AFSA AGM — Tuesday 18 November

The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance is having its Annual General Meeting from 12.30 p.m. – 2 pm at Byron Bay Community Centre, 69 Jonson St, during the Regional Food Conference (17-19 November), organised by Southern Cross University.

Members of AFSA are welcome and encouraged to attend the AGM, either in person or via Skype. If you plan to attend, we ask that you RSVP by Friday 14th November 2014 and if you want to participate via Skype, please send us your Skype name, to:


The agenda:

  1. Confirm minutes from previous AGM
  2. Receive President, Vice-president and financial reports
  3. Elect returning officer
  4. Election of 7 office bearers: President, Vice president, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Officer and 2 x ordinary members.

AFSA extends a special and warm thanks to all Committee members, especially outgoing President Michael Croft , who has worked tirelessly and at considerable financial cost to himself and his family to participate on behalf of AFSA and indeed the broader fair food movement in Australia, in global level food governance discussions at the World Committee on Food Security meetings, conducted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome. Michael has also participated on behalf of AFSA and the Australian fair food movement in the  meetings of the International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty.

We also thank those Committee members who are standing down at this AGM – Carol Richards, Cat Green, Sandy Murray, Harry Wkyman and Alice Blackwood – for their strong support of AFSA and the cause of fair food and food sovereignty in Australia over the past twelve months and more. We know they will continue to be involved in building the fair food movement in their various cities and regions, and we look forward to working with them and supporting them in all their efforts as champions for a fair food system for Australia.

Postponement of SGM

We had initially proposed that a Special General Meeting would also be held at the same time, in order to approve a new Constitution for AFSA, which has been under discussion for some time and which we have circulated amongst our members. However, some legal questions have been raised in the past week concerning matters of technical compliance with the ACT legislation by which we are governed. For that reason, the SGM and Constitutional review / approval will not be held on this occasion, but rather will be held over till the new year, till the legal compliance issues are fully resolved.


Nominations have been received from the following individuals (office indicated as per nomination):

[message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””]President – Tammi Jonas

Tammi Jonas considers herself an ethicurean farmer, mindful meatsmith, and agrarian intellectual. Along with her hypercompetent husband and three #orsmkids, she raises pastured rare breed Large Black pigs and a motley crew of cattle at Jonai Farms & Meatsmiths in Eganstown in central Victoria.

Former vegetarian academic Tammi now does whole-carcass butchering on the farm, sells their ethical pork and beef at the farm gate and online with a significant and growing CSA model, and monthly deliveries to hubs in Melbourne and throughout the region.

Jonai Farms is something of a rarity as they achieved an ethically viable no-growth model solely reliant on farm income within just two years of setting up. Supply chain control, direct sales, and regular butchery, sausage-making, curing, and producers’ workshops are all integral to the model.

Tammi has been writing about food ethics and politics since 2006 at her blog Tammi Jonas: Food Ethics, and can be found advocating for an ethical food system on the twitterz as @tammois, and for the farm as @jonaifarms. She is also a founding member of Fair Food Farmers United (FFFU), a producers’ branch of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA), which is focused on connecting and creating a strong voice for farmers who are feeding Australia fairly. She is also a current member of the AFSA National Committee.

Tammi has a strong background in governance, most of it gained while working on a PhD on the role of engagements with multicultural foodways in the development of a more cosmopolitan, sustainable society, which she abandoned when the theory landed her in the best job she’s ever had up on the farm. She served on the University of Melbourne Graduate Student Association Council (the GSA) from 2006-2009, including as President in 2008, and for the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) from 2008-2011, including as National President in 2010. She was also a member of University Council at the University of Melbourne in 2009. In 2010 she had the honour to draft a constitution and chair the inaugural meeting of the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) and facilitate the establishment of a new national voice for international students in Australia.

