The Salvage Awards was held at the stunning Pocket City Farms on Thursday 21 November 2019. Let’s give a digital round of applause to our winners!



This category recognises an individual working within their community (i.e. local community, business/workplace community, specific group/collective) to tackle food waste – either independently or through a collaborative initiative.

Winner: MAREE THOMSON (Hidden Harvest)

The Salvage Awards 2019 - Maree Thomson (Community Champion Award Winner)

Maree believes that the solution to food waste requires an ongoing conversation in the community about our wasteful relationship to food. She works as the Volunteer Coordinator for Hidden Harvest, cultivating this conversation through a variety of interactive events catered with rescued food. Maree has also developed ‘Pickle Pals’ which teaches preserving to volunteers each fortnight and so far has saved 1,600 kg of food waste through 17 hands-on workshops (educating 356 participants) and 30 community dinners. This equates to approximately 3,024kg greenhouse emissions. Maree’s ambition is to empower individuals to make positive social and environmental choices that then translates into system-wide change.


This category recognises the leadership and contributions made by a young person who works through social media platforms to bring awareness to food waste and/or engage and inspire other Australians to reduce their food waste.


The Salvage Awards 2019 - Anita Vandyke (Young Influencer Award winner)

Anita is a rocket scientist and a future doctor. Once a self-confessed maximalist in every sense, she quit her corporate job and started documenting her journey towards living a truly zero-waste life through her Instagram account. Anita has over 70,000 followers, has written 2 books, hosts workshops across Australia on how to reduce food waste and is an ambassador for The Source Bulk Foods and Planet Ark. She has shown people that small changes can make a big cumulative difference. If she can have her way, Anita would love to combine her engineering and medicine degrees to create biodegradable, compostable and sustainable products for the medical industry.


This category recognises a high school, TAFE, or university student who is making a contribution to address Australia’s food waste problem, either through or outside of their studies. This category is very close to YFM’s heart because our own organisation was created 8 years ago by two nutrition students who, inspired by a group assignment, went beyond what was being taught in the classroom and forged their own path to make an impact on the food system.

Winner: LONG NGUYEN (The University of Sydney)

The Salvage Awards 2019 - Long Nguyen (Student Chamption Award)

Long is a PhD student studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Sydney, within the ARC Training Centre for the Australian Food Processing Industry. With two published articles, Long’s research aims to tackle one of the leading causes of food waste – misleading food expiration dates that don’t take into account food handling practices during manufacturing, transporting and storing. By developing a food sensor in sticker form that changes colour based on exposure to food-spoilage causing gases, Long has created an inexpensive, scalable and fit for commercial use method to determine in real time whether food is still edible.



Groliste is a new app that was developed by a few friends after witnessing huge amounts of food-waste at a party. Recognising this waste was in part due to poor planning by the host, they decided to come up with an accessible solution. Groliste is a grocery management app that is good for your pocket and the environment, by taking the guesswork out of food prep. Already part of the NSW Love Food, Hate Waste program, Groliste has received The Salvage Awards’ ‘Highly Commended’ award for its innovative simplicity. Watch this space!

The Salvage Awards - Groliste (Highly Commended Award recipients)


It wouldn’t really be a YFM event without serious food for thought by passionate young people. This year, our Young Entrepreneur Award recipient respectfully declined the award, calling to arms everyone on the night to fight the challenges and embrace the joys of working in food sustainability together. Like YFM says we’re a community that tackles big issues, one bite at a time. Right on!