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National dietary guidelines as a lever for attaining a healthy and sustainable food system in Australia

Doctors For Nutrition is pleased to be hosting an Independent Food Systems Dialogue in which a range of stakeholders will explore how the Australian Dietary Guidelines can play an effective role in achieving a healthy and sustainable food system. Key takeaways from the dialogue will be submitted to the organisers of the United Nations Food Systems Summit following the event.

Complete the participant form

If you have not already, please complete this short Google Form prior to joining the dialogue. This will allow us to collect the required United Nations demographic information, as well as gather your relevant details to share amongst other attendees.

Stimulus for dialogue

There is no specific pre-work required before joining the dialogue. We have listed some thought-provoking material you may want to read, view or listen to prior to the session to get you thinking about the topic you'll be discussing.

Breakout group topics


Amanda Benham

Dr Amanda Benham has been an Accredited Practising Dietitian specialising in plant-based nutrition since 1992. Her special areas of interest are (i) ensuring nutrient adequacy on a vegan diet during pregnancy, lactation and for infants and children and (ii) developing food guides to simplify the adoption of healthful, nutritionally adequate plant-based diets at the population level. Amanda is passionate about people achieving optimal health on a plant-based diet and has developed a course in plant-based nutrition available on Instagram (@plantbased_pbnutrition) and provides information on plant-based eating on her website. Amanda is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

Amanda Devine

Amanda Devine is the Professor of Public Health & Nutrition and a research lead in Edith Cowan University's Institute for Nutrition Research (INR). Amanda's research has focused on high quality randomised controlled trials to understand how diet affects bone, vascular, gut and mental health. Current nutrition research areas include supporting food literacy in adults and children; healthy food environments in the early years sector; food security; the influence of plant-based diets on gut health, gestational diabetes and ulcerative colitis. Research translation includes publications, community-based food literacy programs, websites, cookbooks and transformational games reaching children, parents, schools, the health workforce.

Caroline LeCouteur

Caroline is a recently retired member member of the ACT Legislative Assembly. Prior to entering politics, Caroline was a founding director of Australian Ethical Investment, an ASX listed company that only invests in ethical and responsible companies. She also served as the Executive Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a not-for-profit organisation that fights to improve the sustainability of Australian businesses. Caroline’s achievements as a Greens MLA include helping deliver Canberra's pollution reduction target, improving consultation on local planning, and strengthening animal welfare. Caroline worked tirelessly to ensure plant-based options were offered at all government functions and events.

Chris Vogliano

Chris Vogliano PhD Candidate, RD is a Technical Advisor of Food Systems with the United States Agency for International Development - Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN), where he is currently working on adapting the first ever global diet quality monitoring system, in partnership with Harvard University and Gallup World Polls. Chris has worked to promote equity and sustainability across the food system, including designing policies and program interventions to improve food security for low income populations, to consulting with Fortune 500 brands on sustainability initiatives. Chris also works for Food + Planet, empowering healthcare professionals to become leaders in sustainable food.

Diana Bogueva

Dr Diana Bogueva is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute and a Centre manager at the Centre for Advanced Food Enginomics, the University of Sydney. She is an interdisciplinary researcher focused on food sustainability, alternative proteins, and generational consumer behaviour change. Diana applies her extensive background in marketing and qualitative research, journalism, and academia to investigate and propose innovative solutions including social marketing to address excessive consumption of animal-based food. Her work won the Australian National Best Book in 2019 and the World’s Best Book award 2020 in the Vegetarian book category at 25th Gourmand Awards, for her co-edited book ‘Environmental, Health and Business Opportunities in the New Meat Alternatives Market’ and the 2020 Faculty of Humanities Journal Article of the Year Award at Curtin University for the co-authored paper “Planetary Health and reduction in meat consumption”.

Dora Marinova

Dora Marinova is a Professor of Sustainability at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute. She has 400 referred publications and has supervised 65 PhD students to successful completion. She has served as a member of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s Panels on Centres of Research Excellence in Population Health and Service Delivery. Her research interests cover innovation models, flexitarianism and the emerging area of sustainometrics. Two of the books she edited were awarded World Best Book in the prestigious 22nd and 24th Gourmand Awards. Altmetric ranks two of her papers in the top 5% in the world.

