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Our visionary founder and Chair of our Board, Stephanie Alexander OAM, is joined by a skilled group of professionals who determine the strategic direction of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
- Stephanie Alexander OAM
- Paul Bangay
- Ange Barry
- Carolyn Creswell
- Kate Doyle
- Prue Gill
- Marie Kick
- Helen Murray
- Natalie O’Brien
- Lance Stephenson
Stephanie is the author of fourteen books, including the best-selling Australian kitchen bible The Cook's Companion, and for over thirty-five years was a renowned chef and restaurateur. In 2009 she published The Kitchen Garden Companion, an inspirational family guide to growing and using edible crops. Her 35-year career has spanned books, words, food and young people, and she is now preoccupied with giving back wisdom and experience in meaningful ways. In practical terms this has meant establishing the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation and successfully lobbying policy makers to support its program of pleasurable food education which integrates with the general curriculum. In 2012 there were over 30,000 Australian children growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing seasonal food in 260 primary schools. The program intends to expand to include ten per cent of all Australian primary schools by the end of 2015. In 2012 Stephanie published her memoir, A Cook's Life.
Paul Bangay is arguably Australia’s preeminent garden designer. For over twenty five years he has designed gardens all over Australia and overseas, including locations in New York, St Tropez, Normandy, Positano, Jamaica, New Zealand and The Cook Islands. Paul’s early career was highlighted with the Botanica exhibitions that he designed as part of the Melbourne International Festival. ‘Botanica’ were hugely successful exhibitions with the garden loving public of Victoria, who attended in overwhelming numbers that amazed the organisers. There were five in total, held in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994. After the success of Botanica, Paul's publishing career commenced with his first book ‘The Defined Garden, followed successively by ‘The Boxed Garden, The Balanced Garden, The Enchanted Garden, Paul Bangay’s Garden Design Handbook and the latest title Paul Bangay’s Guide To Plants. His next book, due for release October 2013, is focussed on his latest country garden 'Stonefields'. In 2001, Paul was awarded the Centenary Medal, for outstanding achievement within the Australian community at the commencement of the new century. Paul is a proud board member of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
Ange came to the Kitchen Garden Foundation as the first CEO, with a directive to grow the reach of the Kitchen Garden Program beyond the initial three school communities. Combined with her qualifications in Business Management, Ange’s experience includes management of community organisations including media and children’s services, corporate roles in regional management in the financial sector and owner of her own small business during her family years.
Carolyn is the company founder and Managing Director of Carman’s Fine Foods, a leading Australian gourmet food company that supplies major supermarket chains in Australia and around the world. She brings to the Foundation 18 years of experience in the food industry and a passion for wholesome, real food. She is a popular public speaker and a former board member of the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Being a mother to four young children, Carolyn is passionate about educating children on the joy of real food and the pleasures of preparing and sharing good food.
Kate has been involved in the Healthcare Industry for over 15 years, predominantly in the area of sales and marketing of information technology for the hospital sector. During that time she managed and directed large-scale sales campaigns across the Asia Pacific region. This involved interaction with corporations, health services and government health departments. Kate has been a director of several companies, including Healthnet and iSOFT Pty Ltd. Kate brings to the Foundation enormous expertise in the areas of sales and fundraising, marketing and event management, and corporate governance. She is also passionate about food, the enjoyment it contributes to life and the opportunity it gives us to share with our families, friends and community.
Prue is recently retired from the classroom where she taught for over 40 years. She worked in government and private secondary schools, TAFE and Teacher Education at Monash University. Prue has also been involved at both policy and planning level in the design and implementation of VCE English, and was for many years an assessor of VCE English and Literature. She is a past president of the Victorian Association for the Teaching of English, a former member of the (then titled) Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board and is currently a member of the Literature Text selection committee. Prue has twice been to Uganda to help a district primary school for orphaned and vulnerable children integrate their permaculture garden into the school curriculum. This school is now a Kitchen Garden Program Subscriber and is proud of the work they are doing to help young Ugandans develop skills to assist food and water security in the region. Prue has also been a garden volunteer in the Kitchen Garden Program at Nunawading and Whitehorse Primary schools for many years.
After teaching for 15 years, mainly in the bayside suburbs of Melbourne, Marie Kick became involved in professional development for colleagues. Marie trained as an early literacy tutor for the ELIC (Early Literacy In-service Course) and then as a continuing literacy tutor for the Canberra Literacy Program. Marie has worked as a tutor-trainer for the ELIC program and fostered the networking of teachers across her region. She also has a particular interest in educating for a sustainable environment and promoting an inquiry approach to learning through an integrated curriculum. Marie also has worked as a writer for the Australian Children's Television Foundation and developed the teacher guide for the Lift-Off series called Lift-Off to the Environment.
Marie is currently Principal of Southmoor Primary School, which has been a Kitchen Garden School since 2007. Over the last ten years the school has developed extensive outdoor ‘learnscapes' (landscapes designed for learning) with organic vegetable, fruit and herb gardens, water tanks, a windmill, solar power, hydroponics, yabbies and aquaculture farming, ensuring that learning at Southmoor PS extends well beyond the four classroom walls.
Helen is a former teacher and social worker who was employed by the Victorian Education Department before taking a position as a lecturer in the School of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. In 1997 she relocated to the USA with her husband, and for eight years lived in up-state New York where she was Director of the Syracuse University Internship Program. Her responsibilities included arranging internships for students across the USA, and consulting with the internship programs in the University’s centres in Europe and Hong Kong. On her return to Melbourne in 2005 she was employed as the Community Wellbeing Program Manager with the Ian Potter Foundation in Melbourne until she retired at the end of 2010. She is a strong believer in the importance of intervening early in a child’s life to develop desirable attitudes and behaviours, and is very keen to see the Foundation’s food education program introduced into all Australian primary schools.
Natalie is the CEO of Melbourne Food & Wine. She spent several years at Tourism Victoria working on marketing of hallmark events, including the Melbourne Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Prior to this she spent five years working with the Cultural Development Department of the City of Melbourne. Currently Natalie sits on the Victorian Food Wine and Tourism Council as is a board member for Parks Victoria.
Lance is a fellowship member of CPA Australia (Management Accounting). His forty-year career has spanned almost two decades in senior financial roles for not-for-profit organisations, followed by two decades in managing sales and marketing activities within the corporate sector. Lance is very enthusiastic about the way in which young children have responded to the Kitchen Garden Program, particularly the way in which they have embraced the preparation of their own meals and the sharing of this food with friends. His involvement in the Foundation has been motivated by a desire to see it grow into a financially robust organisation, able to influence the social eating interests of a whole new generation of adults.