Having been brought up on a cattle and horse-racing property, I transitioned to a plant-based diet over a decade ago. The newfound vitality I experienced after making the switch was convincing enough.

However, it was intellectually satisfying to be assured that over a century of science and observation by leading healthcare professionals confirmed the efficacy of this lifestyle for optimum wellbeing and longevity. Once I also became informed of the equally compelling animal welfare and environmental reasons to adopt a fully plant-based diet, it was logical to commit to veganism for the long term. After all, the science tells us that every move along the continuum to include more plants – and less animals – in our diets has a corresponding improvement for our health.

I have been sharing my passion for healthy lifestyles since founding Raw Events Australia in 2010, and have coordinated over 400 medical, fitness, culinary and film events that showcase my worldwide network of plant-powered changemakers. During this time, I also helped establish the world’s first vegan university cafeteria: Realfoods at RMIT University. In 2018, I co-founded the registered health-promotion charity Doctors For Nutrition and spearheaded the inaugural Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference, which featured presentations from over 20 plant-based local and international medical experts. In 2020, I joined the national charity, Vegan Australia as a Board Director, and became their representative on the Vegan World Alliance initiative.

Coming from a farming background, I appreciate that it’s not always straightforward to make the switch to vegan if you may feel like a bit of the ‘odd one out’ among your social circles. By helping the Vegan Easy Challenge participants to be aware of the overwhelmingly positive and fun aspects of this lifestyle change, I hope to help encourage them to have a fresh perspective on their positive choices and community connections.

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