GROW is underway

Campaigning for change article written on the 02 Jun 2011

Photo: Lara McKinley/OxfamAUS

Yesterday’s launch of GROW in Melbourne went like a well oiled machine thanks to lots of hard work from Oxfam staffers and a fantastic team of GROW volunteers.

We launched our campaign by hosting a forum entitled The Future of Food, which was simultaneously live-streamed on our new GROW campaign website.

Speakers at the event included; Andrew Hewett – Executive Director of Oxfam Australia, Ego Lemos – Community Leader and Musician from Timor Leste, Russell Shields – Food Development Manager of SecondBite, Jennifer Alden – CEO of Cultivating Community and Julie Goodwin, winner of MasterChef Australia, with ABC radio broadcaster Hilary Harper moderating.

Over 100 people representing organisations such as the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Victorian Farmers Federation, Heart Foundation, Australian Conservation Foundation, Gene Ethics, Biological Farmers of Australia, FairTrade Association, Department of Primary Industries, United Nations Association of Australia & local governments, were joined by academics and members of the public to find out more about the GROW campagin.

The live-stream of the forum saw over 250+ people tuning in to watch the live feed and encouraged conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #FutureofFood, which proved so popular it appeared as a trending tweet.

Our speakers raised many of the key topics within the GROW campaign: waste, support for small-scale producers, the impacts of changing weather patterns and climate change, as well as raising some questions about how the solutions can be found. In particular, Ego Lemos spoke with passion about the impact of single-crop intensive farming in Timor Leste and the changing diets of people as a result. Our Q&A session raised some good questions both from the audience as well as via the Twitter stream.

If you missed out on attending the forum, don’t worry – we’ll have the video up shortly. In the meantime, you can read back over the conversation that occurred online.

[View the story “#GROW launch – Australia” on Storify]