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.
James Aspey - MC
James Aspey conquered leukaemia, drug abuse, and bulimia before becoming one of Australia's most well known animal rights activists.
He grabbed global attention in 2015 after completing a year long vow of silence and speaking for the first time in a powerful TV interview seen by tens of millions. Since then, James has continued devoting himself to raising awareness for "the most oppressed and victimised beings on the planet: the animals."
He has been tattooed for 25 hours to raise donations for charity and given hundreds of free, thought provoking, and entertaining lectures on his journey from being an apathetic meat eater to a passionate animal advocate. James welcomes friendly debate on his views, which are certain to challenge the way you see the world and give you plenty of “food for thought”.
Philip Wollen, at 34 was Vice-President of Citibank. During his travels, he witnessed cruelty so egregious he decided to do all he could to alleviate suffering, and give
away everything he owned – with warm hands – and die broke. He jokes “So far, we are right on budget!” Today, he is a “Venture Capitalist for Good Causes”, supporting some 500 mission-critical projects for children, animals and the environment in 40+ countries. He supports Children, Animals, and the Environment with schools, orphanages, animal protection, shelters, clinics, medicines, biogas plants, ambulances, bore-wells, sponsored cancer survivors to run 366 consecutive marathons around Australia’s coast, funded marine vessels, whale and seal rescue centres, primate sanctuaries, food, disaster relief, homeless people, victims of domestic violence, scholarships, the arts, health, forests and oceans, undercover anti-poaching operations through his operational “silos”, Kindness Farms, Kindness House, Kindness Oceans, Kindness Kids, Kindness Streets, and Kindness Mobile Restaurants for the Homeless. He has delivered speeches in the Parliament in The Hague, the Knesset Parliament in Israel, the European Parliament in Brussels, the World Parliament of Religions, Universities, and International Congresses and has discussed ethics with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Members of Parliament, Nobel Laureates and religious leaders from all the major faiths. The National Australia Day Council wrote: “Essentially a private man, Philip seeks no personal publicity. But he is not afraid to step into the limelight for a just cause”.
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!
Katrina Fox is an award-winning journalist, PR consultant, founder of VeganBusinessMedia.com, host of Vegan Business Talk podcast, and author of Vegan Ventures: Start and Grow an Ethical Business - the first global book providing success strategies for aspiring and existing vegan business owners. She has written extensively for niche and mainstream media for 18 years on animal advocacy and ethical business and is a regular Forbes contributor specialising in writing about vegan and plant-based businesses. Katrina teaches vegan business owners how to do their own PR and get free media coverage through one-on-one consultations and her signature online course and group coaching program Vegans in the Limelight. She loves glitter, bling and disco.
Kirsty Alger is a mother of three, living in rural Tasmania. Currently, she is working on the committees of Animal Liberation Tasmania and Tasmanian Animal Save. Her experiences as a hunter's daughter as well as (very briefly) a hand on a merino and black angus stud farm have framed her approach to engaging the community on the issues of animal rights. She is also a passionate feminist, actively seeking to deconstruct all systems of oppression in today's society.
James Perrin is a chemical & environmental engineer with experience in sustainability, innovation, and food manufacturing across Australia and New Zealand. His work has led to multiple sustainability awards, B-Corp certification, and community fundraising. In 2015 he was named one of the top young engineers in the world. As an influential figure in the conscious business community, James is an advocate for using business for purpose. He also believes that individuals, not just businesses, have the power to create a significant positive impact, and has come to realise the enormous environmental benefit of plant-based lifestyles. James is also an Ironman finisher, amateur ultrarunner, and conscious father who is currently building a low-impact family home in the Northern Rivers.
Nick Hancock is 28 years old and a proud vegan activist. He enjoys volunteering, playing baseball, and being an advocate for animals. He grew up in Whyalla South Australia and moved to Adelaide in 2009. He works full time and the bank owns his house, he drives a VY commodore and recently purchased a Mitsubishi Express which has been decked out with camping facilities. Since going vegan and learning about all of the industries he was unknowingly participating in he took the time to do the research and made the logical, rational, and informed decision to go vegan. He was so appalled at the industries that he felt compelled to start speaking out about them. He made the decision from then on to start speaking the truth and can honestly say that this has been the key to opening up his life to amazing possibilities.
Luke Weber has been passionate about animal rights and a vegan since 1997. He's had the pleasure to watch such a positive movement grow into what it is today. We are at a point where animal rights groups are really making an impact on the animal agriculture industry and to see so many other people passionate about the same things is something he could only have dreamed of back when he first became vegan. Besides delicious vegan food, he also loves music and has worked in the music industry for the last 15 years and has travelled the world with some of his favourite bands. He has a beautiful wife, seven cats and is completely addicted to video games!
Meet Seth Tibbott founder of the iconic, USA based Tofurky company in 1980 on $2,500 of his personal savings. Seth will share his insights on growing a vegan business using personal funds and bank loans and without selling any stock to outside investors. He will also discuss some of the most amazing developments in plant based foods around the world including the new Plant Based Foods Association in the USA that Tofurky helped start. Lastly he will look forward into where this current worldwide explosion in plant based foods is likely to take us.
Chris Delforce is the founding director of animal rights charity Aussie Farms. After releasing a documentary about Australian pig farming entitled Lucent, Chris’s home was raided by police, leading to Australia’s first-ever ag-gag trial. A second documentary, Dominion: Documentary, was released earlier this year and explores the many ways animals are routinely exploited and abused by humans.
What an incredible year Chris has had launching this eye opening documentary around the world. We cannot wait to hear how this has impacted industry and society since it's release.
Pam Ahern is Founder and Director of Edgar’s Mission. A lifelong animal lover, Pam cut her teeth on cat and dog rescue then went on to become a champion equestrian. However, she gave that all up when a tiny piglet, the eminent Edgar Alan Pig, trotted into her life and led her down a path she’d never imagined. With Edgar firmly at its heart, Pam built the sanctuary from the ground up and set in motion outreach programs that would bring farmed animals out of the dark unknown and into public view.
Kais - Vegan Embassy
After a car accident in 2003 at the age of 17 that led to the diagnosis of having Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer), Kais's changed forever. A dark time in his life that made him see so many aspects of life very differently. Having experienced pain and suffering to himself and those around, his empathy and will to help make the world a better place had become so strong that by 2015 his vegan epiphany finally happened. His passion for veganism is so strong that he got active and helps others to see what he didn't for so long, whether it was on the street through multiple activism groups, online, or in his social life. He felt it was never enough and more could be done. Opening a vegan business was the next logical step to help contribute to the much needed change in the world. It's what he likes to call "activism on a market level'. Combined with his other forms of activism, he hopes to inspire others to begin their vegan journey and help those already vegan to get active....power in numbers!
10 years vegan activist, public speaker, and direct action for animals. putting herself in the firing line for the animals. When not not breaking the law, Mippy Valentine is doing vegan outreach to open the hearts and minds of people around the world.
Joey went down the wrong track for 12 years of his life. He was once involved with gangs and substance use until it landed him in prison. A blessing in disguise as it forced him to see life with new eyes. After leaving the gang life and going vegan for ethical reasons, he wanted to give back and help human beings and others less fortunate. The animals were screaming out for help and very few were listening. So he decided to answer their calls and began speaking for them. He asks: “Please listen to my message with an open mind. Please help me, help them.”