Sustain: The Australian Food Network

Sustain supports the transition to a food system that works for all Australians.

Sustain was formed in 2015 and incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable company limited by guarantee in January 2016. It is based in Melbourne, Australia, and currently hosted by the William Angliss Institute. Sustain emerged out of the work of Food Alliance (2009-2015), funded by VicHealth.


Sustain was established for the public charitable purpose of promoting health and wellbeing through a broader food-systems approach. The objects of this activity include the following:

  1. To support local governments to adopt and implement policies to protect, improve and promote the public health of their communities;
  2. To build the capacity of food system stakeholders to adopt and implement diverse changes to protect and enhance the health of all Australians;
  3. To establish and co-ordinate the Australian Food Network;
  4. To facilitate the development of communities of food-system practice;
  5. To support and publish community-engaged food systems research; and
  6. To provide food systems advice, consultancy and training services for the promotion and development of healthy and sustainable food systems.


Sustain works together with governments, the community-health sector, research institutions and other key food-system stakeholders across the public, private and community sectors to support the development of food systems that are fair, connected, healthy and sustainable.


The Board of Sustain embodies a wealth of experience and capacity:

Executive Director

Dr Nick Rose has extensive policy, research and practical experience with food systems, food security and food sovereignty. A Churchill Fellow and a Global Advisor to the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme, he has extensively researched the potential of urban agriculture in the United States, Canada, Argentina and Australia to address food security, resilience and sustainability challenges. He is editor of Fair Food: Stories from a Movement Changing the World. He was the  principal founder and former national co-ordinator of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (2010-2015). He has worked in advisory and consultancy capacities with local governments in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. In addition to his role with Sustain, he is currently teaching and researching food systems and food studies at the William Angliss Institute.


Sustain’s work is made possible through grants received from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, the Myer Foundation, as well as through the collective impact project, Cardinia Food Circles. This principal funder of this project since November 2016 has been Cardinia Shire Council, with smaller grants from RMIT University and the Casey-Cardinia Foundation’s Ripe for Change funding initiative. Sustain also undertakes bespoke consultancy and research projects as well as coordinates and hosts events and major conferences throughout the year. 

Legal Support

Sustain acknowledges the pro-bono public-interest law support of Arnold Bloch Leibler, Lawyers and Advisers. ABL came on board as Sustain’s honorary advisors in mid-2015 to help establish Sustain and achieve our charitable tax concessions. ABL continues to work with Sustain in the areas of corporate governance and taxation. Arnold Bloch Leibler is a premier Australian commercial law firm with a long history of giving back to the community. ABL offers strategic legal advice in the public interest to defend or assert rights, develop the law, or improve the administration of justice. Its clients are active in the cultural, health, religious, Indigenous and environmental sectors.