This year Veg Vic will be running the speakers zone called Vegan Voices. Sponsored by Northcote Natural Therapies, the talks at World Vegan Day educate and inform the public about issues such as sustainability, access to nutritious food, the ethics of our food choices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving water, reducing waste, animal treatment and exploitation, reducing food miles, increasing biodiversity, the environmental impact of animal industries, fitness and the economic issues regarding human food choices.



We are very pleased to welcome the following Speakers:

Philip Wollen

Philip Wollen is a former Vice-President of Citibank. At age 34, Australian Business Magazine named him in the “Top 40 Brightest and Best” executives in Australia. During his travels, he witnessed cruelty so egregious decided 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 supports some 500 mission-critical projects for children, animals and the environment in 40+ countries. He supports schools, hospitals, orphanages, shelters, clinics, sanctuaries, the arts, and humanitarian projects with biogas plants, medicines, feeding programs, disaster relief, ambulances, ships, bore-wells, scholarships. He campaigns against poaching, factory farming, vivisection, child labour, trafficking and the meat, dairy, fur, leather, and animal-entertainment industries.

He speaks to audiences around the world on diverse subjects such as Ethics, Business, the Environment, and Peace. Philip likes to be invisible. 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”.

Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers described Philip as “Reclusive”. In 2005 he received the Queen’s Birthday Honour “The Order of Australia Medal”. In 2007 he received the Australian of the Year (Victoria) award. In 2012 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Oxford Centre of Animal Ethics, UK. In 2014 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Adelaide.

Captain Peter Hammarstedt

Born in Sweden, 31, joined Sea Shepherd as soon as he was old enough to submit an application. He is the Director of Ship Operations for Sea Shepherd Global, sits on the Board of Sea Shepherd Global and is Chairman of Sea Shepherd Australia. In his thirteen years with Sea Shepherd, Peter has sailed the seven seas under the leadership of Captain Paul Watson, from the foreboding Labrador Coast to the treacherous Antarctic Continent, using direct intervention to save as many lives as possible from illegal whaling, sealing and destructive fishing practices. Peter believes that in their capacity to suffer, animals are our equals, and that when government fails in its responsibility to uphold the law, then it is the responsibility of compassionate people to fill the law enforcement vacuum.

Peter has crewed on nine consecutive Antarctic Whale Defense Campaigns and for the past four years, Peter has been captain of the M/Y Bob Barker. Three years ago, the Bob Barker, under Peter’s command, was rammed on several occasions by the factory whaling ship Nisshin Maru when Sea Shepherd successfully prevented the whaler from refueling. The campaign succeeded in preventing the slaughter of 932 endangered, threatened and protected whales. Peter was subsequently given the Young Environmentalist of the Year Award by the Bob Brown Foundation. On Operation Icefish 2014/15, the Bob Barker, also under Peter’s command, set the world record for the longest pursuit of a poaching vessel at sea after chasing the Interpol-wanted F/V Thunder for 110 days before it sank in the Gulf of Guinea. Peter was selected as one of the 25 ‘toughest’ people by Esquire Magazine for his leadership role in Operation Icefish.

In 2016, Peter signed a historic accord with the Government of Gabon, resulting in a partnership where Sea Shepherd worked together with the Gabonese Navy and the Gabonese Fisheries Enforcement Agency to patrol Gabon’s sovereign waters to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Titled Operation Albacore, the campaign resulted in the arrest of 4 IUU fishing vessels. Peter is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Winsome Constance Kindness Gold Medal for Humanitarian Service, previously awarded to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dame Jane Goodall, Mrs Maneka Gandhi MP, Captain Paul Watson, Dr Jill Robinson, Dr Christine Townend, Dr Ian Gawler and Sri Pradeep Nath.

Mark Doneddu

Mark has had extensive experience researching vegan health issues. He regularly presents talks on health and nutrition on behalf of Vegetarian Victoria. As well as being President of Vegetarian Victoria, Mark is a founder and Director for World Vegan Day Melbourne. He has spoken at many major events around the country. Mark has also been interviewed on many popular radio stations, such as the ABC, Radio National, 3AW, 3MTR, 3RRR, 3MDS, 3CR and newspapers such as The Age and The Herald Sun.

