Suzy Amis-Cameron (2019 Speaker)

Suzy will be joining us by Skype.

A noted environmental advocate, founder and mother of five, Suzy Amis Cameron is committed to the principles of sustainability in all aspects of our lives, with an emphasis on plant-based solutions to address climate change. She is the author of OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet (Simon & Schuster/Atria) and the founder of the OMD Movement, a multi-pronged effort to transform eating habits and the food system. She is also a Founder of Plant Power Task Force, focused on showing the impact of animal agriculture on climate change and the environment, founded in 2012 with her husband James Cameron and Craig McCaw. In 2005, she founded MUSE School CA, with her sister, Rebecca Amis. MUSE is the first school in the country to be 100% solar powered, zero waste, and with a 100% organic, plant-based lunch program. Based on the engaging and relevant MUSE values and curriculum, they aim to franchise the model worldwide through MUSE Global. Additionally, Suzy is a founder of the plant-based initiatives, Verdient Foods, Cameron Family Farms, and Food Forest Organics, with her husband. In 2009, she launched Red Carpet Green Dress, showcasing socially and environmentally responsible fashions. Suzy has produced documentaries and serves on several nonprofit boards. As an actor she was featured in more than 25 films, including The Usual Suspects and Titanic.

Topic: New book release: OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet
Session: Sunday afternoon

Raniera Rewiri (2019 Speaker)

My iwi are Te Whakatohea, Tuhoe, Te Arawa and Ngapuhi

I have been sharing my journey to veganism on my Facebook and Instagram pages for just over a year. Things began to gain momentum when the idea of creating my own food services business called Tupuānuku came to fruition.

My interest are Te Ao Māori, self development, working with rangatahi and helping others.

Session details: Friday

Topic: Food Conscious Māori, sharing the connections between Te Ao Māori and Veganism

Dr Lora Wu (2019 Speaker)

PhD, registered clinical psychologist

Dr Lora Wu is a clinical psychologist and sleep researcher. She studied the effects of sleep loss on performance Washington State University before coming to research sleep in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Lora is based in Wellington where she is a senior research officer at the Sleep/Wake Research Centre and a clinician in private practice. Her research interests include sleep and circadian rhythms and their interactions with mental health and wellbeing. She is also keen to study environmental aspects of sleep health including the importance of natural light on syncing our rhythms. Her clinical work focuses on behavioural health as it relates to sleep, anxiety, depression, and stress.

Session: Saturday

Topic: Shining the light on sleep health

Let’s not forget about the other pillar of health: sleep! There is much to gain from tending to and optimising sleep and circadian health. This session will provide a brief introduction on what sleep is and how it affects you and your clients.

Sue Matthews and Anna Charrington (2019 Speakers)

Anna and Sue are presenting together to show top tips for cooking when making plant-based foods. There is no point in knowing the science of better living without knowing how to put it into action!

Sue is the ACE/STAR Coordinator for EIT (Eastern Institute of Technology), and Anna has been the resident chef for our community programmes for the last several years. EIT has been hugely supportive of our lifestyle change programme where participants are able to get hands-on with cooking.

Session: Friday
Topic: Cooking demonstration

What conference on food is complete without a cooking demonstration? This year we have a bit longer with the chefs so they can provide a bit more depth to some of the most useful tips on cooking.

Jasper Robards (2019 Speaker)

Jasper Robards
Permaculture Designer, Regenerative Integrated Agroforester, Organic Biodynamic Farmer and forever student of cultivating Universal Unconditional Spiritual Love, Peace and Respect for our Mother Earth and All Living Beings

Jasper was a crowd favourite from our 2018 conference and we’re lucky he has agreed to return for 2019!

Jasper has been an organic farmer since 2003, as he learned how to begin applying all-inclusive permaculture principles when he started growing food on his family’s land in the coastal desert of Santa Barbara, California.

Since 2012 when he came to the south Wairarapa, he has chosen to help grow his family’s vision of environmentally regenerative plant-based farming. He works with his wife Solimar and family, and an incredible local team, on Cameron Family Farms. This includes 22 hectares of polyculture food forest, beekeeping to increase pollinator populations, native tree reforestation, large-scale arable cultivation of legumes, hemp, vegetables, and an indoor sprouting operation.

His passion is connecting thriving organic ecosystems and communities together.

Session: Friday
Topic: Interactive session on Permaculture: designing regenerative landscapes

Jasper will guide you on some common ideas around permaculture, focusing on helping you to build skills and healthy soil in order to build regenerative landscapes. This is an interactive session so you will be able to take full advantage of Jasper’s knowledge.