Tammi is nominating for President of AFSA for 2015 to continue her involvement in the fast-growing fair food movement and lend her strong female farmer’s voice to the fight for food sovereignty in Australia.[/message_box]

Vice-President – TBC

Treasurer – TBC

[message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””]Communications Officer — Dr Alana Mann

A career-teacher and professional communicator with a background in media, Alana Mann now works full-time as a lecturer and scholar in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney, She is a member of the Charles Perkins Centre interdisciplinary research group on food security and nutrition and the Sydney Environment Institute’s ‘Food, People and the Planet’ node. She is nominating for the role of Communications Officer of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) in 2015 in order to support the important work of this vital grassroots organisation in improving Australia’s food system for consumers and producers.

Alana worked at Fairfax Media as a marketing communications manager for seven years, and then briefly as national comms manager for The Smith Family, before joining the University in 2006. She earned her PhD entitled ‘Framing Food Sovereignty: A Study of Social Movement Communication’ in 2012. Based on grounded case studies of the campaign strategies and media engagement of La Via Campesina members in Chile, Mexico and Spain, her thesis was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014 as Global Activism in Food Politics: Power Shift. Advocacy activities, including ongoing media work for La Via Campesina’s ally FIAN International (Food First Information and Action Network), is vital to her role as a researcher-activist. She has worked at FIAN’s International Secretariat in Heidelberg, Germany, where she was responsible for editing, coordinating and contributing to FIAN’s flagship publication the Right to Food Quarterly, delivering training workshops to FIAN staff on writing effective ‘Urgent Action’ communications and contributing to the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch (a human rights monitoring tool supported by the office of the Special Rapporteur and UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee).

In her work Alana is strongly committed to enhancing the engagement of rural citizens in policy-making. Her research in this area embraces the lobbying activities of social movements at the Vienna +20 Human Rights Summit, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome and at the UN Intergovernmental Working Group on the Rights of Peasants and Workers in Rural Areas in Geneva. She is a member of the organising committee for the 2014 Australia/ New Zealand Agri-food Network Conference, to be hosted by University of Sydney in November and is actively engaged in promoting the conference through social media and radio spots. She presents at academic conferences and public events including the Sydney Ideas/One Just World forum on “Land, hunger and human rights” at the Seymour Centre in 2012; the University of Sydney Food Security Forum in March, 2014; Oxfam’s ‘Eat Local Feed Global’ event in September 2014 and is currently chairing Food@Sydney seminars at the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney.[/message_box] [message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””]Secretary — Dr Nick Rose

Dr Nick Rose has been the National Coordinator of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance since its inception in 2010. He has been centrally involved in all its major projects and campaigns. He holds aPhD in political ecology from RMIT University (2013), focusing on the transformative potential of the global movement for food sovereignty. He is the editor of Fair Food: A Movement with a Mission, an anthology of the nascent Fair Food movement in Australia, which will be published by University of Queensland Press in September 2013. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2013 to investigate innovative models of urban agriculture in the US Midwest, Toronto and Argentina; and completed this trip fromJuly-September 2014. He is also Project Coordinator, Food Systems, for the Food Alliance (Deakin University), where he is helping to build a local government urban and regional food network, amongst other initiatives.

Nick is nominating as Secretary of AFSA for the 2014 AGM, to continue his long-standing and passionate commitment to building the Fair Food and food sovereignty movement in Australia and beyond.[/message_box]

Ordinary Members

[message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””]Michael Croft

The AGM is upon us, and the process of renewal that this brings is both necessary and vital. I encourage all members who are passionate about working for food sovereignty in Australia to nominate for the committee, and specifically to nominate for positions where you feel you have expertise and/or experience.

There are significant rewards that come with working with AFSA, these are the special rewards that only come with acting collectively for the common good. As a bonus you also get to work with some truly inspiring people and make great friends. Every committee member I have worked with over the last few years has been an inspiration and a source of encouragement. The sense of solidarity and achievement that comes with being a part of an enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer team has to be experienced to be appreciated.

