surplus food from restaurants, retailers, food outlets and corporate kitchens across Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle and Adelaide to feed communities at risk.

Ronni set out to make a difference in this world – to create an organisation with sound business ethics that would positively impact society. Her previous experience in the hospitality industry led her to question where all the excess food went that was the natural fallout in the food and beverage industry. When she saw that no organisation in Sydney was collecting perfectly edible excess food and delivering it to people in need on a regular and professional basis, she created OzHarvest, which does just that.

Today, OzHarvest collects over 5 tonnes of food a day, and delivers the equivalent of 15,000 meals a day from more than 900 food donors throughout Australia, freeing up valuable resources for charities to spend on education and rehabilitative programs. Over nine million meals have been rescued and redistributed since Ronni began her quest in 2004. In 2010 Ronni Kahn was named Australia’s Local Hero as part of the Australian of the Year Awards announced at Parliament House, Canberra.

Jason HincksJason Hincks – CEO | Foodbank Australia

Jason Hincks is CEO of Foodbank Australia, the largest food relief agency in the country supplying over 2,500 charities and community groups.

Jason joined Foodbank less than 2 months ago from the highly successful men’s health charity Movember, where he was Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to moving into the not-for-profit space, he developed his marketing, management and strategic skills in organisations both in Australia and the United States. He holds a Bachelor of Business and an MBA, with a speciality in International Business and Strategy.


Karen Beetson – Manager of Family and Community Services | Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation 

Karen Beetson is a descendant of the Mandandanji people of South West Queensland and Ngemba people from Western NSW. Karen spent her early childhood years in Redfern NSW and moved to the Campbelltown area in 1976.

Over the past 28 years Karen has worked in Aboriginal communities in South West and Western Sydney. Karen has worked in employment, education, community development, juvenile justice, and the health sector. Karen’s work has focused on the development of communities through capacity building. Karen’s passion is to continue to work with all sections of the community to help her people heal.

Karen is experienced in group work – Our Journey To Respect Program an Aboriginal violence prevention program, Dthina Yuwali Aboriginal Offence focused Drug and Alcohol Program, Love Bites, Red Dust Healing and multi-systemic therapy.