Tasked with re-energising the YFM community in Sydney, two new leaders emerge to complete our awesome foursome Sydney Coordinators. Meet Roma and Wendy!

ROMA HARVEY

Sydney Coordinator - Roma Harvey

Tell us a bit about you?

I’m a travel enthusiast, I love exploring new places and meeting weird and wonderful people along the way. I am always looking to learn and refine new cooking skills; whether it is making kimchi or scouring the kitchen cupboard when there is “no food” and making something delicious out of nothing, I love to cook. Sometimes failing is half the fun, otherwise how would we learn?

I love beer, I love the beach and I love camping, a very Aussie answer but it is true! Although I have travelled a lot and always thought about moving elsewhere, I’ve lived in Sydney all my life. I think that glorious mix of food, beach and relaxed lifestyle keeps me around.

Why YFM? Why should other people join YFM?

Often I am shocked by products sold as “food”; we need to reconnect with food and broader food systems other than finding the closest supermarket or the best value as this has an unbelievable impact on the environment and on our bodies.

My Masters research at uni was on behaviour change and food waste, leading me to recognise that, community-led approaches are a great tool for change, integral to ensuring that food and waste systems are re-built. YFM provides an avenue where people can learn, share and experiment with new ways of approaching these issues in a non-judgemental, fun and relaxed way. Educating each other whilst educating others whilst laughing.

Your fave food memory?

My whole family loves cheese, especially my dad. When I was still a teenager, for his birthday my siblings and I (4 of us) decided to cook him a 4-course cheese meal. All cheese everything. This was one of the first times that I remember realising how creative cooking could be, and how if you didn’t have all the ingredients for a particular recipe, it is okay to change it up. We had so much fun together making it as a team; slightly unusual for us not to be squabbling! We were all so happy and laughed so hard, it is just a really great memory for me.

Last meal you would eat before the apocalypse?

I don’t know about the apocalypse but the two things I always have in my pantry are pickles and tahini.

And cheese….definitely cheese.

WENDY ZHANG

Sydney Coordinator - Wendy Zhang

Tell us a bit about you?

Growing up in a Sydney multicultural hub, I was welcomed into kitchens of all ethnicities. This opened my palette to the infamous durian, and Vietnamese fish mint amongst an array of delicacies. It showed how food can connect people, and create vibrant communities.

Since then I’ve been exploring the relationship between food and communities. At the United Nations, & World Bank, I worked on community development through an institutional lens. Later joining Woolworths, it provided me insight on the breadth of the supply chain, and the depth it impacts Aussies. Volunteering at an Amazon Rainforest research station showed me how the relationship between supply chains and communities can be even more complicated. I imagine this adventure with food will continue.

Why YFM? Why should other people join YFM?

Food literacy is incredibly important. However, it can feel overwhelming to even know where to begin. While working at Woolworths, talking to families of all backgrounds, it was interesting to see some people were exhausted by food & cooking. They saw it as another chore in their stressful, and time-poor lives. While others had a love to explore it.

Getting young people excited about food, plants a seed where we have more people curious about their food, and where it comes from. YFM is an inclusive community that welcomes and equips young folks to make educated food decisions.

Your fave food memory?

We were given a pomelo as a very special treat during a long work day at the Amazon Rainforest research station. It was the sweetest pomelo I have ever tasted.

Last meal you’d eat before the apocalypse?

Big hand-stretched Chinese chilli noodles!

Wanna be part of YFM too?

  • If you’re in Sydney, sign up for our eNews and join our YFM Sydney Facebook group to find out about news and activities relevant to you.
  • Not in Sydney? Subscribe to our eNews anyway and let us know where you’re based to hear about upcoming activities in our Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane chapters.
  • No YFM chapter in your area or city? Why not lead the YFM community there yourself? Apply to be a Coordinator here.
  • Or perhaps you’d like to offer your time as a YFM Guest Contributor? We’d love to have ya!
  • Volunteer to help at events, either with planning or on the day – let us know here.
  • Follow us on our official Facey so you can hear first-hand about upcoming campaigns, org updates or job opportunities.
  • We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or opportunities to work with us – hit us up here.

Find out about the latest YFM updates, including our new organisational strategy, HQ in Melbourne, and National Leadership Team!

Image credit: Bear Hunt Photography

Ryville Ochoa

Ryville Ochoa