Over 180,000 of the Eating Up the World booklets have been distributed all over Australia that explain how the standard western diet is damaging the environment. Now the much awaited health version of this booklet is being released, summarising hundreds of the most ground breaking health studies. When it comes to preventing and reversing our biggest killers such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, ling disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer disease and obesity, a whole foods vegan diet has been shown to be most effective. In this talk Mark Doneddu sites many examples from the scientific literature to back up the claims that the Vegan diet is the healthiest of all.

Haans Siver

Haans has 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 to help get undercover footage in saleyards and chicken sheds.

Haans is the President of WEEAC Australia, Host of her own youtube channel, Bare Cravings and 4-time Sea Shepherd campaigner, 2nd Officer on the Steve Irwin.
“I speak for those that cannot”

Bonnie Murthy

Bonnie is co-director of Vegan Wares. She grew up with a passion for science, then worked in public relations for clients like Microsoft, Department of Human Services, Breast Cancer foundation and more. After years of searching, she finally found herself at home at Vegan Wares. She has a passion for sustainable & ethical fashion, production and consumption, and believes that educating the next generation is the way to turn the whole world vegan.

Bonny will talk about how “Taking the stigma out of vegan products: why being vegan production should be a baseline for all manufacturers; and sustainability concerns.” She will cover:
· Why veganism should be a standard code of practice in manufacturing
· Stigma attached to vegan products in the mainstream and how we can change that
· Lack of sustainability with some vegan manufacturing
· Why that is against everything we (vegans) stand for
· Why sustainability should be as important as ethics

Kristin Lajeunesse

Kristin Lajeunesse is founder of and writer for the award-winning website Will Travel for Vegan Food. In September 2011, the New York native began traveling throughout the US in an effort to eat at every single all-vegan establishment she can find. Eighteen of those early consecutive travel months were spent living out of a renovated sports van affectionately named Gerty. Almost immediately after beginning her journey, Kristin discovered a deep passion for nomadic and unconventional living, and has since chosen to maintain a mobile lifestyle, indefinitely.

As of July 2014, Kristin met her goal of visiting and eating in each of the 50 states and in April 2015 became a first-time traditionally published author (through Vegan Publishers) with her memoir: Will Travel for Vegan Food: A Young Woman’s Solo Van-Dwelling Mission to Break Free, Find Food, and Make Love. Kristin was recently awarded an around-the-world trip from, affording her the opportunity to take her project abroad for the first time. She’ll be/has been vlogging, writing, and posting to social media about Istanbul, Greece, Berlin, London, Brighton, Dublin, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Professionally Kristin is a self-employed business and lifestyle strategist; working with small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to turn their passions into profitable careers. She has a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College. Follow her travels and business adventures on and

Jason Carstens

Jason Carstens is a passionate vegan of twenty eight years. 2016 will be his eleventh consecutive year as voluntary M.C. of WVD as he has honed his skills over many years on the stand-up comedy circuit. He has been a committee member for several years and has assisted behind the scenes for the event for many more. Jason is a firm believer that veganism is a gift and that it is a duty to share it, once having been blessed enough to have received it.

“Sharing The Gift” is a vibrant, informative and humorous talk that offers a three step strategy to effectively espouse the numerous messages of the vegan cause. It also offers a simple avenue toward veganism for those that are yet to receive the gift that just keeps on giving.

Doug Leith

Douglas Leith has been involved in animal issues from promoting veganism to saving ducks to demonstrations for over 25 years and vivisection (animal experimentation) has been his primary focus. Since becoming aware of the terrible cruelty and later the non-predictiveness of animal research for humans and its counter productivity historically and presently as well as the enormous animal welfare implications he has presented information in this regard at the Animal Activist Forum, Cruelty Free Festival, World Vegan Day, Institute for Critical Animal Studies (Oceania), World Event to End Animal Cruelty (Melbourne) and at MacQuarie and Sydney Universities. He seeks public debate on the subject of animal experimentation and is pleased to see an increasing level of awareness amongst activists and the public of the fact that basing human medicine on other species is bad for animals and humans and of the scientific methods which should immediately replace it.

Andrew Taylor

A former elite junior kayaker, Andrew was clinically depressed and as far from his earlier success as he could be in 2015, tipping the scales at 151kg, when in a moment of clarity he realised the root cause of his problems was a food addiction. Aided by a degree in sports science and interest in nutrition research, the Melbourne husband and father decided that the humble spud could hold the answer. The story of his decision to treat his addiction by quitting food (almost) entirely quickly went viral and had world media in a frenzy.