AFSA will continue to walk the talk of a social movement – transparent, cooperative, consensus driven and collegiate. As a social movement, that is 100% volunteer run, we have always done to the best of our ability and we can always do better. So please consider helping AFSA to improve, build on our many successes, gain traction with as many people as possible, and cement our position as a strong and proactive voice for food sovereignty in Australia.

To facilitate this renewal, I am stepping down as president and renominating for the committee as an ordinary member. If elected I will be both pleased and honoured to support the new office bearers and help drive AFSA forward to greater influence and food sovereignty in Australia.[/message_box] [message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””] Nadine Ponomarenko

Growing up in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, my family were fortunate enough to have a modest veggie patch and lemon tree in our backyard, while my grandparents had quite an array of produce growing in their backyard’s. As a result, I’ve always been interested in fresh, local, affordable and quality produce. The experience in my 20s of living on a beef cattle, cropping and sheep farm in country NSW, broadened my exposure to include farming on a larger scale. I’ve always had herbs growing, but with some basic training on organic urban gardening practices in the past five years, I’ve expanded into fruits and vegetables, with varying degrees of success.

While studying a Master of Environment, it has become very clear to me, that my area of greatest interest is Australian sustainable food production. I have already prepared several research papers on this topic and this semester studied a subject called Politics of Food, which gave me a significant insight into our current food system and it’s many and varied issues. All of us need to eat, so I regard food sovereignty as a huge issue and concern and one that needs to be urgently addressed.

I am a Chartered Accountant, have a MBA, have completed the City of Port Phillip Community Leadership Training Program and am currently completing a Master of Environment. I have volunteered with the Sustainable Living Festival for many years (including previously being a committee member), am a Green Member of the Port Phillip EcoCentre, and participate in sustainability related events in my local community, including recently attending the Urban and Regional Food Charter workshop, for City of Port Phillip. I also have experience as part of several committees in my current role at an environmental not for profit organisation.

I’m very keen to bring my experience and skills in finance, business, strategy development, business case preparation, project management, change management and broader consulting, combined with my current studies in sustainable food practices, to the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, to help progress a fairer, more sustainable and resilient food system. I’m passionate about the need to change our current food system and am excited about the possibilities and opportunities that exist. I believe my particular skills can help identify and progress opportunities for discussion, engagement, alliance building and action, to help bring about this required change.[/message_box] [message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””] Clare Richards

Originally a psychologist working in community settings, Clare Richards has a long history of advocacy for the rights of disadvantaged populations and for the impact of social determinants on health. She grew up in the wheat farming Mallee region of Victoria where her passion for food was nurtured by her mother’s love for good food and cooking. Clare has lived and worked in North Australia (the Kimberley and now Cairns) for the last 12 years.

In 2007 Clare left psychology to focus on public health. In 2009 she stepped out of health for a few years to pursue the research, recipe testing, writing and publishing of the world’s first comprehensive encyclopaedia for tropical produce and cookbook, Tropical Cuisine: Cooking in Clare’s Kitchen. In 2010 she won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best Innovative Cookbook in Australia and was shortlisted for the international prize. During this time she maintained a blog at

During the creation of the cookbook Clare became involved with local exotic fruit farmers and regional strategies to localise supply chains in Far North Queensland. In doing so the complex dilemmas of our food system became apparent and she has remained engaged with advocacy around such issues since. She is particularly concerned that the Developing North Australia agenda proceeds in a sustainable way that enhances the food security and food sovereignty needs of North Australians.

Clare now works in public health in the healthy lifestyles and food systems area and in May 2014 commenced her PhD with Deakin University through the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention. The focus of her PhD is around utilising complex system approaches to the planning and implementation of food system strategies.