George Crisp 

Dr George Crisp is a General Practitioner in a small independent medical practice in Shenton Park (WA). An active member and representative of Doctors for the Environment Australia, he is interested in the links between health and climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental factors, and sustainable healthcare. Dr Crisp also teaches students and peers on environmental health. 

Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop

Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop worked as a Principal Scientist with Queensland Government Natural Resources, using satellite data to monitor three decades of vegetation cover and broadscale deforestation. He left government in 2010 to co-author the Beyond Zero Emissions’ Land Use Plan, a plan to take Australia’s land use and agriculture emissions beyond zero, and works pro bono with NGO World Preservation Foundation, focusing on deforestation, land degradation and biodiversity loss, and is on the Zero Emissions Byron Land Use Advisory Panel and is a Director of Replant Byron. He is co-author of the book accompanying the documentary Eating Our Way To Extinction.

Jayden Ordner

Jayden Ordner is a nutrition science and dietetics student, he also completed studies in Philosophy. Jayden is interested by the role of our food systems in the climate and environmental crisis. He is also the Doctors For Nutrition Victorian Dietetics Student Advisor.

Jessica Kneebone

Jessica is a General Practitioner with many years' experience working mainly in Aboriginal community controlled health organisations around Australia. She currently works as a GP at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in Hobart. Jessica has also dabbled in public health and she has a strong interest in the social determinants of health. She is current chair of the Royal Australian General Practice College Climate and Environmental Medicine Special Interest Group.

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Juliette Roex

Dr Juliette Roex (MBBS, Hons (BMedSc)) is currently in GP training in Adelaide, South Australia after graduating from medical school in 2017. Her view of the ‘health’ care system forever changed when her mother introduced her to the world of whole-food plant-based nutrition in 2010 in her first year of medical school. Ever since, Juliette’s dream has been to empower as many people as possible to adopt a healthier lifestyle, so that they can optimise not only their own wellbeing, but also that of the animals and the planet. In 2017, Juliette’s interests in nutrition and lifestyle medicine led her to complete a rotation at True North in Santa Rosa, California, under the guidance of Dr Alan Goldhamer, Dr Michael Klaper and Dr Doug Lisle. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell University and has enjoyed attending and speaking at numerous national and international symposia and conferences, including the Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference.

Klara Kalocsay 

Klara Kalocsay is Research and Content Manager at Food Frontier, the independent think tank and advisor on alternative proteins in Australia and New Zealand. She works on the research, data analytics and writing underpinning the organisation’s publications and resources, such as the 2020 publication examining the health and nutrition of plant-based meat alternatives. As a nutritionist with previous roles in health promotion in local government, as well as media communications, she is particularly interested in food policy, sustainable and healthy diets and population behaviour change.

Kurtis Boyer

Kurtis Boyer (Michif/Métis) is a faculty Lecturer, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. Much of his work as a political scientist enters around areas of Indigenous governance and political psychology.

Laura Chiavaroli 

Dr. Laura Chiavaroli is a Clinical Trialist and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto. Laura’s primary research interests over the past 10 years have been in the field of nutrition and cardiometabolic health, specifically on carbohydrate nutrition and obesity and diabetes. Alongside her mentor, Dr. David Jenkins with whom she completed her MSc and PhD, Laura gained vast experience working with the Portfolio Diet, Glycemic Index and on carbohydrates and sugars. Laura also has robust experience in nutritional epidemiology, specifically in the conduct of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, from her work with Dr. John Sievenpiper, her current mentor. Laura also has a great interest in education and mentorship. Laura’s overall goal is to elucidate important public health concerns regarding dietary carbohydrates and cardiometabolic health and influence public policy and nutrition guidelines in order to improve the health of Canadians and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, as well as to inspire students and others along the way.

