The theme for the 2018 Convention is Innovate & Excite: acting today to advance tomorrow. The 2018 Convention will bring together an exciting, diverse and experienced line-up of over 50 local and international speakers who will share their knowledge, insights and learnings around innovation across a range of key areas.


Conference Streams

No matter what your professional interest, level of experience or background, the four concurrent streams across the two-day convention have something for everyone.



Consumer Insights

Current and future trends in nutrition and the changing consumer - how to understand consumer needs and harness these insights to deliver products to excite.

Gut health is an important area affecting overall health and wellness – hear about the latest research and findings to support consumer health and wellbeing.

Enabling Innovation

Sign up for this workshop facilitated by Angeline Achariya, Monash Food Innovation Centre designed to spark new and exciting ideas.

The Australian Food Engineering Association (AFEA) will focus on relevant and key innovations in food engineering.

Hear first-hand from innovative businesses, both small and large sharing their journeys, learnings successes and opportunities.

Supporting Innovation

Asia is continuing to grow as an important market for Australian businesses and navigating the food regulations in this market can be challenging – gain knowledge and information to enable you to advance in this market.

The Australian Association for Food Protection symposium will focus on current relevant and key issues to support food safety.

Innovations in food safety systems – are we there yet?  What is next is on the horizon and how do food safety systems support innovation.

Allergen management continues to be a key challenge for industry – hear the last updates with a series of short, sharp presentations from a range of perspectives.

What are you doing about?

This stream covers current topics of relevance to the everyone in the food industry – food waste and food fraud.  We also hear from our colleagues in the agricultural sector and how we can better work together to innovate & excite.

Speaker Highlights

Over 50 speakers will address the 2018 AIFST Convention over the course of 2 days, Tuesday 11 September and Wednesday 12 September 2018. Below is a snapshot of some of the speakers that will address the Convention:


Keynote and Plenary Speakers 

Ros Harvey, Founder and Managing Director, The Yield

Ros Harvey is an experienced entrepreneur and executive in the field of technology – particularly the Internet of Things (IoT) and user-centric design. Ros is committed to creating public good through the innovative use of technology, which is reflected throughout her career. Since Ros founded Australian AgTech company The Yield in 2014, it has become one of the industry's fastest growing technology success stories. The Yield is backed by several leading global businesses including Bosch, KPMG and Microsoft. Ros is passionate about technology playing a role in the sustainable governance of the planet, and is an accomplished speaker on AgTech, IoT, converting data to knowledge and the future of food. Ros founded the globally-recognised Better Work program, a landmark joint program of the World Bank and the United Nations. Ros also co-founded the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre and the Knowledge Economy Institute with Dr Michael Briers, for which she remains an active non-executive director and strategy advisor, respectively. Ros also co-founded the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre and the Knowledge Economy Institute with Dr Michael Briers, for which she remains an active non-executive director and strategy advisor, respectively.

Ros will present the 2018 JR Vickery Address in honour of the inaugural President of AIFST, JR Vickery on the morning of Tuesday, 11 September 2018. 

Public good with Private effort: innovation in digital supply chains

Digital technology creates new opportunities for public good with private effort. Our challenge in the agri food supply chain is not just the technology but the business model. Ros will reflect on the supply chains of three industries – apparel, finance and food – to draw insights for the future of food safety.  

Brianna Casey, CEO, Foodbank Australia

Brianna was appointed CEO of Foodbank Australia in July 2016 following her successful term as CEO of Australian Childcare Alliance NSW and prior to that 14 years in agri-politics.

Brianna will provide a keynote address on the afternoon of Tuesday, 11 September 2018. Brianna is also a member of the panel discussing "Harnessing Innovation to address Food Insecurity" to be held after her keynote address.

Will solving Australia’s $20B food waste problem end hunger in Australia

The Foodbank Hunger Report 2017 revealed that 3.6 million Australians have experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months, whilst Foodbank’s recent Rumbling Tummies report revealed that more than 1 in 5 children in Australia has experienced food insecurity in the last year.  Clearly, the food insecurity challenge facing Australia is massive.  So too is Australia’s food waste problem.  Currently costing the economy more than $20 billion per annum and contributing significantly to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, there is not only a social imperative to solve this problem, but also an economic one.  Brianna’s session will look at the impact of food relief on children and adults alike, and will also look at the role of all key players along the food supply chain in helping achieve food security in Australia.

Angeline Achariya, CEO, Monash Food Innovation Centre

With more than 20 years of diverse international innovation & leadership experience in blue chip multinationals. Angeline led teams in innovation, strategy development, market expansion, R&D, Quality, Regulatory, Packaging functions. Angeline's leadership resulted in over 800 innovations in FMCG, FS & QSR retail channels in Japan, China, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia markets.

