Slow Food Saddleback News

What is happening at the national level – Celia Wade Slow Food Saddleback Convivia leader

Slow Food Australia formed a working group at the last Conference in Ulladulla late last year. The aim is to increase membership, provide more information both for members and the general public, and streamline and encourage the Ark of Taste process.

The group has been hard at work with monthly telephone meetings, and communication and working party meetings in between.

As leader of Slow Food Saddleback convivium, I am on that group and am amazed by the amount of information we have dealt with, and the work involved with preparation for the 2016 Terra Madre Salone de Gusto in Turin, Italy later this year. Obviously trying to budget for web site development,  membership kits and getting both product and Chefs and producers to Turin in September is upfront at present.

I can only congratulate the chair of the group Deb Bogenhuber from Mildura for keeping us on track and moving forward. Of course she is also heavily involved with planning for this year’s Conference in Mildura in November – I would recommend you attend if possible, it will be a stimulating, fun and good eating event. More details later, so follow the web site for updates.

I don’t want to bore you with detail, but I am aware that some of our members are very keen to know more about the International body and its purposes. In my next post I will update you on some of the International activities.

But here is how the Australian organisation works!

Slow Food Australia governance structure


  • Paid-up members of Slow Food – elect national working group and leadership group membership at national conferences.
  • A portion of membership fees remains with the local convivium, the majority goes to supporting international projects and activities, and a portion goes to national activities, through Slow Food international.

Working groups

  • Elected by members at national conferences.
  • Between conferences, responsible for working on particular areas specified by the leadership group at a national level to progress the aims of Slow Food in Australia.
  • Some working groups include representation from Slow Food International or are concerned with international aims/projects, others are focused on Slow Food in Australia.
  • Report to leadership group.

Leadership group

  • Elected by members at national conference.
  • Between conferences, responsible for setting strategic direction of Slow Food in Australia, including for national working groups.
  • Report to members.

Australian Councillor

  • Nomination process unclear; elected at international congress. The leadership group is progressing this at present.
  • Between international congresses, act as conduit between Slow Food matters and activities in Australia, and international direction.
  • Report to leadership group on relevant Slow Food international matters.
  • Report to Slow Food international on Slow Food activity in Australia.
  • Represent Slow Food Australia at international events.

International Liaison

  • Employed by Slow Food international.
  • Point of contact between Slow Food International and Slow Food Australia, through the leadership group.

Ark of Taste Commission

  • Appointed by the leadership group.
  • Responsible for assessing nominations for Ark of Taste products in Australia, which are forwarded by Slow Food international.
  • Responsible for providing advice and feedback to the nominating person/convivium to assist in getting nominations approved.
  • Report to the leadership group through the Ark of Taste national working group.

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016

This event is Turin later this year will have about 25 delegates from Australia, with food and other activities represented each day. I will update you on the plans in my next letter, but it is exciting to see Australian farmers and chefs being sponsored by local Slow Food convivia and able to bring Australia to this prestigious event.