Talks – meet the speakers

We are delighted be bring you an exciting line up of passionate and capable guest speakers from around the country who are looking forward to sharing their stories and expertise with you.


Eat Kind – Serving kindness on a plate

Kylie Dale, Eat Kind Officer, SAFE For Animals

Throughout Kylie’s Eat Kind talk, you’ll discover that each of us has the potential to change the world. Kylie will offer insight into how animals are raised for food in New Zealand as well as include some wonderful stories of animals who have been spared. She will also discuss the environmental and health benefits before she covers how to start eating kinder for animals, for our planet and for you!

“As an individual, choosing not to include animal-based foods in your diet can save around 100 animals every year. It is also the best way to protect the environment and safeguard your body into living a long, happy and healthy life! I think you’ll be surprised at just how easy and enjoyable it can be,” says Kylie.

About Kylie Dale

Kylie works within the Eat Kind team at SAFE For Animals, New Zealand’s leading animal advocacy organisation. The Eat Kind team works to provide Kiwis with access to positive and informative tools and resources, empowering people to make cruelty-free, plant-based and vegan choices. Kylie’s background is in Food Science and Nutrition.

“Along with a desire to contribute to a better Aotearoa for animals, I am passionate about advocating foods that are kinder to our bodies and the planet,” say Kylie.

The plant-based food odyssey

Dr Luke Wilson, GP, Miramar Medical Centre

What can we learn from our first 300,000+ years of eating? How we got to where we are now, and how we can eat in the 21st century to reclaim optimal health for ourselves, our communities, and our planet. Luke will also discuss the role and progress of the newly-established Doctors for Nutrition and Evidence Based Eating organisations that are tasked with promoting healthy and sustainable plant-based lifestyles to health professionals, politicians and the community. Come find out how you can also be part of this revolutionary new movement.

About Luke

Dr Luke Wilson is the founding member of Evidence Based Eating New Zealand and holds a board director position at Doctors for Nutrition, an Australasian health charity focused on prevention and treatment of disease through a plant-based diet. Like is also Board certified by the highly respected International Board of Lifestyle Medicine.

In his final year of medical school, Luke worked in California as an intern for Dr John McDougall at the McDougall Health and Medical Center and also alongside Dr Michael Klaper and Dr Alan Goldhamer at the True North Health Center. After graduation, he worked at Gisborne Hospital and subsequently was co-lead researcher and creator of a community-based lifestyle intervention using whole foods plant-based nutrition. Since then, he has co-authored The 21st Century Food Course, worked part-time as a general practitioner, and presented many talks in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. He has experience helping hundreds of people transform their lives by adopting a whole foods plant-based lifestyle.

Inspiring a generation: Taranaki’s first vegan catering company and cookery school

Simone Hayward, Chef/owner, Simone’s Plant-Based Kitchen, New Plymouth

At 17, this Northampton English teenager suffered a traumatising stroke that changed her life and spurred her into a career in social work to help others. In 2009, Simone immigrated to New Zealand with her Kiwi husband but in 2014, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Determined to survive, this mother of three children turned her attention towards natural healing and a plant-based diet which spurred another new career path.

In late 2017, Simone founded Taranaki’s first plant-based catering company and cookery school to help promote and inspire healthier eating. Her business isn’t just a business, it’s a personal crusade and the best news, her health has dramatically improved too!

Simone will share her inspiring journey and explain how she has turned her plant-food passion into a successful business. She also has a big community vision to inspire the next generation into better eating habits. Come find out her master plan!

“Cooking is an invaluable life skill that should be available to all children. I wish to provide free cooking classes for children in Taranaki,” says Simone.

30 years a vegan – A survivors tale!

Yolanda Soryl, President, Christchurch Vegan Society

Yolanda recently celebrated her 30th anniversary of going vegan. Join her on an entertaining look back on 30 years of veganism and what it takes to go vegan and stay vegan. Yolanda will share tips, vegan history and stories and will take a humourus look at being vegan at a time when even the vegans didn’t know how to pronounce the word.

About Yolanda

Yolanda Soryl is a butcher’s daughter who went vegetarian aged 18, vegan at 26 and raised her 4 children from birth to adulthood as vegan too. She is a founder and President of the Christchurch Vegan Society. Yolanda has created resources, groups, organised events such as the Christchurch Vegan Expos, Vegan Triathlons, Vegan Film Festivals, Vegan Camps and written and spoken on vegan issues both in NZ and internationally.