Dr Mark Craig


Mark trained at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, dabbled in overseas medicine in India and Malawi before training in surgery, mainly ENT for 6 years. After seeing the light and moving into General Practice in North London, he came to New Zealand in 2010, working in a high needs practice in Auckland for 7 years before. He now works at Four Kauri Medical Centre in Mount Albert since 2018. He has 2 children, boys age 9 & 11, and keeps active in triathlon and adventure sports. 

He has a major interest in helping people transition and maintain a plant-based diet, and to help reverse and prevent chronic diseases, consulting independently in this area since January 2019. 

He became interested in lifestyle medicine and plant based nutrition after being introduced by a colleague in 2012 and realised that this was the missing link in his medical education.

Grant Dixon (2019 Speaker)

Grant Dixon, Film maker, Electronics Technicians Certificate, Diploma of Divinity (LTh), Master of Communications (Victoria University)

Grant Dixon will be presenting his film “The Big Fat Lie” and there will be an opportunity to interact with the film maker and ask him questions.

Grant is an independent film and television documentary maker. He researches, produces, writes, and directs broadcast quality documentaries that pick up on issues of public interest and social concern.

Previously Grant made films and documentaries for the New Zealand National Film Unit, TVNZ and TV3, that include the 1996 TV3 ‘Earthquakes’ documentary that predicted the destructive outcomes of the 22nd February 2011 Christchurch quake. A recut has received more than 130,000 YouTube views.

Grant became plant-based 8 years ago after he heard an interview with Dr Caldwell Esselstyn on Radio New Zealand. He has since become passionate about the need to reform Ministry of Health heart and cancer health policy.

Since 2015 Grant has produced four documentaries, three of which have been successfully shown on broadcast television. As well they all were officially accepted into international film festivals and have won numerous awards including ‘Best Documentary’ and ‘Best Editing’.

Grant’s latest feature length documentary ‘The Big FAT Lie’ has so far been accepted into four international film festivals, – one as a semi-finalist. This film is currently being road-showed around New Zealand and screened in cities and towns that include: Auckland, Christchurch, Whangarei, Alexandra, Dunedin, Hastings, Waipukurau, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Gisborne, Nelson and Wellington.

TBFL & 4 Film Fest laurels

Session: Saturday
Topic: Showing of documentary film “The Big Fat Lie” with Q&A after

Research shows that 80% of heart attacks and a third of cancers would be prevented if New Zealanders took up a whole foods, plant based lifestyle. This film calls for a radical change in government health policy, to state that heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many diseases and cancers can be prevented or reversed by adopting a whole foods, plant based lifestyle.

Prof Dr Kathleen Kevany (2019 Speaker)

Dr Kevany will be joining us via Skype.

Dr. Kathleen Kevany, Doctorate (EdD) in community building and social change and a masters (MEd) in counselling and human relations. Certified Canadian Counsellor and Psychotherapist. Currently completing certificates with the World Peace Diet and eCornell in Plant-based Nutrition.

Dr. Kathleen Kevany is well respected for her work as a social change agent in building vibrant, resilient and sustainable communities, and in enhancing individual health and community well-being. For decades she provided consulting and counselling through her own business, The Decentralized Intelligence Agency. After helping individuals, families, organizations and communities through so much pain and dysfunction, she realized that she wanted to devote her life to prevention and building optimal relations, through mindful compassion and holistic skills-building.

Kathleen has been vegan and a strong advocate for conscious consumption and compassionate diets for over twenty years. Growing up in a large Irish family, the sharing of songs and food were meaningful, though the diet was not always helpful. Although very active, her poor diet of meat, bread and cheese had unhealthy outcomes. Change was stirring. Kathleen took control of her food choices – improving her health, lightening her footprint, and better aligning her values of compassion and social responsibility through integrating plant-rich living. She continuously seeks ways to reduce gaps between her own values and actions.

Dr. Kathleen Kevany is the Canadian expert on the movements around plant-based diets and plant-rich living. She is frequently called upon as a speaker and researcher. To shift systems to plant-rich living, she works with a strong international network of colleagues, some notable partners are in Turkey, Spain, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, USA and Canada. Currently, Dr. Kevany, is an Associate Professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She is the author of many articles, book chapters and two books which are to be released in 2019: Succulence, Strength and Sustainability through Plant-based Living and Fear Less, Hope More. She seeks to further reduce her footprint by riding her bike everywhere, using little power, eating whole food, plant-based (mostly from the local farmers’ market), buying clothes second hand, and adding levity and lightness in her relationships. She knows she has more work to do and welcomes your ideas on how to use technology and techniques to further, “act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with the Earth.”

