Feeding Change: Creating a community of food innovation and entrepreneurship in Launceston


This forum examines how community, education and design must co-innovate with industry if we want to create a globally recognised centre for food systems culture.

Start Date

20th Nov 2017 6:00pm

End Date

20th Nov 2017 7:30pm


School of Architecture & Design, Inveresk campus, Launceston

RSVP / Contact Information

Enquiries: E:; T: 6324 3290

Register NowLaunceston has a burgeoning food and drink culture. Community assets such as the Harvest Market, our vineyards, providores, restaurants and cafes all build on the region’s reputation for high quality produce and a resilient agricultural industry. With a growing focus on value adding, Launceston has all the ingredients to become the focus of one of Australia’s premier food regions. This forum examines how community, education and design must co-innovate with industry if we want to create a globally recognised centre for food systems culture.


  • Devita Davison, Executive Director, Foodlab Detriot
  • Sally Milbourne, Director, The Cultivate Group
  • Helen Norrie, Lecturer, Architecture and Design, University of Tasmania
  • Louise Morris, Ento-preneur and Executive Director, Rebel Food Tasmania
  • Roger Stanley, Centre for Food innovation, University of Tasmania

Facilitator: Tom Lewis, Executive Director, FermenTasmania

About the presenters:

Devita Davison

Devita Davison, Communications and Marketing Director, Foodlab Detriot

Devita Davison is the Director of Marketing & Communications at FoodLab Detroit, a non-profit organization that works to provide entrepreneurs with technical assistance, workshops, resources and the skills they need to start and grow a strong values-based food business. FoodLab is committed to serving low-resourced entrepreneurs of colour and sees good food entrepreneurship as a way to build power and resilience for traditionally marginalized people and communities and promote environmental sustainability through business practices and civic engagement by entrepreneurs

Devita Davison, a native of Detroit and granddaughter of a preacher, lived almost 19 years in New York before moving back to her hometown of Detroit in 2012. Devita combines her passion for culinary arts with activism and entrepreneurship. Her words are not just letters strung together; they are vessels for love and fight, heartache, wisdom, and profound joy. To say she wears her heart on her sleeve is an understatement; whether decrying injustices in the food system or expounding on the beauty of a ripe strawberry in summer, her passion for food justice is palpable.

Sally Milbourne

Sally Milbourne, Director, The Cultivate Group

Sally Milbourne is a born and bred Tassie girl. Growing up on farm land 15 minutes from Burnie, Sally had the privileged upbringing that living in the country affords; horse riding, camping, fishing; eating fresh produce was a way of life.

After working in the education industry for 15 years, Sally never envisioned stepping away from teaching completely. However a series of events and choices led her to retire from the profession early and tackle a whole new career path. 

The last 5 years has seen a dramatic learning curve in Sally's life, both as being a mother and a business woman. Sally and her husband, Ben, begun their own production company specialising in food and advocating their beautiful state. Sally is focused on improving food literacy education at all age levels and is using her assets in television production to create educational materials. She has also began a not-for-profit business, Cultivate Communities to run free food education courses for preschoolers to grandparents to enable everyone the opportunity to make healthy, sustainable food choices.

Helen Norrie

Helen Norrie, Lecturer, Architecture and Design, University of Tasmania

Dr Helen Norrie is a design academic working across scales from the curation of ideas through text and exhibitions, to the design of buildings and urban environments.

Helen teaches in the School of Architecture & Design at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and is the founder of the Regional Urban Studies Laboratory (RUSL - pronounced Russell), a collaborative urban design research project that engages directly with local councils and communities to examine urban spatial, temporal and social issues in small towns and cities.

Roger Stanley

Roger Stanley, Director, Centre for Food Innovation, University of Tasmania

Professor Roger Stanley is the Director of the Centre for Food Innovation (CFI) at the University of Tasmania, based at Launceston. His role at UTAS is to research and teach food science and technology with an emphasis in on added value food products. He runs a collaboration with Defence Science and Technology Food Research at Scottsdale and has focus areas on novel food processing and optimising the health benefits of produce.  

He comes from a background in Queensland and NZ developing added value processing of meat, dairy and horticultural products and researching their health properties. A major project currently underway is the introduction of MATS (Microwave assisted thermal sterilisation) technology from USA to improve the quality of ready-to-eat meals and make the technology accessible for innovation by regional food companies.

Louise Morris

Louise Morris, Ento-preneur and Executive Director, Rebel Food Tasmania

Louise grew up around farms, regional places and put herself through school working as a vet nurse, so has a bit of animal husbandry experience. 

She has mostly spent the past 20 years working in advocacy and campaigns on environmental and social justice issues. She worked as Campaigns Advisor to former Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, it is there that Louise got really excited about growing insects as part of a Tasmanian Local Food Economy system. 

For the past year Louise has been growing insects and doing R&D into 3 types of insect fed from food and farm waste, which has sprung into Rebel Food Tasmania, while also finishing building a strawbale house in regional Tasmania.

Louise is a founding member and on the board of the Insect Protein Assocation of Australia (IPAA), the industry body for insect growers for human food and feed.

Tom Lewis

Facilitator: Tom Lewis, Executive Director, FermenTasmania

Dr Tom Lewis has more than 30 years’ experience in commercial, research and academic roles in the food industry. Tom is a co-owner and Director of RDS Partners Pty Ltd (, Chief Executive of the Allergen Bureau Ltd ( and is a founder and Executive Director of FermenTasmania Ltd (

Previous roles include Business Development Manager for the Australian Food Safety Centre of Excellence, Research Manager for the Tasmanian Atlantic salmon sector, and Senior Biologist for abalone and oyster aquaculture ventures.

Tom’s current focus is on the design, management and delivery of collaborative food industry-focussed projects for private enterprises, the University of Tasmania, the Defence Science and Technology Group and the CSIRO.

Tom is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology and a Member of the Tasmanian Leaders Program Alumni.