Clare is nominating as an ordinary member of the National Committee of AFSA and hopes through this to build better connections between national food sovereignty networks and the communities of North Australia.[/message_box] [message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””] Annie Richmond

I completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University in Geelong, with majors in Finance and Accounting, in 2006 and went on to work in investment management and treasury for 6 years. Having always been a lover of cooking and of good quality fresh food, I became more and more interested in where my food was coming from and at what standards it had been produced. Around the same time as I started to find my work in corporate finance less satisfying, I began researching the role that large corporations were playing in the food production industry, both in Australia and all around the world. I decided to leave my job and to return to uni, and I am now two years into a Master of Urban Horticulture at Melbourne University. My goal is to contribute to the development of a food system that is local, healthy, fair and sustainable. I am particularly interested in growing food in the urban environment; in sustainable farming; and in making farming more attractive to young people. I am currently volunteering with the Food Alliance in Melbourne and I am working on a project which is aimed at raising public awareness about the importance of protecting the fertile farming land around Melbourne’s fringe. I am also a part of the Youth Food Movement in Melbourne.[/message_box] [message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””] Louise Abson

Lou is an active and passionate member of the growing fair food movement in Brisbane, and has been volunteering with Fair Food Brisbane since 2013. She has acted as local contact for Fair Food Week celebrations, and her passion for food sovereignty has inspired her work in a variety of organisations. Lou holds qualifications in Political Science and Community Development, both from the University of Queensland. She is interested in how we best work together collectively to effect the much needed change to our dominant food system, and how we continue to nurture fairer alternatives.[/message_box] [message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””] Jeff Pow

Jeff is a dynamic, energetic, and enthusiastic leader with a passion for sustainability, farming and food. He has a diverse background ranging from primary production, ecology, consulting, management and business strategy, education and research. His formal qualifications include a Master of Business Leadership from Curtin University’s Graduate School of Business majoring in Leadership, Management and Strategy.

During his 15 years as a business strategy professional and executive, Jeff has formally led, facilitated and convened teams and groups across many areas relating to leadership and people development, mining and commerce, food, water, regional communities and sustainability.

These have included:

  • The WA State Water Plan stakeholder consultation
  • The WA Aviation Infrastructure Review
  • President of the Sustainability Practitioners Association
  • Founding member, University of Western Australia’s Gravity Discovery Centre
  • Convener of the Sustainable Transport Coalition
  • Convener of the Perth Fair Food Alliance
  • The Western Australia Scenarios for the Future 2030

For the past 8 years and concurrent alongside his professional career, Jeff has restored “Southampton Homestead” – a historic triple-heritage listed 120-acre colonial farm near Balingup in the Southwest of Western Australia. With wife and business partner Michelle, he conceived of a start-up agri-enterprise, focussing on two key initiatives – growing and processing their poultry on-farm, and also growing a new generation of farmers through internships and apprenticeships commencing in 2015. This work has highlighted the issues surrounding agriculture globally, and armed him with a good sense of the political, structural and market forces impacting on farming food enterprises and communities.

In his personal life, Jeff continues to live the work of “agri-activism” simply because prosperity of food producers makes sense. He has travelled extensively, reviewing food and farming businesses in the USA and UK. He was appointed in 2012 as Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Forests Food Council, a WA Government initiative, working to elevate the need for structural reform in agriculture, and advocating for solutions witnessed first-hand in the USA and UK. A firestorm completely destroyed the farm in Feb 2013, only galvanizing his resolve in this work. Barely 20 months after the fire, infrastructure and perennial pastures restored, they are trading again and making national news – reclaiming “terms of trade” back onto the farm with their unique micro-abattoir and direct to market approach.

The average age of farmers is 53. The legacy of lost knowledge, heritage and the very sustainability of agriculture is at a crossroads. The current pandemic of chronic illness affecting so many Australians is now empirically linked to food. This growing awareness is driving demand for good food through sustainable and ethical production. Jeff welcomes this opportunity to contribute continue this work with others through the community of AFSA.[/message_box] [message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””] Lorraine Gordon

Lorraine Gordon is the CEO of Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast. Lorraine has 28 years of extensive industry experience and qualifications in business, leadership, management, governance and capacity building throughout Australia.

