Michele Lipner from OzHarvest

At last Friday’s meeting (18th Aug), we are thrilled to welcome Michele Lipner as our Guest Speaker.

Michele is the Coordinator of the food rescue program OzHarvest on the Sunshine Coast. This program has multiple aims – to help feed local people in need, divert quality food from landfill, and raise community awareness about food waste, food sustainability and local food security. The program partners with local food suppliers and charities, schools, community groups, community organisations and churches across the Sunshine Coast to help ensure those in need receive quality food. Overall responsibility for all aspects of program management including food rescue operations, education and awareness activities and corporate engagement.

Prior to establishing OzHarvest on the Sunshine Coast, Michele spent over twenty years in the aid and development sector, primarily working in conflict and post conflict environments in senior management positions with the UN and NGOs. Work largely focused on emergency response and humanitarian assistance to transitioning programming and peacekeeping missions. As a consultant, helped draft strategic guidance on civil-military coordination in UN peacekeeping operations; co-authored a study examining coordination efforts in disaster response (Working Better Together: An NGO Perspective on Improving Australia’s Coordination in Disaster Response); led the development of a multiagency document aimed at supported enhanced civil-military-police communication and understanding in international disaster response and conflict management, entitled Same Space—Different Mandates: A Civil-Military Guide to Australian Stakeholders in International Disaster and Conflict Response; and co-authored working papers on promoting good practice in evaluation and assessment of peace operations.

Friday’s presentation was titled ‘Food and Food Waste: Be Part of the Solution’. Michele talked about food insecurity and food waste in Australia, had a brief discussion about OzHarvest’s response to both and then talked about how we can reduce food waste at home.