Saving lives. Life on an animal sanctuary

Coces Vehreschild, Sanctuary worker, Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary

Sanctuary worker Coces, spends many of their waking hours caring and attending to the needs of rescued animals. Coces will share heartfelt stories of some of their most notable long-term residents including a cow called Iris and Merge the goat. They will also explain the core values behind the Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary and give a fascinating insight into everyday life caring for rescued animals. Set up by the Animal Protection Society ten years ago, the Society bought 26 acres of land to set up a sanctuary for animals founded on animal rights principles and have never looked back. Visit their website for more information and to learn about their open day in November.

About Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary

The Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary is a highly respected animal sanctuary in Ōtaki that proudly promotes a vegan lifestyle. They are responsible for rescuing and caring for over 200 injured, neglected or unwanted farmed animals. These include pigs, chickens, cows and goats that have all sadly endured life-long abuse in New Zealand factory farms. In addition to farmed animals, many unwanted companion animals (rabbits, geese, guinea pigs and ducks) also find safe haven at the sanctuary. Where possible, they rehabilitate and rehome animals to trusting and loving homes. For animals not suitable for rehoming, the sanctuary becomes a permanent home for animals to enjoy the rest of their lives in peace and harmony.

Feeding the world in the future

Dr Mike Joy, Senior researcher, Victoria University

Dr Mike Joy is an outspoken advocate for environmental protection in New Zealand and has been highly decorated with numerous prestigious environment awards. In 2009, he was appointed the Environmental New Zealander of the Year and three years later, Person of the Year! Mike will discuss how we can continue to feed the burgeoning human population without relying on fossil fuels to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level.

“The human population has reached a level far in excess of the ability of the planet to sustain it long-term through using synthetic nitrogen. I will explain why we need to take steps to no longer include farmed animals in our diet,” says Mike.

About Mike

Dr Mike Joy researches ecological modeling, bio-assessment, environmental science, environmental policy and energy futures. He has published many papers in scientific journals, including many articles and op-eds for newspapers and magazines internationally. Mike has also authored numerous reports for Regional Councils and the Ministry for the Environment, along with commissioning to develop several bio-assessment tools and associated software for various Regional Councils.

Mike is an outspoken advocate for environmental protection in New Zealand and has been awarded numerous prestigious environment awards including the Ecology in Action award from the NZ Ecological Society and the Old Blue award from Forest and Bird. In 2009, he was named Environmental New Zealander of the year by North and South magazine and Person of the Year in 2012 by the Manawatu Evening Standard. The following year, he received the Tertiary Education Union NZ Award of Excellence for Academic Freedom and contribution to Public Education. In the same year, he received the Charles Fleming Award for environmental work by the Royal Society of New Zealand. 2015 marked the Morgan Foundation inaugural River Voice Award and in 2017 he received the inaugural NZ Universities Critic and Conscience award.

A beginner’s guide to Low-Waste Living

Bronwyn Green, Co-founder, Be Free Grocer, Palmerston North

The beginners guide to low-waste living is the perfect induction for anyone trying to lessen their carbon footprint and wanting to become a more efficient eco-friendly and compassionate citizen. Bronwyn, a passionate animal and environmental advocate, will offer informative green-living ideas in between sharing her own personal eco-living journey that effectively inspired her to launch their own plastic-free, eco-friendly, cruelty-free store.

“I will offer many practical ways to reduce your household waste and there will be ample opportunities to ask questions,” says Bronwyn.

About Bronwyn

Bronwyn stems from a family of avid animal lovers, conservationists, human rights advocates and humanitarians. After spending five years volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary in Borneo, Bronwyn returned to New Zealand with her husband with a vision to create an ethical, plastic-free business. They wanted to normalise sustainable shopping practices and purchasing trends while raising money to help conservation projects and benefit the environment and community. They proudly opened the Be Free Grocer in December 2018.

“My love of animals has shaped most of my major life decisions. I’ve been a vegetarian from a young age and this progressed into veganism several years ago. I have always volunteered with animals and spent five years volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary in Malaysian Borneo. My passion for animals has been my inspiration for adopting a low-waste lifestyle,” say Bronwyn.

About the Vegan Expo

2019 marks the second Vegan Expo in Kapiti. This year promises to be even bigger and better thanks to a massive new marquee. This inspiring, entirely plant-based food and lifestyle is a not-to-be missed event! Bring your friends and see you there.

Helpful FAQs

Have a question? Just ask…