Libby World

Elizabeth World is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Policy Officer at Dietitians Australia. Her work focuses on how systems affect the food we eat and how we eat it. She has particular interest in food regulation, planetary health and food-based dietary guidelines. Elizabeth lives and works on Ngunnawal land (Canberra) and wishes to acknowledge and pay respect to the sovereignty of First Nations people on this continent, and their connection to the lands and waters that nourish us.

Liza Barbour

Liza Barbour is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, employed by Monash University  to teach nutrition science and dietetics tertiary students their food systems sustainability and public health nutrition curricula. Liza is currently completing her PhD on the role of local government policy in facilitating a population-wide shift to healthy and environmentally sustainable diets. Liza is also a co-founder and owner of Dillicious pickles, Australia's third largest pickle manufacturer.

Mark Lawrence

Mark is Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. He has 35 years’ experience working as a practitioner and academic in food and nutrition policy at local, state, national and international levels. Mark’s research interests focus on healthy and sustainable food systems, dietary guidelines, ultra-processed foods, Nutrient Reference Values and food regulation. He has published widely on the topics of healthy and sustainable diets and healthy and sustainable foods systems. His latest research book, published in 2019, is: Mark Lawrence and Sharon Friel (editors). Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems, Routledge.

Melinda Zsori

Melinda is the co-founder of Skill-it Kitchen, an organisation created to fill the nutrition gap in medical education. This is done through online seminars and in person Culinary Medicine workshops for students.

Ros Sambell

Ros is a registered Public Health Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society of Australia, Lecturer at Edith Cowan University and Chair of the National Nutrition Network – Early Childhood Education and Care. Her current research interests include healthy food environments for early childhood education and care, farm to fork, work integrated learning in higher education and facilitating healthy food environments for local government. Her focus in research, is in translation, by improving population health outcomes using system based approaches.

Ros Sambell


Rosemary Stanton 

Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM is a public health nutritionist and a Visiting Fellow in the School of Medical Sciences at UNSW. I was a member of the last expert group on the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Infant Feeding Guidelines and have authored many scientific papers, 32 books, including several textbooks, and over 3,500 articles for magazines and newspapers, including Australian Doctor. I want to encourage everyone to think more about food – where it comes from, how to grow or prepare it, how it affects our health and how our choices impinge on climate change. I have no commercial conflicts of interest and have regarded by the media for over 50 years as a source of reliable nutrition information.

Ryan Alexander

Ryan is the Co-founder & Managing Director of No Meat May, a growing global movement inspiring & supporting people to shift to a plant rich diet during May, and beyond. Former Director of Corporate Services at Cancer Council Australia, Ryan is passionate about evidenced based information, building healthy & empowering communities, and the power of incredible food to change up our culture and help create a more sustainable and compassionate world.

Sara Harrup

Sara is a CEO who has worked across multiple sectors including health, medical education, and community. She currently works as the CEO of Foodbank Qld, an organisation that supports over 300 frontline charities in their food relief efforts through provision of over 14 million kg of food per year. Sara has a passion for the role of good nutrition in people experiencing social disadvantage.

Sarah Burkhart

Dr Sarah Burkhart is a Senior Lecturer in Nutrition in the School of Health and Behavioural Sciences, and the Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research at USC. Working with Pacific partners, academics and stakeholders, Sarah’s research centres on nutrition education and food provision in Pacific Island school settings and understanding determinants of food security across Pacific Island food systems, with a focus on food environments and consumer behaviour/food choice. Sarah is also involved in work to further integrate sustainability in higher education nutrition and dietetic curriculum globally.

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Shama Sukul Lee 

Sunfed founder & CEO Shama Sukul Lee, a software engineer turned hard tech entrepreneur, is reimagining the food system, starting with meat. Her breakthrough company, which started in New Zealand, uses clean technology to make meat without the animal, with debut product Chicken Free Chicken™ becoming a runaway success, followed on by the hugely successful Boar Free Bacon™ and the world-leading Bull Free Beef™. Shama’s vision is to create a highly scalable regenerative protein company that can feed the world without doing damage. Shama is conscious that food is the largest market in the world, the foundation of human health and the largest form of energy we consume, with a massive footprint impacting the whole planet. She believes changes in the food system can significantly transform the world: the better the food system, the better the wellbeing of all life.