Prior to joining RDA, Lorraine was Managing Director of Moffat Falls Pty Ltd which operates a number of agricultural, tourism and health businesses throughout the Mid North Coast and New England regions of NSW, including the Barwick Pastoral Company and the award winning Yaraandoo Environmental Lodge & Function Centre at Point Lookout near Ebor.

Lorraine is a Graduate of the prestigious Australian Rural Leadership Program and was an award winner in the 2002 Telstra Business Women’s Award. She was also awarded the 1994 NSW ABC Rural Woman of the Year for the development of Australia’s first domestic hydro power scheme and for initiating the now highly successful Ebor Beef Co-operative.

Lorraine’s qualifications include an MBA from the University of New England majoring in Project Management and Advanced Diplomas in Agriculture, Tourism and Corporate Governance. She is currently completing her PhD in Ecological Economics through the University of New England comparing conventional, organic, biodynamic and holistic Grazing systems in Northern NSW from a triple bottom line perspective.

Lorraine is extremely passionate and dedicated to all issues to do with food production, value adding and cooperative/cluster development and she is working very hard to make a difference for farmers.[/message_box] [message_box type=”” icon=”” close=””] Michele Lally

Michele Lally is a passionate driver of branding ethically produced food and connecting farmers with consumers through education and relative product marketing. She lives at their award winning property Savannah Farm in the Clare Valley in South Australia with her husband Phil and 12 month old daughter Zara.  Together, Phil and Michele created their branded lamb product, Savannah Lamb in 2009 after being faced with an unexpected succession plan that meant they had to find a viable operation that could sustain them living on the farm and continuing the Lally family’s 150 year farming tradition.

Previously cereal croppers and wool growers, their options were to get big quick and go into large ag debt, or niche market and change their farm to be what reflected their own values and ethics as people and regenerate it for their children’s future and the community’s sustainability. Michele spent most of her twenties and early thirties training, unbeknown to her at the time, to be a regenerative fair food farmer in management level corporate roles of marketing, sales, events, IT and business consulting.   She has been a leader in the South Australian Food Industry creating food events and media attention of ethical meat production, regional small producers and utilising animal psychology, modern technology and traditional flock shepherding to increase the quality of meat products on the plate.  As the project manager of Australia’s first licensed multi species mobile abattoir, her passion for local accessible supply chains and the opportunity for all farmers to set their own pricing structures, is evident, by offering new branding and sales opportunities in regional areas, where in the past, traditional sales have been the only option.

Michele has been a guest speaker at numerous sustainability and food events.  She is a passionate advocate to increase the perceived opportunity of the ‘daughter in law’ on farms and wants to see family farming continue as the leading industry structure into future generations of the industry in Australia.

Michele has been key to the Clare Valley’s food industry by hosting numerous high profile food and farming events.  She has been one of the drivers that has created a new reputation for the Clare Valley as a food producing region by mentoring other farmers to brand their products and designing new co-operative selling groups.  She was a founding member and driver of the Clare Valley Alliance (bringing food, wine and tourism together in the region) and was nominated as a finalist in the Young Leader Category in the South Australian Food Industry Awards in 2011.  Michele has a Degree in Tourism Management from the University of South Australia, Advanced Diplomas in International Business and Le Cordon Bleu and has led Savannah Farm with her husband, to win South Australian Food Industry Awards Most Sustainable Food Business 3 years in a row.  She is a champion at networking, thinking outside the box and creating collaborative partnerships with likeminded people and organisations.  Michele’s can do attitude and enthusiasm for sustainable change and strategic direction has led her to be a highly respected and ethical operator in the South Australian Food Industry and she hopes to motivate and instigate increased consumer awareness to build a strong and resilient fair and ethical food model in Australia.[/message_box]

Published On: 7 November, 2014Categories: GovernanceTags: ,