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“The historical mission of our times is to reinvent the human—at the species level, with critical reflection, within the community of life-systems, in a time-developmental context, by means of story and shared dream experience…The Great Work now, as we move into a new millennium, is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner.” …Thomas Berry, The Great Work

“The old is dying, and the new cannot yet be born. In this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” …Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking we used when we created them.” …Albert Einstein

DSC00003I strongly believe that we are in a time of great change and transition. We are alive at a truly unique moment in human history. Our challenge is to embrace the immense opportunities to work together, collaboratively and creatively, to usher in that new world whose contours are already emerging around and through us. To not succumb to the pervasive culture of fear and the apathy and impotence it induces, but to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the ‘Great Work’ of reinventing what it means to be human and to inhabit this Earth.

My role in this Great Work is to work with communities, institutions, enterprises and organisations around Australia to co-create a vision and a practice of fair food systems. These are systems that are democratically and collaboratively developed, and that prioritise human health and well-being, and eco-system integrity. These are systems in which the economy is consciously designed to serve people and the environment, not the other way round.

About food sovereignty

Food sovereignty is a global movement led by family farmers and indigenous peoples, that now includes more than 300 million people in 80 countries around the world. Food sovereignty stands for:

  • re-localisation of food systems;
  • agro-ecological methods of food production that work with nature rather than against it;
  • authentically fair trade rather than free trade;
  • the full realization of the human right to adequate food regardless of income status or other distinguishing characteristics; and
  • communities and countries having the right to decide that their land and productive resources are prioritized for local production of good food, rather than sold or leased to the highest bidder for mass industrialised monoculture production of commodities for export

Food sovereignty embodies a food and farming system based on connection, rather than one based on separation and alienation.

Nick Rose addressing attendees to the ‘Fair Food Systems and Networks in Australia’ workshop on 9th April at the 7th World Urban Forum held in Medellin, Colombia, from 5th – 11th April, 2014, via pre-recorded video.

Affiliations and links

From June 2010 – December 2015, I was the National Coordinator of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, (AFSA) which is Australia’s first national alliance of producers, local food businesses, community gardeners, farmers market coordinators, food social enterprises, local governments, health professionals and many others who share a vision of a food system based on the values of fairness to all, health and well-being, and ecosystem integrity.

A major project of AFSA is the coordination and promotion of Fair Food Week, which aims to highlight and celebrate people and groups around the country who are working hard for a fairer food system. From August 19-25, 2013, the inaugural Fair Food Week, 112 events were held across Australia involving an estimated 15,000 people. Fair Food Week 2014 was held from October 10-19, with 96 events around Australia, and a similar number of people participating.

From September – October 2013, AFSA worked with the Field Institute to crowd-fund $32,675 to make Australia’s first feature-length food politics documentary, “Fair Food’. This will be launched nationally in the first week of December 2014, and will be available as a resource for institutions, producers, enterprises and community organisations nationally.

From September 2013 (with a three-month break from July-October 2014), I have been the Project Coordinator of Food Systems at the Food Alliance, Deakin University. The Food Alliance brings together institutions and individuals working for a better food future for all. A major project is the formation of a Food Network and Charter, with a particular focus on local government as one of the leading actors in this space in Australia. As Project Coordinator, I have been facilitating a growing network of staff from more than 20 local councils in and around Melbourne. I am now actively looking to expand this Network to regional Victoria and beyond, to make it a genuinely national Food Network.

In June 2013 I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, to investigate innovative models of urban agriculture and local food in the US Midwest, Toronto, and in five provinces in Argentina. The particular focus concerned models of urban agriculture that supported livelihoods and income generation, and which enabled improved access to good food for low income communities. I undertook my travels from July to September 2014, and am now in the process of preparing my report, which will be published on the Churchill Trust website and widely shared.

In May 2014 I secured a contract with the University of Queensland Press to edit Australia’s first anthology on the Fair Food movement. This will include chapters from nine of the country’s leading thinkers and practitioners on the emerging food and farming system in this country, with personal reflections on the events in their own lives that have led them to become engaged and committed actors in what is a rapidly growing global movement.

I am available for speaking engagements anywhere in Australia on the topics of:

– Food Sovereignty
– Food Security
– Food Systems theory, design and practice
– Local and regional food policies and strategies
– Local and creative food economies, including branding and marketing initiatives and models
– Urban agriculture policy, practice and models
– Emerging economic theory and practice, such as collaborative economies, community economies, gift economies, sharing economies and social / solidarity economies

I can offer my writing, editing and policy skills and expertise to institutions, organisations and businesses looking to engage with the emerging sentiment across Australia for a connected and authentic food system. I have extensive and growing networks in the local and fair food movements across Australia and internationally.

References are available on request. Fees are negotiable. For more information please contact me: nick@sustainaustralia.org

working for food sovereignty in Australia