Angeline is running the Innovation Culture Ideation workshop on Tuesday 11 September and will be speaking on the morning of Wednesday 12 September 2018.


Michael Tristram, CEO, Trisco Foods

Mike Tristram is the CEO of precise and Trisco foods. He joined the family company after a hair singeing experience made him re-evaluate the lucrative career of professional fire twirling. Mike holds an MBA from QUT which taught him that he should have gone to more lectures in his undergraduate degree instead of going to the pub. As a fifth-generation syrup maker Mike is passionate about Family Business, Innovation & Lean manufacturing. Mike has a keen interest in the intersections that occur between human intrinsic motivation, personality and intelligence as they relate to role success. Mike currently sits on the AIGroup QLD branch council, advocating for the manufacturing industry. Mike will provide a keynote address in the morning of Wednesday, 12 September 2018.

Dr Mirjana Prica, Managing Director, Food Innovation Australia Limited. 

Mirjana loves food and wine, which is why she works in the Australian food and agribusiness industry. She believes the impossible is possible and gets a buzz from developing creative solutions for maximum benefit. She currently leads Food Innovation Australia Limited, a national and industry-led organization, established to drive innovation and market initiatives for Australia.

Hear Mirjana speak on "Clustering accelerates Success" in the morning on Wednesday 12 September. 

Cindy Luken, Founder & CEO lük beautifood

Cindy Lüken is an accomplished entrepreneur, food scientist, product designer, chef and former biscuit baker, wife and mother of two young children, is pioneering the Clean Beauty movement in Australia. Following her mantra ‘live the life you love’ in 2012 Cindy created lük beautifood using her knowledge and expertise in food and nutrition to create beautiful, multi-sensory lipstick from food without using synthetic or toxic ingredients.

Hear Cindy speak on the afternoon 12 September. 

Julie McDonald, CFO MDH Pty Ltd and Director, Pindora Foods

Julie  McDonald  is  the  CFO  of  MDH  Pty  Ltd and Director of Pindora Foods Pty Ltd.  MDH (McDonald Holdings) is one of  Australia’s  largest  family owned and operated beef cattle supply chains with a wide geographical spread of country throughout QLD and a 10,000 SCU feedlot on the western Darling Downs.

Julie Will be presenting in the afternoon on Wednesday 12 September 2018.

Brooke Donnelly, CEO, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation


In Brooke’s current role as the CEO of APCO she is responsible for developing and leading the strategic direction and vision for sustainable packaging in Australia. Brooke has an extensive background in Sustainability, Recycling, Packaging and Product Stewardship.


Panel Session: Harnessing Innovation to address Food Insecurity

Brianna Casey, CEO, Foodbank Australia

Brianna was appointed CEO of Foodbank Australia in July 2016 following her successful term as CEO of Australian Childcare Alliance NSW and prior to that 14 years in agri-politics. Brianna will be a panellist in the Closing Plenary session on Tuesday 11 September. 

Dr Steven Lapidge, Fight Food Waste CRC

Steven (Steve) Lapidge is currently the Director of the Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) Food Innovation Taskforce. He has 15 years of experience working in the agri-food industry, having worked around Australia and internationally.  He is the Co-Chair of the National Food and Nutrition Strategy Resource Efficiency and Sustainability working group, and in recent years has represented Australia at G20 and OECD meetings on food loss and waste.  Skills that Steve brings to the AIFST Board include new business development and fund raising, food industry resource efficiency and sustainability strategy, and a keen interest in preventing food fraud. Steve will be a panellist in the Closing Plenary session on Tuesday 11 September.

Dr Geoffrey Annison, AFGC

Dr Geoffrey Annison joined the AFGC in October 2007. He has wide experience in food regulation and innovation, having held several senior technical and management roles in industry in Australia and overseas, in academia, and in public policy. His career has spanned several sectors including the FMCG sector with Goodman Fielder and the AFGC, the rural sector with organisations such as Australian Pork Ltd and AWB Ltd. and research providers such as Massey University in New Zealand and the CSIRO in Australia. Dr Annison has a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Food Technology and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of New South Wales. Geoffrey will be a panellist in the Closing Plenary session on Tuesday 11 September.

Ishan Galapathy, Capability Unlimited 

Ishan has a wealth of knowledge in the field of Operational Excellence, working across six countries for nearly two decades, including companies such as Kellogg’s and Campbell Arnotts. An industry expert in Operational Excellence, speaker and author, Ishan lives in Sydney with his wife and two sons. Ishan will be a panellist in the Closing Plenary on Tuesday 11 September.