Session: Sunday
Topic: Lighten up and Cool this Planet Down (skype)

Dr. Kevany believes that now is the time for us all to be kind to ourselves and each other, to all living beings, and most importantly, to our life-giving planet. This presentation talks about the significant growth in the movement towards plant-based and highlights the many benefits that arise from our lightening up and helping the planet to cool down. She invites you to join her and assures you that the food is succulent and the way of life is meaningful.

Dr Malcolm Mackay (2019 Speaker)

Dr Malcolm Mackay, General Practitioner, BMBS (Flinders University), Grad Dip Human Nutrition (Deakin University), Board Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician (ASLM/IBLM)

Malcolm is a GP from Melbourne, Australia who has a special interest in preventing, treating and reversing chronic disease with a whole food, plant-based diet and other lifestyle interventions. Malcolm’s personal and professional interest in plant-based nutrition began in medical school 35 years ago. After graduating, he was actively involved with the Pritikin Health Association in Adelaide before furthering his nutrition education with a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition from Deakin University in the early 1990s.

In recent years, Malcolm has connected with the plant-based nutrition movement and leading practitioners around the world and is a member of the Advisory Council of the newly established charity organisation Doctors For Nutrition. He has attended the first six International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conferences in the USA and has completed the Plant Based Nutrition Certificate from eCornell University, CHIP Facilitator training and the Lifestyle Medicine Core Competency Program.

Malcolm has recently qualified as a Board Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician (ASLM/IBLM). With his partner Jenny they have created the website: and the Facebook page, Plant Based Health Australia. They run seminars and a 6-day immersion programs in Victoria.

Malcolm is a keen snow skier and a competitive distance runner. It was his desire to keep skiing and running as he grew older that initially motivated him to personally follow a whole food plant-based diet from his early twenties. Malcolm still posts a reasonable time for marathon and fun run events.

Session: Saturday
Sunday: The challenges of Incorporating Plant-Based Nutrition into Clinical Practice

Whole food, plant-based nutrition is the safest, most effective therapy for many chronic diseases but prescribing it to patients in medical practice is more difficult than one might anticipate. Malcolm shares his experience with introducing ‘nutrition as medicine’ to the diverse array of patients that attend a general medical practice, and then matching his approach to the patient. This is a lifestyle medicine approach, utilising the skills of behaviour change coaching, but woven into the chaotic and time pressured environment of real-life medical practice. Malcolm will discuss the patient resources he prescribes, the issue of dietary perfection vs pragmatism as well as some of the barriers and strategies that might lead to better time management and reimbursement.

Dr John McDougall (2019 Speaker)

John A. McDougall, M.D., Board Certified Physician

Dr McDougall will be joining us via Skype for an interactive session with audience. A great opportunity for him to reflect on his amazing and hugely influential medical career that involved being THE pioneer for lifestyle medicine!

Dr. McDougall was also honoured as the recipient of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. This award “recognises a lifetime achievement in the field and is the highest honour bestowed on a healthcare pioneer.”

Profile from his website:

A physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine, John A. McDougall, MD has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 50 years. Dr. John and Mary McDougall believe that people should look and feel great for a lifetime. Unfortunately, many people unknowingly compromise their health through poor dietary habits.

Dr. McDougall is the founder and director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program: a ten-day residential program that he and Mary McDougall host at a luxury resort in Santa Rosa, CA where medical miracles occur through diet and lifestyle changes. In addition to her formal training as a nurse, Mary McDougall provides many of the delicious recipes that make the McDougall Program not only possible, but also a pleasure. Dr. McDougall has cared for thousands of patients for 5 decades. His program not only promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits but, most importantly, can also reverse serious illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and others, all without the use of drugs.

A graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, Dr. McDougall performed his internship at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his medical residency at the University of Hawaii. He is certified as an internist by the Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He and Mary are also the authors of several nationally best-selling books as well as the co-founders of Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods, which produces high quality vegetarian cuisine to make it easier for people to eat well on the go.

Session details: Saturday
Interactive audience session. Dr McDougall is one of the most (if not the most) knowledgeable physicians in the plant-based arena. He joins us for an interactive skype session.