SEI is delighted to congratulate Alana Mann on her promotion to Professor and appointment as Head of Discipline at the University of Tasmania. A lead researcher with SEI since its commencement and Associate Professor in the Media and Communication Department at the University of Sydney, Alana’s exceptional scholarship and generosity of spirit will be sorely missed by all.
We are particularly grateful for Alana’s exemplary work in, and leadership of, the food systems research stream at SEI over the years. Some of Alana’s notable accomplishments in this area have included convening the Agrifood XXI Conference in 2014 and convening and chairing the Food @ Sydney Seminar Series across 2014, 2016 and 2017. Around this time Alana also published Global Activism in Food Politics: Power Shift (2014), which draws on grounded case studies of agrarian movements in the Americas and Europe as exemplars of a ‘power shift,’ as local opposition scales up to global action in an effort to wrest control of our food away from transnational corporations and back to communities.
Recently, Alana has acted as co-founder and Chief Investigator on the ARC funded FoodLab Sydney project, which became an unprecedented pilot partnership between the University of Sydney, The City of Sydney, FoodLab Detroit, and TAFE NSW. FoodLab Sydney has been an innovative and evidence-based means of addressing the lack of support for food business owners in Sydney, the need for sustainable food education and food innovation in Sydney, and growing food insecurity and food justice challenges.
Additionally, Alana has published two further books in swift succession: Voice and Participation in Global Food Politics (2019) and Food in a Changing Climate (2021), while continuing to offer a forthright voice for food justice in Australian media.
As may be clear – we could go on for some time detailing the long list of Alana’s impressive achievements. Perhaps the most impressive of all is Alana’s ability to undertake these projects while remaining firmly committed to the academic and food justice communities she is such an important part of. In the midst of everything else that she has going on at any one time, Alana always has a kind, incisive word and a bolstering smile.
In this spirit, we farewell Alana with gratitude for her accomplishments at the University of Sydney and best wishes for her next adventure, at the University of Tasmania. We have no doubt that Alana’s work will continue to shine both on the international stage and on the budding food justice groups and movements she cares for, nourishes and grows with in turn.
Header image: Alana Mann at the launch of FoodLab Sydney.