Chef, Social Entrepreneur, Food Campaigner & Keynote Speaker
Rob Rees is a UK social entrepreneur, chef and passionate food campaigner. Having established his career in the United Kingdom, he is now based in Melbourne and has dedicated himself to creating a better food culture for both countries.
Rob helped establish Kitchen Challenge in the UK and has brought the project to Australia. Kitchen Challenge Australia aims to empower communities to identify and pursue goals for positive change.
An insightful keynote speaker, Rob shares his knowledge and experiences in developing leadership and human potential, and implementing models of health and cultural change to support as many people as possible.
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Rob Rees has worked on education, public health and consumer issues with the corporate sector, governments and charitable organisations. Alongside Jamie Oliver and the School Food Trust, as Chairman of the Children’s Food Trust (2010-2015), he was a driving force for improvements to school food in the UK. Rob also helped established School Food Standards across England, which has been maintained, even during tough economic and political times.
Rob Ress represented patients and public on the board of NHS Gloucestershire’s GP Clinical Commissioning Board (think Australian Public Health Networks) and developed strong social marketing and consumer strategies as a former Board Member of Visit England and Chairman of Cotswold Tourism for the economic development organisation GFirst.
Rob founded The Wiggly Worm Charity (2007), a not for profit social enterprise that changes the lives of the most vulnerable in society. With a ‘glass half full’ approach to life, he also helped make Kitchen Challenge, No Child Hungry and other projects in the UK.
Rob’s dedication to changing lives by creating a better food culture was recognised in 2005 when he was awarded an MBE for “Services to the Food Industry” and in March 2015 when he was appointed a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Gloucestershire . He moved from the UK with his family, to Melbourne in October 2015 and was awarded the Distinguished Talent Visa in November 2017.
In Australia, Rob has introduced the project known as Kitchen Challenge Australia. Additionally, he is working with collaborators on other projects steeped in values of social change, quality, purpose, ethics, sustainability and opportunity for all. His aim is to transform the health, well-being and productivity of our population through social innovation, policy change and leadership that will stimulate more meaningful employment, and create a stronger, more collaborative economy. To this end, since arriving here, Rob has partnered with organisations including Victoria University, Little Green Spade, Heart Foundation, Bendelta, Bendigo Secondary College, Miele Australia, Brimbank City Council, South Melbourne Market, Vic Health, and Sunshine North Primary School.