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First Sydney Urban Agriculture Forum - a wrap!

Nick Rose, Executive Director, Sustain

People, Plants, Place!

On Friday 11th November 70 people from diverse places and backgrounds gathered together at Sydney City Farm in St Peters to celebrate the first Sydney Urban Agriculture Forum. 

One of more than 200 events held by community gardens, small-scale urban farms, libraries, local governments and individuals as part of the 2nd Urban Agriculture Month, this event was a real highlight of the national celebration of the millions of Australians who grow or raise some of their own food and / or engage in related commercial and social enterprise activities. 

Attendees travelled from all over Sydney, the Illawarra, Canberra, the Central Coast and Brisbane to take part in this inaugural Forum. 

The 5-hour event featured tours of the City Farm, an extraordinary Welcome to Country from Uncle Brendan Kerin, a message from Sydney's Lord Mayor delivered by Cr Emelda Davis, and an overview of the findings and recommendations from the recently concluded inquiry into food production and supply for NSW by independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich. 

There were presentations from Clarence Slockee of Jiwah Pty Ltd, City of Sydney staff Lauren Flaherty and Belinda Thackeray, Royal Botanic Gardens Community Greening Officer Brenden Moore, Pocket City Farm's Chris Sara and Nick Rose from Sustain. 

The final hour was spent in small group discussion workshopping the Sydney and NSW food system using the Food Scan tool developed by Dr Sarina Kilham of Charles Sturt University. 

The whole Forum was wonderfully facilitated by ABC Gardening Australia's Costa Georgiadis. Everyone left enlivened, inspired and empowered to continue their work for environmental and social justice. There was a strong desire to make this an annual event, and do it bigger and better next year, with a hands-on tour of some of Sydney's urban farms and community gardens. 

Here's an illustrated summary of the day - enjoy! 

The Speakers 

Uncle Brendan Kerin, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Cr (Waskam) Emelda Davis, City of Sydney

Costa Georgiadis, ABC Gardening Australia, Sustain Ambassador

Alex Greenwich MP, Sydney

I've learnt about policy development, urban farm examples and great programs

Clarence Slockee, Jiwah Pty Ltd

I've learnt how many groups there are working across Sydney to continue to change our food system - and we need to stay connected! 

Brenden Moore, Community Greening Program, Royal Botanic Gardens

Chris Sara, Pocket City Farms

Dr Sarina Kilham, Charles Sturt University