Churchill Fellows shed light on innovative ways to tackle cost of living crisis

09 Apr 2024

Churchill Fellows shed light on innovative ways to tackle cost of living crisis featured image

As Australians grapple with soaring inflation rates, price gouging, and mounting cost of living pressures, the need for innovative solutions to ensure food security has never been more pressing.

Today in Melbourne, Nick Rose on behalf of Sustain: the Australian Food Network, is leading a symposium attended by Professors and MP Sarah Mansfield, alongside others to focus on food insecurity in the face of today’s global current affairs. This symposium is on the cusp of two upcoming parallel Victorian Parliamentary inquiries into the Victorian food supply.

More broadly nation wide, Churchill Fellows’ Nick RoseGavin Hardy, and Fiona Buining collectively shed light on potential avenues to alleviate these burdens while fostering sustainable food systems across the nation


Sustain Executive Director and Churchill Fellow Nick Rose recently called on the Australian Government to pledge $500 million for a National Edible Gardening Fund (the Fund). Nick’s call for the Fund could create 3000 new jobs while significantly boosting urban agriculture across Australia.

​Such an investment would not only stimulate economic growth but also bring substantial benefits to thousands of Australians, ensuring access to nutritious food while reducing reliance on expensive commercial produce.

Nick said: “We need a coordinated, whole of system approach to guarantee our food security and food system resilience for the long term. This means a food system and security strategy, a food council with representation from First Nations and all key sectors, a comprehensive map of our food supply chain to identify vulnerabilities,”

“Community gardens are literally the grassroots solution to the challenges posed by market concentration and rising food prices. They empower individuals, strengthen local communities, and contribute to food security,” said Nick.

Dr Rachael Coghlan, CEO of the Winston Churchill Trust said: “Churchill Fellows like Gavin, Nick and Fiona have demonstrated how fostering communal ownership and cultivation of food resources, can offer a promising solution to combat rising food prices and supply chain vulnerabilities.”

Gavin Hardy’s Churchill Fellowship focused on food forests and orchards by community, and on the potential of community-driven initiatives in mitigating food scarcity and enhancing local resilience. Gavin conducted extensive research into the viability of community food forests and orchards and how they can be applied and delivered here in Australia.

Similarly, Fiona Buining, another Churchill Fellow, delved into urban farm ventures that not only bolster food production but also provide vocational pathways for aspiring food growers. These initiatives not only contribute to local food security but also empower individuals to pursue meaningful careers in sustainable agriculture, thus addressing both economic and nutritional challenges facing Australians.

“As Australian continue to deal with the impacts of inflation and rising living costs, the time for decisive action is now. By embracing innovative solutions and investing in sustainable food practices, we can build a future where access to affordable, nutritious food is available for all Australians.” said Rachael.

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