Fine Food Australia has announced that the Women in Foodservice Charity Event will return in September for its fifth year. Since launching in 2014, the unique event has connected women in the industry, providing a platform for networking and inspiration amongst like-minded peers.

Taking place on Wednesday 12 September, this year’s gourmet brunch will be held at Aerial on Dukes Walk, where a panel of industry icons will discuss all areas of the food industry – and what it means to be a successful woman within it. Facilitated by Australian journalist and food author Dani Valent, the line-up of speakers will share their own learnings and experiences. The line up of industry innovators includes:

Sharlee Gibb – Founder of Fully Booked Women, a social community which celebrates women in the food and drinks industry, Sharlee’s aim is to give opportunities for women to raise their profile and collaborate.

Shannon Martinez– Head Chef & Co-Owner Smith & Daughters, well-known as the non-vegan vegan chef, Shannon develops innovate recipes that tingle the taste buds of even the most avid meat-eaters.

Melissa Leong – Television and radio presenter, MC, and food and travel journalist and editor, Melissa’s successful career is celebrated on her website Fooderati which covers anything and everything to do with the Australian food industry.

Katy Barfield – Founder of YUME Food, Katy is Australia’s leading food waste warrior and has dedicated the past 12 years to taking action. YUME Food allows eateries to sell their surplus food or donate it to partnering food charities, with the main aim to reduce the amount of food wasted by the industry.

Jo Barrett – Award-winning Co-Executive Chef of Oakridge Wines, Jo loves working with seasonal fresh food and is recognised as one of Australia’s top pastry chefs. Committed to a philosophy in ethical food concepts, she incorporates only local produce and has adopted a no-waste policy to all of her dishes.

The Women in Foodservice Charity Event not only benefits women in the industry but donates all profits from the event with two charities: Feed Melbourne, where every dollar raised helps suburban food relief charities such as soup kitchens, community food banks, free school breakfast clubs, and Eat Up - a not for profit organisation that provides school lunches to students who would otherwise go without.