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The Christchurch Vegan Expo proudly hosts a variety of interesting and informed speakers, talking on a range of topics around vegetarianism, including health and nutrition, animal welfare, and environmental issues. 




 11.00am – Making a difference, one meal at a time – Jennifer Riley (SAFE)
11.45am – The benefits of a whole food plant based diet – Dr Mathew Hobbs
12.30pm – Fun, creative animal rights activism – Jordan Wyatt (INVSOC)
1.15pm – Effective Altruism: Using evidence and analysis to do the most we can for animals – Catherine Low (Effective Altruism NZ)
2.00pm –The scale deception and creating a healthy mindset during weight loss – Julia Rose from Plant Physique

2.45pm – A vegan cooking journey – Aaron Brunet (MasterChef NZ winner)


Speaker Bios

Jennifer Riley is SAFE’s programme coordinator and creator of SAFE’s Eat Kind programme. She is passionate about creating a world where all animals everywhere are happy and free. Jennifer has over 10 years’ experience as a communications and government advisor. Prior to moving to New Zealand in 2015, Jennifer was the vice-chair of a volunteer-led charity in Canada, where she worked with volunteers across the city to save the lives of homeless and abandoned cats.

Mathew Hobbs is a local doctor who trained at Otago Medical school and also completed a degree in neuroscience. He currently works in general practice and specialises in chronic disease management. He has been researching the effect of diet and lifestyle on health and disease for the last eight years and works closely with Wellington lifestyle medicine specialist Dr Luke Wilson.

Jordan Wyatt runs the Invercargill Vegan Society (INVSOC), a creative and positive animal rights organisation from the nation’s (alleged) “vegan capital”! Focusing on interesting and opportunistic activism, his work has covered the gamut of soy milk giveaways through to entering a DeLorean into Invercargill’s slaughterhouse-sponsored Santa Parade. Winning best entry, the townsfolk were encouraged to “Brighten the Future for animals in need”.  In his spare time, Jordan soaks in the briny think-tank known as “A Vegan Future”.

Catherine Low is a science and ethics teacher from Christchurch, and is a spokesperson for Effective Altruism New Zealand. She also works for Students for High-Impact Charity, which brings practical ethics (including animal rights) to high school students around the world.


Julia Rose is the business owner and  founder of Plant Physique Ltd. Plant Physique is New Zealand’s premiere plant-based fitness and nutrition facility. Plant Physique’s main focus for their introductory fitness programs is to introduce enable anyone to transition into plant-based nutrition while getting fitter and achieving their weight loss goals. Julia is also a qualified NLP practitioner and is passionate about helping Plant Physique’s client achieve a positive mindset and healthy self image while transforming their bodies. Julia, in conjunction with other plant-based professionals, regularly holds workshops to help people break through  and dissolve negative eating habits and learn strategies that will empower them to move forward with their wellness/health and body goals.

Aaron Brunet won Masterchef NZ in 2013 as an omnivore, released his first cookbook and then experienced a burnout.  This began a personal enquiry into how he could live in our modern world in a way that made real sense to him, acknowledging the major issues of our times including climate change. He chose a whole-food plant-based lifestyle for its reduced impact on the environment, for the significant health benefits and to cause the least harm to fellow beings. Since late 2014 Aaron has written a column in Bite magazine, which became plant-based from early 2015. Recently he has been running plant based cooking workshops, and has just started doing “house calls” where he cooks with people in their homes and shares their real reactions.  As part of his environmental purpose, Aaron also has a part-time day job working with a community trust helping run the re-use shop at Auckland’s largest transfer station. This keeps his feet firmly on the ground (especially answering the “how did you end up here?!?” questions) and he finds the work very aligned with his food mission since both involve helping people transform their viewpoint on major issues.Expo 2013_065








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