(7pm, Tuesday 16 October 2012, TAP Gallery 278 Palmer Street Darlinghurst)
Thank you Clare (Hooper MC) and welcome everyone to Exposing Hunger: Capturing Solutions.
I'd like to acknowledge the original custodians of our land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, and pay my respects to their elders, and I acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our city.
I'd also like to welcome The Hon John Dowd AO QC.
Today is World Food Day and across the globe more than 870 million people are hungry, despite the fact that enough food is produced to feed the world twice over every year.
Food is a basic human right, but a person's gender, their access to land and markets, population growth and climate change can affect whether they eat or go hungry.
Women produce over 70 per cent of the world's food but they own less than 1 per cent of its resources. If women were given the same resources as men, they could produce 20 per cent more food for their communities. As this exhibition suggests, we need to invest more in women.
Organisations such as ActionAid and AFAP are doing just that, and we'll hear more about these programs from people with first-hand experience.
City dwellers also have a role in creating a fairer, and more sustainable food system. We need to think in a greener and more ethical way about how we source food.
Whether it's by working at one of the City community gardens, finding out more about plans to establish a City farm in Sydney, or simply trying to shop at local farmers markets, we can all make a difference.
The City is hosting a City Talk on 13 November looking at how cities need to respond to issues of food sustainability and I invite you all to come along and take part.
This exhibition helps raise awareness. ActionAid Australia and AFAP Action on Poverty held a competition to find a talented young photojournalist who could tell stories about some of the programs these agencies are delivering in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
In finding Lani Holmberg, they did just that. Her photographs capture the very human face of food insecurity while also showing us some of the tangible and sustainable solutions that are providing hope. They are compelling images and I congratulate Lani on her work.
You'll also see the People's Choice Award, selected from images submitted by the top ten competition entrants in response to the question: 'What does food security mean to me?'
I would encourage everyone to go to the competition website and have a look at the thought provoking entries from each of the competitors who were in the running for this award.
Exposing Hunger: Capturing Solutions is a wonderful exhibition and I am honoured to have been asked to officially launch it this evening.
Congratulations to Lani and to all the photographers. Your work will help raise awareness of food security and motivate more Australians to think about the role they can play in supporting long-term solutions.