Alex Shead – Founding Chairman
With a wide range of entrepreneurial experience focused principally in financial services, Alex has a 25 year track record in large scale merger and acquisition activity.
Alex is a Director at Pacific Green Technologies Inc. a public quoted US emissions control company cleaning up the air in China and the world and Non-executive Chairman at Lockton Companies Australia, the Australian company of Lockton, the world’s largest privately owned, independent insurance brokerage firm.
As an entrepreneur CEO, Alex has been a founder of numerous businesses including Stuart Alexander in the UK and Winsure in Australia both of which were sold to public quoted companies.
Alex conceived award winning non-profit organisation Fair Business in 2008, now rebranded to Food Ladder, in order to tackle issues on a global scale and has pioneered many models of social enterprise.
Kelly McJannett – CEO
Kelly McJannett is experienced in the development of high impact start ups that create broad reaching, sustainable impact and change.
As the CEO of Food Ladder, Kelly has driven the organisation’s growth throughout Indigenous communities in Australia and its international replication across some of the most challenging communities on earth.
With a background in communications and public relations Kelly holds a Bachelor degree from UTS and is currently completing her MBA at Sydney University Business School where she holds a full scholarship for her leading work in social enterprise development.
Kelly is passionate about creating sustainable solutions for pervasive social issues affecting communities around the world, and galvanising the power and passion of organisations, individuals and Governments to the movement.
In November 2016, the Australian Financial Review named Kelly among Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women.
Lisa Somerville – Innovation and Sustainability Manager
Lisa has an extensive specialised experience in innovating and delivering high quality projects, programs and social enterprises in multicultural and multilingual environments.
Lisa speaks five languages as well as Gumatj and Djambarrapunyu dialects of Yolngu Matha, learnt during her time working in Arnhem Land. Lisa has a Bachelor of Hons in Media Communications, Bachelor in French, Diploma in Japanese a Diploma in financial counselling and is working to complete a Diploma in Yolngu Matha.
From her early career working on high value projects in the South of France and Italy, to the last six years working in remote Indigenous Australia for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NGO’s and Aboriginal Corporations, Lisa works consistently through a sustainability lense, ensuring results that are future proofed to be economically and environmentally viable.
Lisa pioneered the introduction of cutting edge 3D printing technologies into remote indigenous communities, driving research and development which resulted in a machine that recycles waste plastics into usable 3D printing materials. This project has won three awards and is today being driven from inside communities, independently.
Lisa’s commitment to empowering people by providing access and training to the tools and infrastructure needed to build their own future led her to join Food Ladder.
Scott McDonald – Horticulture and Training Manager
Scott’s career in horticulture and related industries extends over 30 years, 25 years of which have been in the Northern Territory of Australia.
For the last 20 years, Scott has been a lecturer in Horticulture and Rural Operations for Charles Darwin University, with much of that time as the Head of Department.
With a focus on productive and sustainable landscapes, Scott has been involved in numerous projects, including aquaponic production systems, trials and research of traditional Papua New Guinean vegetables as well as an award winning underground water harvesting system for a small production nursery. He has worked with many Indigenous communities, assisting them to establish and maintain food gardens, as well as overseeing the development and daily operations of the food gardens at Charles Darwin University.
To further develop his knowledge across a variety of climates, Scott has volunteered on organic farms and a cultural heritage project in Denmark, organic farms in Italy and a permaculture farm in Sweden and studied the art of dry stone wall construction in Scotland.
Scotts long term commitment to sustainable food production, training, and the career development of people of all ages and backgrounds is what lead him to join Food Ladder.
Graeme Smith – Greenhouse technical advisor
With over 25 years of experience in soil-less hydroponics, Graeme brings best-in-class knowledge and acumen gathered through field experience around the world to Food Ladder’s ambitious goal to make its technology available to the most disadvantaged communities in the world.
From his roots as a vegetable grower in Victoria, Graeme has held the position of Foundation Secretary at the Hydroponic Farmers Federation before becoming the President of the Australia Hydroponic and Greenhouse association and, most recently completed a tenure of 5 years as the Chairman of Protected Cropping Australia Ltd. Today Graeme consults on commercial projects internationally and facilitates quarterly training programs across Europe, North America and Asia.
Graeme’s expert insight and counsel is driving technical innovation at Food Ladder and ensuring maximum productivity across its systems in Australia and abroad. In a further commitment to see Food Ladder become ubiquitous in India and remote Australia, Graeme has integrated his unique mobile phone application for remote disease diagnostics, meaning communities with Food Ladder technology can identify and treat issues in the greenhouse before they threaten the system’s ecosystem.
The Aurora Internship Program
Siobhan Kelton – Intern 2018
In 2016, Siobhan completed her Bachelor’s degree in political, economic and social sciences at the University of Sydney. Currently Siobhan is undertaking her Master’s degree in public policy, also at the University of Sydney.
Siobhan’s interest in the sociology of food has grown into a passion for alternate food systems. Next year, Siobhan will complete her dissertation on the topic of food sovereignty in Australia.
Siobhan is excited about achieving real change in the area of food policy and she is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to undertake an internship at Food Ladder as part of the Aurora Internship Program.
Genna Vlitas – Intern 2017 -2018
Genna is a student undertaking a Master of Dietetics at Monash University, after having
completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Food Science. She works in healthcare as a
nutritionist and pharmacy assistant.
Genna has experience volunteering for multiple organisations which promote food security, nutrition and health, such as SecondBite, Nutrition Australia and the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Project. She is also involved in delivering nutrition incursions in primary schools which focus on increasing young children’s fruit and vegetable knowledge and consumption.
Recently interning with Food Ladder, Genna investigated the diet and health-related impact of Food Ladder’s sustainable food production systems in remote Indigenous communities.