Dr Polly McGee

Polly is returning to support our event again, for a 3rd year! Dr Polly McGee is an author, entrepreneur educator, digital strategist and yogi. As co-founder of Start-up Tasmania, she was voted one of the most influential people in Australian start-ups. She has worked with hundreds of start-ups to help them refine their business ideas and connect with their markets. A prolific speaker and writer on digital strategy and small business, Polly contributes to a range of publications and has created a suite of digital and video content and workshops. She continues to coach heart-centred entrepreneurs, helping them scale their businesses to make a greater impact in the world. She is strongly committed to the good hustle and believes all of life's problems can be solved with yoga and meditation, and by patting retired greyhounds.

Don Thomson

Don Thomson has a diverse background as a farmer, agribusiness entrepreneur, landscape architect, agricultural systems consultant and rural sociologists. He is passionate about ethical and regenerative agriculture that supports vibrant local communities and thriving circular economies. He was a livestock farmer for 28 years, in Victoria and NW Tasmania, but since selling the Tasmanian farm in late 2019 he is focusing on using his design-thinking, research and evaluation skills to help not-for-profits and businesses break through actual and perceived barriers and identify innovative products and new ways of working to achieve more positive economic, environmental and social outcomes. Don is now part of our Sprout Board team and brings with him such valuable and much needed expertise to help navigate the transition stage ahead for Sprout.

Diana McShane

With a strong personal interest in fitness and health (physical, mental, and emotional), I am passionate about improving the lives of others. My vision is to inspire and empower fulfillment in others through the power of Habit Change. Habit change skills can be applied to all areas of life...health, wellness, business, productivity, sustainability, relationships, and more. Harness your habits to serve you, not sabotage you.

As a city girl who married a farmer and moved to the Midlands of Tasmania, I have experienced the highs and the lows that comes with a life on the land, and of the land. These challenges whilst raising a young family, lead me into the world of health and fitness, health psychology, and remedial massage therapy and more recently the neuroscience of habit change, whilst continuing to support my husband in our family farm business. The diversity of my roles over the past 25 years has given me many opportunities to work with a variety of people in rural and regional areas. My desire is to see members of our agricultural community live satisfying, rewarding, and fulfilled lives.

Panel members

Holley Jones

Holley currently works within Public Health Services, supporting Tasmania’s position on public health
nutrition matters in the food regulatory system. Most of her working life has been at the
intersection of health and social policy and programming, working with Australian Red Cross on
local, state and national food security responses including policy and advocacy. Working in Timor
Leste alongside a fiercely clever and committed group of women running a malnutrition
rehabilitation centre, while also completing a Master of Public Health, has led Holley to be deeply
interested in the whole food system and the processes and politics that shape who eats what. Holley
is a public health nutritionist striving for a healthier, more fair food system everyone can enjoy,
without costing the earth.


Lauren Byrne

Lauren has multiple touchpoints and experience in the food industry, having been a chef in establishments in London and more recently Melbourne, before moving to Tassie with her husband Michael Layfield, growing their own food as a way of reconnecting with the full cycle of growing, harvesting and cooking.  This grew into starting their own market garden business, Felds Farm. Lauren is very passionate about playing her part in the Tasmanian food system, to ensure good, seasonal local food is available for everyone to enjoy. 


Leah Galvin

Leah Galvin is a freelancer and consultant working in Tasmania to build a resilient food system that creates positive impacts from the grower to the eater. She is passionate about having a greater connection between the food we produce in Tasmania and what we enjoy eating here. Her long term vision is for a food secure Tasmania. She has a background in public health nutrition, local and state government, working for not for profits, as a researcher, sales and marketing and as a policy influencer. Her favourite thing to do is work with like minded collaborators from across a variety of sectors. With her family she moved to Tasmania 8 years ago because everything felt possible here. She remains very positive about Tassie’s future despite the disruption of COVID19. You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Reuben Parker-Greer

Reuben is a Project Manager with MONA's 24 Carrot Gardens program with over 10 years experience in seed to plate education across Tasmanian school communities. He's passionate about instilling food literacy and eco-literacy through practical hands-on learning in school kitchen garden programs. 

Tom Westcott


Tom, along with partner Whitney run Tom McHugos in Hobart. Their focus is centred on a food and beverage offering that exemplifies their beliefs surrounding the future of food production and supporting the community of farmers, producers, and makers involved. Tom has been cooking for 13 years and has a strong interest in fermentation and preservation being fundamental to the way we consume and form part of the food production system.

Keynote Speaker - Sunday Dinner

Scott Rankin

Scott RankinScott is a writer, director and producer. For 28 years, he has also been the CEO and Creative Director of Big hART - Australia’s leading arts and social change organisation. Founded in Burnie in 1992, Big hART is a Not for Profit which has raised 60 million to fund large-scale, long-term projects and events in disadvantaged communities nationally.

For this work Scott was awarded the 2018 Tasmanian Australian of the Year, and Big hART won the 2017 Telstra Business of the Year and Charity of the Year.
Under Scott’s direction, Big hART have worked in over fifty communities around the country, with over 8500 participants experiencing injustice and disadvantage. These projects have delivered content to more than 2.4 million audiences on many different platforms. This work has garnered Big hART 45 national and international awards – including 9 National Institute of Criminology Violence Prevention Awards, a World Health Organization award for Safe Communities, a Helpmann Award and the Myer Performing Arts Group Award.