The beginning of Andrew’s story will be familiar one, particularly if you’re a yo-yo dieter yourself or know someone who has struggled with their weight. But the solution to his problem might come as a surprise to you as it has to various from of media around the world who have covered his story from January 1st of this year: by quitting food entirely – all except the humble spud. The aim of the Spud Fit Challenge was to change his relationship with food, to stop relying in it for enjoyment, comfort and emotional support. Andrew shares what he’s learned this year about food psychology and some techniques for dealing with cravings. He also discusses the nutritional value of potatoes and shares how his physical and mental health has improved over the course of the year, including losing over 50kgs so far this year.

Bruce Poon

Bruce is an IT consultant, Fellow of Leadership Victoria and has served as founder and director of several companies and charities including Aussie Action Abroad. He is currently the President of the Animal Justice Party in Australia and a life member of Vegetarian Victoria. Bruce has given public presentations around the world about many aspects of plant based diets, including the environmental impacts of our dietary choices.

DIETARY CHOICES – GLOBAL IMPACTS – Learn how we can fight global warming, save water, protect biodiversity, fight poverty and improve our economy, all with the power of our forks.

Anna Weatherlake

Anna Weatherlake is an animal activist, eco-warrior, traveller, food enthusiast and journalism graduate. After a number of years working in the media industry, Anna found herself packing her suitcase to make a move to England where her partner, Australian cricketer Peter Siddle, was to be based for six months. On the other side of the world and without a job, Anna decided to combine her passion for animal rights and her love of writing and launch Earth by Anna, a lifestyle blog dedicated to cruelty-free fashion, beauty, food, travel and the environment. Now, Earth by Anna reaches 100,000 readers annually and aims to encourage and inspire people to live a more compassionate and cruelty-free lifestyle.

A lifelong vegetarian before turning vegan five years ago, Anna spends most of her time in Melbourne with her partner, four dogs and five chooks.

Leigh Chantelle

Leigh-Chantelle is a published author, international speaker & consultant, singer/songwriter and blogger who lives mostly in Brisbane, Australia. She has run the online vegan community Viva la Vegan! since 2005, bringing positive education, information and vegan outreach to a worldwide audience. Leigh-Chantelle gives lectures, workshops, consultations, and coaching for Understanding Social Media, Staging Effective Events, and Vegan Health & Lifestyle. &

James Aspey

Yo, I’m James Aspey, 29 year old chilla from Sydney, Australia. Back in the day I beat cancer. Then I became a personal trainer for 8 years and worked on cruise ships. I met an Indian guru who told me eating animals is bad karma. It sounded legit. I went vegetarian. Soon later, during a 10 day silent meditation course, I had the idea to stop talking for 1 year to raise awareness for animals.  I’m no hypocrite, so I became vegan. I travelled Australia during my vow of silence. I became a master of Charades. I cycled 5000km from Darwin to Sydney. I broke my vow of silence on Australia’s most popular morning TV show. The interview went viral. Now I travel, giving free talks and sharing my story. I also skate, surf, party, live in my van, love hip hop and loveeeee lifeeeee!

Wally Fry

Wally Fry is passionate about the environment, particularly where food production and farming is concerned. More specifically, he is well known for his determination in highlighting the detrimental impact that the meat, fish, poultry and dairy industries currently have on the planet. Because of its high degree of inefficiency compared to plant protein production, animal agriculture is disproportionately depleting the planet’s dwindling reserves of fresh water, land, fuel, and other resources. “The more that this is highlighted, the more the human consciousness as a whole will understand the need to minimize the impact we humans are inflicting on the environment,” Fry says.

Tammy Fry Kelly

Tammy Fry Kelly is a passionate ambassador for all things sustainable, green, and good for the planet, your body and your plate. Her over-a-decade experience at the helm of marketing at Fry’s Family Foods (an International Producer of Foods – also sold in Coles & WW in Australia) is guided by nutritional expertise, a love of fitness, love of the environment and outdoor lifestyle. Enabling others to live a happier and more energetic lifestyle through plant-based nutrition is the cornerstone of her passion. Tammy’s motto in life is: “Eat, Live, Consciously!” We need to take impactful yet simple steps to make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren.  As the Native American Proverb says: “We do not inherit the earth from our forefathers, we borrow it from our children”


Clare Mann

BSc, MSc, MA, PD Dip Couns, Reg Psych. CPsychol
Clare Mann is an organisational psychologist, existential psychotherapist and author of numerous books and training programmes. She is an expert in communication, skilled in dispelling the myths that limit people in their lives and work so they can create and satisfying lives which align with their values and purpose. Her education equips her with the skills to work in a variety of contexts and contribute creative interventions to challenges facing individuals and organisations.

