The speakers are at the heart of the Vegan Festival Adelaide. These amazing communicators explore and illustrate the Festival's core themes through their own personal stories and passions.
Australian animal rights activist James Aspey has risen to celebrity status in the vegan community over the past few years. In 2014, he embarked on an unprecedented and life changing challenge by taking a 365 day vow of silence to raise awareness for animals and promote peace over violence. He traveled around Australia and cycled 5,000km’s during his campaign. James ended his vow of silence on Australian TV in an iconic and inspiring interview seen by millions. In 2016, he was tattooed for 24 hours in a campaign which raised $20,000 for charity. James travels the world giving free speeches on veganism and one of his speeches has over 11 million views online. He has also opened up about his past with cancer, drug abuse, and bulimia in efforts to help others in these situations. The list of people inspired by James is long and growing every day.
Lynda Stoner worked as an actor throughout most of her life including theatre, musicals, TV shows including Young Doctors, Cop Shop, Cleudo, The Flying Doctors, Shark’s Paradise and Prisoner and movies including Echoes of Paradise and Crawl. She has been an animal rights activist for 46 years, ever since reading Professor Peter Singer’s “Animal Liberation.” She has been involved in countless sit-ins and rescues and exposes into the cruelty of battery hen facilities, broiler sheds, and pig factories. She is currently the CEO of Animal Liberation and a Director of Animals Australia. Six years ago she wrote the cookbook “Now Vegan!” which was reprinted four times. Adelaide is her home town and she is thrilled to be here!
An avid Crossfitter, 5th Dan Karateka (many times South African National Champion), self defence coach, surfer, businesswomen, public speaker, and mom of 2 little boys, Tammy Fry embodies health & wellness. Her father, Wally Fry, grew up as an animal farmer where meat was a staple in his everyday diet. Tammy’s mother, Debbie Fry, is a lifelong vegetarian. Together they helped to inspire Wally to embrace a vegetarian diet and sparked the creation of Fry’s Family Foods Co.
Now with over a decade experience at the helm of marketing at Fry’s Family Foods, Tammy is guided by nutritional expertise, a love of fitness, and a love of the environment and the outdoor life. Her blog (seed-blog.com) enables her to share recipes, lifestyle tips and plant based advocacy ideas. She is also the director of Meat Free Mondays AUS and South Africa where she promotes a flexitarian lifestyle as one of the major solutions to unsustainable food choices, global warming, and cruelty. Tammy has spoken at over 50 schools and universities in South Africa on the topic of food choices and climate change as well as presenting to numerous corporations and assisting them in adopting the concept of meet free days in their canteens and workplace. Recently, she has taken her message to the global stage, having spoken to audiences around the world including London, New York City’s Climate Change Summit, and Australia.
Joey Carbstrong is a reformed drug user and gang member. He now stands for and promotes a sober lifestyle, veganism, and animal rights. Joey has been an active member of the Adelaide animal rights scene and has recently been invited to speak in the UK. With his warm, compassionate manner, Joey has had a huge influence on so many he has met and spoken with. He is excited to include you as part of his journey of peaceful activism. After all, peace begins on your plate.
Simone Collins is a graphic designer working full-time for Doherty's Gym and Arnold Classic Australia. In her spare time, she trains both herself and is a personal trainer for vegan clients. Simone is also a champion, winning the IFBB Victorian State Championships in 2014, and placing 1st this year at the Naturally Fit Games, Austin Texas, as part of the Plantbuilt Vegan Muscle Team. She began training in 2010 and became interested in competing in bodybuilding as a figure athlete, competing since 2013 in Figure, and since then have competed in 8 Figure competitors, 2 CrossFit competitions, obstacle racing, and Ninja Warrior. She uses this a platform to demonstrate that vegan diets are not a disadvantage, change the perception and stereotypes of vegans, and bust the myth that animal-derived foods are necessary for building muscle.
Tegan Steele is an author, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, health & wellbeing guru, wholefood alchemist, Kundalini & Yin Yoga teacher, beauty therapist, personal trainer, and animal advocate. She is passionate and creative, with conviction and love woven deep into her goal of spreading true health to as many as possible. Tegan is a specialist in the field of physical detoxing and the healing of bodily ailments. Her energy is refreshing and exciting to be around as she paves a sparkling path on her journey of helping to uplift others. Tegan is based in Melbourne where she leads women’s circles, helps run her family’s thriving café Urban Projuice, and continually creates health-inspired products for her Ocea range
Darth Vegan never intended on becoming a vegan animal rights activist, as is probably the case with most. Turn the clock back 5 years ago, a self-confessed carnivore who would commonly indulge in a steak with a side of sausages was blinded by the reality of his consumption. One summer day in the waiting room of a mechanic with spare time to kill came the reality and shock to the system that was required to make real change. A 'casual' viewing session of Earthlings changed his life forever and he went vegan overnight. A month later Darth Vegan was born and a journey of discovery and of the impact that humans had through the "social norm" indoctrination and addiction to eating animal products ensued. While veganism is a strong part of his life, veganism is not what defines him as an individual. Bringing his personal traits of zero f**ks given, facts over feeling, and a personal motto of personal accountability and responsibility to all facets of life, Darth Vegan brings a sharp edge that helps spread the message of veganism with the harsh reality. He may offend, he may be overly provocative in his tone, but the end goal is to change the way people view animals as food.
