About Us

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Food Frontier is the independent think tank on alternative proteins in Australia and New Zealand. We’re committed to growing our region’s protein supply with new, sustainable and nutritious options that create value for businesses, farmers and consumers.

Since 2017, Food Frontier’s research, events and engagements have helped leaders understand the emergence and unlock the benefits of plant-based meat, precision fermentation and cultivated meat.

Funded by grants and donations, our work is driven by a dynamic team of talented staff, interns, board directors and advisors. Meet some of them here!

TEAM & BOARD

Thomas King
Founder & Chair
Thomas is a founder, international speaker and future food specialist who has been recognised as one of Australia’s most accomplished young pioneers. For over a decade Thomas has driven food systems, environmental and poverty alleviation initiatives across five continents. He was named Young Australian of the Year VIC in 2015 and awarded a Myer Innovation Fellowship in 2019. Realising the huge potential of plant proteins and cellular agriculture to help safely and sustainably feed our growing global population, he founded Food Frontier in 2017 as Australia and New Zealand's independent think tank on alternative proteins. Thomas is a seasoned public speaker, having presented at over 100 conferences, schools and summits since 2014, including on-stage conversations with Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz, Dr Jane Goodall DBE and HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed. His story has been profiled across ABC’s One Plus One, The Sydney Morning Herald's Good Weekend and The Weekend Australian Magazine.
Jane Sydenham-Clarke
CEO
Jane is a strategic and hands-on leader, with an extensive career driving societal change through thought leadership, stakeholder engagement and innovative commercial practice. She has held executive and management positions in government, commercial and not-for-profit sectors, including current board roles. Across these complex environments and particularly in the health space, she has used pragmatism, empathy and evidence to build broad-reaching alliances and drive impactful domestic and international outcomes. Most recently, Jane was the inaugural CEO of Skyline Education Foundation Australia, and prior to that CEO at Freemasons Victoria. She has held transformational C-suite roles at Federation Square, Southgate Arts and Leisure Precinct, Kidney Health Australia and VicHealth. Jane’s strong alignment to Food Frontier’s vision and values and impressive track record engaging diverse stakeholders to drive purposeful systemic change are expanding Food Frontier’s reach and impact as the lead educator and facilitator in the alternative proteins ecosystem down under.
Hannah Andersen
Head of Strategy and Operations
Hannah is a strategist with over 12 years’ experience in communications and change management. Agriculture and sustainability have been common threads throughout Hannah’s career – from working on transformation programs with agribusiness Elders to joining the most recognised ethical label globally, Fairtrade. Hannah worked with Fairtrade in both the Asia Pacific and in a global capacity as the Head of Brand and Communications stationed in Germany. Through her work with Fairtrade, Hannah helped connect retailers and brands with farmers in developing countries to promote fairer global trade. Hannah’s passion for sustainability led her to the United Nations in Papua New Guinea where she drove inter-agency programs supporting the country’s progress toward the global Millennium Development Goals. Hannah is also an experienced corporate affairs consultant, with degrees in organisational communications and marketing and a diploma in project management that underscore the diverse knowledge and experience she brings to the Food Frontier team.
Jennifer Weber
Head of Communications
Jennifer is a corporate and consumer communications expert who began her career in New York City, primarily supporting food and beverage clients including iconic global brands Starbucks, Barilla, Heineken and more. It was during this time that a reading of Michael Pollan’s ‘In Defense of Food’ along with immersion in her clients’ world inspired a deep curiosity about the food landscape and the varying interests that shape it. After a decade working across large communications agencies and an in-house stint at global software giant CA Technologies, Jennifer relocated to Australia. At Porter Novelli Melbourne, she quickly immersed in the Australian landscape supporting clients across energy, automotive and FMCG. For Food Frontier, Jennifer brings her holistic perspective of the food sector and storytelling experience to lead the organisation’s thought leadership and stakeholder communications.
Rob Cairns
Head of Public Affairs
For more than 20 years Rob has navigated complex challenges facing numerous high-profile global NGOs and corporations. With a passion for creating robust, resilient rural communities, Rob is well known as a values-based leader with expertise in all facets of corporate and public affairs with a focus on natural resource management, sustainable agriculture and international trade. Rob has a keen ability to create new and different conversations in established spaces, bringing a genuine, people-focused approach to organisational and industry evolution. He has been instrumental in establishing and improving processes, driving market transformation and innovation, and implementing forward-thinking solutions that produce on-the-ground, impactful results.