Katrina Fox

From being chased by riot police during a demonstration against a farm breeding kittens for vivisection, to advising a high-profile whistleblower, Katrina Fox proudly helps rebels with causes to make a positive difference in the world by sharing their stories. A journalist since 1997, Katrina has worked on staff and as a freelancer for a range of niche, industry and mainstream media with a particular focus on social justice issues affecting people, animals and planet. She is the author/editor of several books, including chapters in Plant-Powered Women and Circles of Compassion. Katrina won the 2014 Voiceless: The Animal Protection Institute media award for print/online journalism for her article Speciesism: The Final Frontier for the ABC’s The Drum website and has been an ethical vegan since 1996.


Dr Alphonse Roex, MD, PhD

Dr Alphonse Roex completed his medical obstetrics and gynaecology training at the Free University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He now works as a senior consultant at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide and as a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide.

Alphonse has lived in Australia since 2000, together with his wife Heleen and three children. Based on the scientific validity and convincing extensive research they came across on the benefits of a healthy, whole food, plant-based diet in the prevention (and even reversal) of many common ‘lifestyle diseases’, he and Heleen made the switch to this diet for themselves.

Becoming frustrated with the vast amount of confusion in the general public and the healthcare community around the topic of nutrition and health, Alphonse and Heleen decided to share their knowledge by conducting educational presentations. These are held for the community, as well as in hospital ‘Grand Rounds’ for medical doctors and medical students. As independent doctors, they promote a scientifically substantiated approach to a healthy lifestyle. Regardless of one’s background, Alphonse and Heleen are happy to share this profound and often-overlooked information to anyone who is interested. With great fulfilment, they have noticed that an increasing number of people are beginning to understand how they can optimise their own health by simply switching to eating a whole foods, plant-based diet.

Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema, MD Paediatrician

Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema, paediatrician, migrated to Australia with her husband Alphonse and three children in 2000. She received her medical training in paediatrics at the Free University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Since 2010, she has been researching the medical and nutrition literature on the relationship between diet and our health. Heleen became fascinated by the abundance of well executed studies all indicating a whole foods plant-based diet as being not only preventative for many chronic diseases, but also often playing a curative role in halting and even reversing disease.

Heleen has earned her Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and Cornell University New York and became Australia’s first CertifiedFood for Life’ Instructor through The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s program in Washington DC. She runs 5-week ‘Food For Life’ courses for the community in Adelaide. Together with her husband Dr Alphonse Roex (PhD, Obstetrician – Gynaecologist), they present on health and nutrition topics, always backed by sound research. To date, they have conducted 17 presentations in Australia and the Netherlands, including Grand Rounds in hospitals and for medical students, with the largest audience reaching 400 people. Heleen and Alphonse regularly attend international plant-based nutrition and healthcare conferences to stay informed and inspired by the medical professionals at the forefront of the movement to recognise the vital role nutrition plays in health outcomes.

Vegan Transformations Panel

Host: Lucy Stegley, Raw Events Australia
Compare: Jason Prasad
Vanessa Cullen (More Than PKD)
Jan Saunders (The Beet Retreat)
Shamiz Kachwalla (High Carb Health)
Andrew Taylor (Spud Fit)
Raw Events is grateful to have been invited back to the curate another Vegan Transformations Panel for the Speakers’ Stage at World Vegan Day this year. You will hear personal stories and insights from both athletes and everyday people who have overcome fitness, mindset, physical internal and external setbacks to go on to thrive via switching to a vegan lifestyle. From suffering through various states of illness, weight issues, lethargy, depression, and lack of self-belief and direction, to excelling in fitness, career, and other life goals, these panel members have dug deep to turn their lives around. Through sharing their stories, the audience will find out what drives these plant-based role models to keep striving towards becoming the best version of themselves.


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