Luke Weber makes the connection - veganism through empathy. In his public appearences, Luke explores the critical importance of empathy in the transition to a vegan lifestyle. He also addresses the multiple ways that activists approach the subject of animal rights and veganism, analysing how each approach can reach different demographics and help people make the connection.
James is a chemical and environmental engineer with experience in sustainability, innovation, and food manufacturing across Australia and New Zealand. He has led multiple businesses to national and international sustainability awards, has gained B-Corp certification, and has been invited to speak in front of the NSW Business Chamber, at international engineering conventions, and at the World Environment Day Festival. In 2015 he was named one of the top young engineers in the world. James is passionate about using business for purpose, and long-term strategic thinking. Through this, he has come to realise the enormous global benefit of plant-based lifestyles.
Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema and Dr Alphonse Roex
Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema, paediatrician, migrated to Australia with her husband and three children in 2000. She received her medical training in paediatrics at the Free University in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Since 2010, she has been researching the medical and nutrition literature on the relation between nutrition and health, becoming fascinated by the abundance of well executed studies that indicate that a healthy plant-based diet is not only preventative for many chronic diseases but can also play a curative role. Heleen earned her Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and Cornell University New York and became the first Certified Instructor in Australia . The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s “Food for Life” program in Washington DC and is now running 5-week courses in Adelaide. Heleen, along with Lucy from Raw Events Australia and The Plantrician Project, co- organises nutrition in medicine educational symposiums aimed at bringing knowledge of the latest in plant-based nutrition to health professionals.
Dr Alphonse Roex, MD, PhD moved to Australia in 2000 with his wife and children. He had previously received his medical degree (cum laude) from UtrechtUniversity in the Netherlands and completed his Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist training and his PhD thesis in Amsterdam. Presently, he is employed as Senior Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The Lyell McEwin hospital in Adelaide and teaches Year 5 medical students as Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide. He has won the ‘Best O&G Teacher’ award ten times. He has a keen interest in evidence informed ‘Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition’ and how it can improve our health and prevent chronic diseases. ,Together with Heleen he has given more than 30 presentations about Nutrition and Health in Australia and Overseas.
Haans Siver - Sea Shepherd
Haans Siver spent most of her life helping the voiceless but it wasn’t until 2009 when she discovered the slaughter of the dolphins in Taiji that her path really unfolded. At the time she was a nightclub owner. After doing many months of research, she realised there are more problems out there than anyone can imagine. Deciding to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, Haans left her venue and became a private investigator, vegan, and animal rights activist. Using her PI license, she collects undercover footage in saleyards and chicken sheds. Haans has been vegan for 7 years and her only regret in life is that she didn't do this sooner. Haans is also the President of WEEAC Australia, host of her own Youtube channel "Bare Cravings", and 5-time Sea Shepherd campaigner, 2nd Officer and ship manager on the Steve Irwin and 2nd Officer on the Ocean Warrior. She speaks for those that cannot.
Chris Delforce runs Aussie Farms, a repository of photos, footage, and research covering farms and slaughterhouses across Australia, built to tackle the myth that animal abuse “doesn’t happen here”. In 2014, Chris released Lucent, a feature-length documentary focusing on the Australian pig farming industry with footage from over 50 farms, and in early 2018 will be releasing a follow-up entitled Dominion which will explore more broadly the various ways that we use and abuse animals in Australia.
David Quirk - MC
Stand-up comedian, actor, skateboarder, and vegan, David Quirk has cemented his place on TV screens and as an original voice on the international comedy circuit. David has enjoyed hit live shows in Australia and the UK and on screen he has played Damian in the acclaimed Tasmanian ABC series "Rosehaven" and been Josh Thomas’ love interest in "Please Like Me". He has also collaborated with with Sam Simmons in the ABC TV series "Problems" and Sammy J & Randy in ABC1’s "Ricketts Lane". Receiving multiple comedy awards, his 2016 show "Approaching Perfection" garnered unanimous four-star reviews and toured Australia and the UK
"His observations are revealing, his realisations endearing – Quirk is a comic not to be missed." - The Skinny (UK).