Sharon Friel

Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University. Prof Friel is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia. She was the Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) of the World Health Organisation Commission on Social Determinants of Health between 2005 and 2008. Her research focuses on governance and intersectoral policy related to health inequities. Her 2019 book “Climate Change and the People’s Health” highlights the importance of addressing the global consumptagenic food system.

Simone Pettigrew

Simone Pettigrew is the Director of Health Promotion and Behaviour Change at The George Institute for Global Health. She leads a team of around 40 food policy researchers working across Australia, China, India, the UK, and the US.

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Sujatha Venkataraman

Sujatha is a Registered Nurse and educator based in the ACT, with a keen interest in whole food plant based nutrition.

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Suzy Amis Cameron

An environmental advocate, author of The OMD Plan, business pioneer and mom of five, Suzy Amis Cameron is committed to caring for the Earth, with a focus on plant-based food to address climate change, she created the OMD Movement. In 2020, Suzy and her husband, James Cameron founded MUSE Virtual, a K-12, online learning platform. She is also the founder of The Muse School, MUSE Global, Verdient Foods, Cameron Family Farms, Plant Power Task Force, and Red Carpet Green Dress. She is an Executive Producer of The Game Changers and was featured in 25 films, including The Usual Suspects and Titanic.

National dietary guidelines as a lever for attaining a healthy and sustainable food system

  • Kassam A, Kassam L. Rethinking Food and Agriculture: New Ways Forward. 'Introduction.' Woodhead Publishing; 2020.

    Other chapter extracts available at inclusiveresponsibility.earth. Chapter 15 recommended.:

Kassam et al Chapter 15 Healthy diets as a guide to responsible food systems.jpg
  • Herforth A, Arimond M, Álvarez-Sánchez C, Coates J, Christianson K, Muehlhoff E. A Global Review of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines. Adv Nutr. 2019;10(4):590-605. doi:10.1093/advances/nmy130

  • Asher KE, Doucet S, Luke A. Registered dietitians’ perceptions and use of the plant‐based recommendations in the 2019 Canada's Food Guide. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Published online 2021. doi:10.1111/jhn.12845


What do truly sustainable national dietary guidelines look like?

  • Goulding T, Lindberg R, Russell CG. The affordability of a healthy and sustainable diet: an Australian case study. Nutr J. 2020;19(1):109. doi:10.1186/s12937-020-00606-z

  • Springmann M, Spajic L, Clark MA, et al. The healthiness and sustainability of national and global food based dietary guidelines: modelling study. BMJ. 2020;370:m2322. doi:10.1136/bmj.m2322

  • Webinar on "The Healthiness and Sustainability of National and Global Dietary Guidelines" with Dr Marco Springmann, discussing his BMJ paper, hosted by Plant Based Health Professionals UK (private link, shared with permission)


Identifying and overcoming barriers to implementation

  • Wijesinha-Bettoni R, Khosravi A, Ramos AI, et al. A snapshot of food-based dietary guidelines implementation in selected countries. Global Food Security. 2021;29:100533. doi:10.1016/j.gfs.2021.100533

  • Cullerton K, Donnet T, Lee A, Gallegos D. Playing the policy game: a review of the barriers to and enablers of nutrition policy change. Public Health Nutr. 2016;19(14):2643-2653. doi:10.1017/S1368980016000677

Fresh ideas to drive multi-sectoral implementation

  • Backholer K, Baum F, Finlay SM, et al. Australia in 2030: what is our path to health for all? Med J Aust. 2021;214 Suppl 8:S5-S40. doi:10.5694/mja2.51020 - especially Chapter 7, 'Governance for health and equity: a vision for our future' by Baum, Friel, et al

  • Mozaffarian D, Angell SY, Lang T, Rivera JA. Role of government policy in nutrition-barriers to and opportunities for healthier eating. BMJ. 2018;361:k2426. doi:10.1136/bmj.k2426

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