Susie O'Neill
Head of Industry Engagement
Susie is an experienced stakeholder manager with an extensive career in the agriculture and forestry sectors, working with and across primary producers, government, R&D, regulatory and supply chain organisations. She has held executive positions with VicForests and Bayer, the latter of which included overseeing the development of the company’s grains industry supply chain management plan for canola, requiring collaboration across multiple constituencies. Susie’s early career with Aventis CropScience included sales and marketing roles focused on identifying product, marketing and market development opportunities. Susie recently completed an MBA, equipping her with design thinking and futures thinking techniques she believes can uncover new ways to solve problems and envision future pathways for an emerging sector.
Klara Kalocsay
Research and Content Manager
As both a nutritionist and a communications specialist, Klara brings varied expertise to her work on the research, data analytics and writing underpinning Food Frontier’s publications and resources. She began her career in Sydney at global agencies Ogilvy Public Relations and Sling & Stone, supporting communications for major technology firms and start-up clients. A growing interest in nutrition, food systems and public health inspired a return to university, where her love of research and data flourished. Klara simultaneously worked in-house at Uber Australia, supporting internal communications and serving as a member of the Green Team, where she applied a public health nutrition approach to Uber’s staff catering program. Prior to joining Food Frontier, Klara worked in health promotion and food policy in a local government setting. She is a member of the Australian Health Promotion Association and the Public Health Association of Australia.
Terence Jeyaretnam
Board Director
Terence is a Partner at EY and an environmental and sustainability specialist with over 25 years’ experience advising governments and corporations. In 2005, Engineers Australia named him amongst top 10 most influential young engineers in Australia. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Queensland’s Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development. Terence holds a degree in Environmental Engineering (UWA), is a Chartered Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia. He is a Lead Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner. Terence founded Net Balance and Net Balance Foundation in 2006, growing the firm to Australia's largest standalone sustainability and climate change practice, twice rated by BRW as one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in Australia.
Kat Dunn
Board Director
Kat Dunn is a humanitarian capitalist and the former CEO of Grameen Australia, a social business inspired by the work of Nobel Peace Prize Winner and founder of Grameen Bank, Professor Muhammad Yunus. Kat began her career as a lawyer at top tier law firm Clayton Utz and went on to lead the regulated fund establishment team for listed company, Perpetual Corporate Trust, where in 18 months she led over 40 deals with total funds under management in excess of $3 billion. In 2016, Kat was appointed the youngest executive to serve on the senior leadership team of Perpetual Limited. Furthermore, Kat has advised the Financial Services Council and Commonwealth Treasury, served as COO of tech media company, Ideapod, and she is the creator of F-OFF: Fear of Failure Forum, a movement to overcome fear of failure and grow potential, for which she coaches CEOs on connecting profit with purpose.
David Bucca
Board Director
For the first 13 years of his career, David worked in the aerospace industry for Boeing, Airbus and Pilatus Aircraft, covering a variety of technical and leadership roles in engineering, manufacturing, and quality assurance. Following a career change motivated by his passion for more sustainable and innovative food systems, David left Boeing and became COO of Hemple, an Australian hemp foods startup, and subsequently the APAC Regional Manager for Hungry Planet, a U.S. premium plant-based meat company. In mid-2019, he founded Change Foods which is recreating dairy products using microbial biotechnology, and whose mission is to develop sustainable, healthier, and more ethical food supplies for the future. He is a graduate of Melbourne Business School in Business Administration, and holds bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Science from RMIT University, as well as a Commercial Pilot Licence for aircraft.

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Sarah Nolet
Food Systems Specialist
HRH Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed
CEO, KBW Ventures
Angeline Achariya
Food Innovation Specialist
Bruce Friedrich
Executive Director, The Good Food Institute
Dr Liz Specht
Director, Science & Technology, The Good Food Institute
Teri Lichtenstein
Accredited Practising Dietitian
Michael Pellman Rowland
Impact Investment Advisor
Michael Christie
Molecular Biologist & Patent Attorney
Rob Hulme
Agribusiness Specialist

Meet our Founder, Thomas King

Food Frontier CEO, Thomas King, presenting at Seeds&Chips 2019 in Milan - ‘the global food innovation summit’ (VIEW FROM: 54:27)

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