Who we are

Food Fairness Illawarra (FFI) is a community coalition established in 2005 to work towards food security for all in the Illawarra region.

Our collaborative efforts involve working closely with our local councils, Health District, University of Wollongong, community groups, charities, businesses, and dedicated individuals. As a community coalition, FFI takes pride in spearheading collective action to create equitable and sustainable solutions for our local food system. We recognise that working together can achieve greater outcomes and create positive change towards achieving a fairer, more sustainable and local food system for the Illawarra. 

Our work strongly aligns with and supports the following United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals:

Our Vision & Goals

FFI Strategic Plan

Make healthy and sustainable food available and affordable for all

Goal - Availability

Grow a vibrant local food culture and economy which supports growers and producers

Goal - Access

Enable Illawarra residents to access affordable, culturally appropriate, nutritious, sustainable and local food

Goal - Use and Utilisation

Enhance food knowledge and skills within our community to make healthy food choices the norm and accessible to all

Goal - Stability

A coordinated, well-structured coalition to enable collective action

What we do

Connect & Collaborate

Connect & Collaborate

Bring our community together to connect and share information and resources.



Highlight local issues and lobby for policy and planning developments contributing to a fairer food system.



Strengthen community action and develop personal skills by providing tools, highlighting opportunities, and enabling knowledge sharing to drive the fair food conversation across all levels of society.



Inform and enable knowledge-sharing to drive the fair food conversation across all levels of society.



Contribute to and utilise the evidence base to build a fair food system.



Maintain a coordinated, well-structured coalition to enable collective action.

Our Team

Meet our coalition made up of members from
- NSW Health
- Healthy Cities Illawarra
- Wollongong Council
- Shellharbour City Council
- Kiama Municipal Council
- The University of Wollongong

Rosi Johnston

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District

Lauren Peters

Shellharbour City Council

Belinda Gibbons

University Of Wollongong

Galavizh Ahmadi Nia

Kiama Municipal Council

Tracy Venaglia

Wollongong City Council

Berbel Franse

FFI Coordinator

Healthy cities Illawarra

Deanne Condon-Paoloni

Founding Member

University of Wollongong

Robyn Tindall

Founding Member

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District

Our Achievements


Inception of Food Fairness Illawarra

Formed during Anti-Poverty Week, after attendance at a Sydney based food security forum highlighted the need for collaboration to unlock fairer food solutions in the local area


Low Cost & Free Meals Directory

Supported a successful grant for the Community Food Access Project with Wollongong City Council and developed the first edition of the Low Cost & Free Meals Directory.


OzHarvest comes to the Illawarra

Successfully advocated for OzHarvest to expand rescued food deliveries from Sydney into the Illawarra. Held the Food Health and the Environment Forum at the University of Wollongong which brought together key organisations to discuss solutions.


FFI Grows and develops

Membership grew to 100 with a membership survey undertaken which informed the FFI’s first Strategic Planning day. Engagement with the private sector was progressed by strategic actions undertaken with the Illawarra Business Chamber to facilitate advocacy work and promote food donations. Three locals councils lead by Wollongong Council secured the Illawarra Biodiversity and Local Food Strategy for Climate Change Grant. Three major conference presentations were made about local efforts.


Illawarra Regional Food Forum

Partnered with NSW Food Summit to host the Illawarra Regional Food Forum to facilitate regional perspectives on the recommendations made for Food Policy to NSW Government. “Food Production in the Illawarra” a fact sheet was developed including information on local agriculture and farmers markets.


Food Fairness Illawarra goes online

Expanded the fair food conversation across the community, through the development of FFI website and supporting marketing materials including a banner, logo and brochure. A plain English Food Donations Bill was developed with the view to establishing relationships with business sector for food rescue activities.


Advocacy for food security in urban planning

FFI Position Paper: A Safe, Affordable, Accessible and Nutritious Food Supply in the Illawarra presented FFI’s vision for a food system which benefits both our community and the environment. This aimed to support food security actions by local councils.


School gardens and National Food Plan

FFI added its strong voice to national and state advocacy and submissions on the National Food Plan. New local school gardening programs were established and supported.


Illawarra Regional Food Strategy

Supported the development of the Illawarra Regional Food Strategy in partnership with Shellharbour City Council, Wollongong City Council and Kiama Municipal Council.


Stop Good Food Going to Waste

Organised Stop Good Food Going to Waste afternoon tea with community organisations that provide food relief. This initiated the formation of the Food Rescue and Food Waste Working Group and enabled the successful grant application for the Illawarra Food Hub.


Collaboration for access to good food

Hosted a Food Forum Working Lunch that formed partnerships to increase regional collaboration for access to good food by vulnerable communities. Produced the traditional Sub-Saharan and Halal Food Directory for newly arrived refugees to the Illawarra.


Connecting over Fair Food

In partnership with Shellharbour City Council, Wollongong City Council, Kiama Municipal Council, University of Wollongong, ISLHD Health Promotion and Healthy Cities Illawarra an annual community building event ‘Connecting over Fair Food’ was launched and hosted during Fair Food Week.


Environmental Need Assessment

Undertook an environmental need assessment to identify effective engagement activities that grows a more resilient FFI community and build a fairer food system.



Informed by the environmental need assessment outcome, a ten-year FFI strategy was developed with support from UOW Business School. The Strategy describes how, in partnership we can work together towards our vision: Make healthy and sustainable food available and affordable for all. The Strategy is supported by an operational plan that is reset each year.


Food rescue augmented

Successfully advocated for the expansion of OzHarvest deliveries in the Illawarra from two to five days per week. This was appreciated by the many community organisations whose resources were stretched by increasing demand.


Food security in the Illawarra during the Covid-19 response

Mobilized local food security stakeholders to provide a rapid coordination response to the acute food insecurity situation caused by COVID-19, including the establishment of food distribution hubs and provision of a regularly updated Low Cost & Free Meals Directory.