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This project will make visible fault lines in the processes that enable and constrain the way we produce, market, consume, and dispose of food in Australia today.

These include the unfinished business of Indigenous recognition, land ownership, management and harvesting of natural resources; technological transformations in production processes; tensions between cities and the regions; economic dependencies on global trade; the marketisation of water; and unprecedented threats of climate change. It is rare for these issues to be treated as integrated parts of a system that is understood as human made and driven, and equally able to be positively intervened in by human action.

IPCS seeks to stimulate vigorous public debate leading to significant change in the way our food system operates. We will help foster a new public imagination to transcend the current political impasses over relations between cities and regions. We will work intensively and respectfully across fields of scholarship, grounded expertise, invested communities and larger publics, building a people’s movement for change at a time when such change is urgently needed.

The Future of Food project is supported by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and private donations.

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Lauren Rickards

RMIT University

Stefano de Pieri
Restauranteur and community leader

Associate Professor
Melinda Hinkson
IPCS and School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University



Future of Food


Project Blog

17 Jul 2021

Future of food project update

At a time when agriculture is more likely to be grasped in terms of speculative investment than common good, food has become a powerful prism for grappling with the logics by which power circulates in the world.

8 Mar 2021

In Mildura

Melinda Hinkson and Lauren Rickards travelled to Mildura to kickstart the future of food project.

26 Nov 2020

Reimagining Regional Relationships

Melbourne’s second lockdown and the enforced separation of the city’s residents from those of regional Victoria and the rest of the world has proven a sobering time in which to reflect upon a complex relationship.

28 Apr 2020

Locked in place

COVID-19 and lockdown have stopped us all in our tracks. In doing so, they have clamped into place numerous environmental injustices.  One is that the places we have suddenly been …

Project Events

29 November 2021

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

A new social contract for food

Australian political culture encourages those of us who reside in cities to imagine farmers as a separate mob, ‘out there’. But as Gabrielle Chan puts it in her new book, Why You Should Give A F*ck about Farming, ‘there is no farmers and others. If you eat or wear clothes, the decisions you make influence farming’.  


Gabrielle Chan
Richard Cornish
Stefano de Pieri
Pete Mailler
Lauren Rickards

21 October 2021

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Running Out

While the causes of today’s contestation over water can be traced back through Federation and colonisation, the past two decades have brought new issues to the fore. From traditional owners’ demands for recognition and allocation of cultural water, to the de-coupling of water from land and pressures on irrigators to compete in a newly deregulated market, to the ecological impacts of over-extraction, to aggressive transnational trade in water for profit, to the broader impacts of climate change on water availability—it is clear that water is now ground zero in a supercharged battle over incommensurable interests and values.


Rene Woods
Sue Jackson
Scott Hamilton
Stuart Kells
Howard Jones
Jason Alexandra
Lauren Rickards

11 March 2020

7:30 pm - 7:30 pm

The Future of Fire

We explore the devastating impact of the fires on Aboriginal land and heritage, the future risks to Australia’s existing modes of food production, and talk about burning regimes to mitigate risk.


Mick Bourke
David Bowman
Alexandra Gartmann
Neil Morris
Dean Yibarbuk