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AIFST Virtual Networking Event

  • 15 Oct 2020
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Via Zoom


Registration is closed

AIFST Virtual Networking Event 

Time: 7.00 – 8.30pm (AEDST)

6.00 – 7.30pm (AEST)


  • The AIFST Queensland Branch is hosting a virtual networking event  and you are all invited to come along.

    We have lined up a range of experienced foodies to share their experiences and answer your questions:

  •        How did you land on a career in food science?
  •        What has been your biggest challenge?  Where did you need help?
  •        What gets you out of bed every day?  What is your passion?
  •        What is your next move?
  •        What is your area of expertise?  What are you really good at?
Using the magic of Zoom, you will get the opportunity to interact with each of our panel members “speed dating” style in a small group.

Panel Members: 

Cassandra Budd (Cass): PD and Commercialisation Manager - Sweet Potatoes Australia.

Cass graduated in 2007 from Charles Sturt University with B. Applied Science in Food Science. 

Over the past 15 years, Cass has worked in primary industry and fast-moving consumer goods across a range of roles including Quality, Continuous Improvement, Operations, New Product Development. 

She has spent the last 22 years working in the food industry.  Starting out at 14 in a pie shop.  Food certainly is a passion!  But beyond that Cass has a vision for the world where no food is wasted, and no-one is hungry.

Her mission is to create and commercialise products that eliminate food waste and provide food for hungry people.

Cass believes it’s exciting times for Food Technologists globally.  There is a big focus on fighting food waste and with primary production contributing to more than 30% of Australia’s food waste, it’s a terrific opportunity to make a difference – particularly in the agricultural sector. 

Cass hopes are to engage the future leaders in food science though the AIFST and create a support platform to raise the profile of Australia’s talented food scientists.  

Dr Polly Burey: Food Science Senior Lecturer, Associate Head School of Sciences - University of Southern Queensland

Polly’s main passion in life is solving problems and sharing knowledge.  Many of the problems she has worked on have all come back to the food industry.  She likes communicating complex ideas simply, and this has translated into an almost 20-year career in academia teaching many food science and engineering graduates, along with industry-focused research. 

Polly’s recent focus is on rescuing ‘food waste’ and turning it into other useful products.  This involves working on not only the technical and practical processing aspects, but also the economics of doing so (technoeconomics). 

Polly greatly enjoys putting students in contact with people working within the food industry and guiding their development; she is still in contact with students she taught over 15 years ago and now they are guiding her recent graduates.  She also likes bringing industry contacts together when there is benefit to solving larger problems.  If you have a problem, or want to find information Polly is always happy to try and point you in the right direction.   

Dr Chris Downs:  Non-Executive director AIFST, GM Crop and Food Science, Agri-Science QLD

Chris is General Manager for Crop and Food Science at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Brisbane. In this role he leads the delivery of research, development and extension in Agri-food and Data Sciences, Crop Improvement and Sustainable Farming Systems

Chris has experience working with meat, dairy, seafood and horticulture sectors in Australia and New Zealand. He has previously held executive positions in Food Science Australia, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences and the NZ Institute for Crop & Food Research, with responsibilities including; capability development, science strategy and leadership, investment portfolio leadership, business development and commercialisation.

His current and previous Directorships include companies involved in innovation and commercialisation in seafood and biomaterials, and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, and the Institute of Food Technologists in the USA.

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