Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre


An online In-Conversation with social entrepreneur and founder of the food rescue charity OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn.

Ronni Kahn will be in conversation with Chef and sustainable food advocate, Simon Bryant.

ronni kahn

'I could never have imagined that a small problem at work would lead me to change my life forever, and that just by doing that it led me to my joy, and to redesigning, reconfiguring, and repurposing my life. '  Ronni Kahn.

As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life.

Written in collaboration with her daughter-in-law, Jessica Chapnik Kahn, A Repurposed Life is the deeply personal story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. For the first time, Ronni shares her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, the time she spent in a socialist commune in Israel, and the years of decadence that ultimately led her to a profound new way of living and giving.

'These days I'm often asked what the ingredients are to a 'purpose-filled' life. All I can tell you for sure is that the day I really started questioning what was meaningful to me, everything changed,' Ronni writes.

Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies.

Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive.

Please register your interest so that we can keep you up-to-date and to send you a link to view this online broadcast.

Click here to purchase the book from Matilda Bookshop's website and choose Hawke Centre Free SA Postage as the delivery option (for residents within South Australia). They will then deliver or post your book to you at no additional cost. 

Media Release: A Repurposed Life
A Repurposed Life, More Information


Ronni Kahn is a South African born Australian social entrepreneur and founder of the food rescue charity OzHarvest. She is an advocate, lobbyist and activist well renowned for disrupting the food waste landscape in Australia. She appears regularly in national media, serves in an advisory capacity to government, and is a keynote speaker all over the world.

Her mission towards sustainable action is supported through close collaborations with some of the world's finest chefs, including Jamie Oliver, Massimo Bottura, Neil Perry and Bill Granger. Ronni is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and was named Australian Local Hero of the Year in 2010. In 2018 her journey became the subject of a feature film, Food Fighter , directed by Dan Goldberg.

2018 UniSA Nelson Mandela Lecture: Harvesting Passion: Living a Life
Website: OzHarvest
Ronni Kahn: ‘Be brave and courageous, because all you have is NOW’
How I lead: Ronni Kahn AO, OzHarvest
Twitter: @RonniOzHarvest
This OzHarvest campaign wants to relieve 'eco-anxiety'
Instagram: ronni.kahn


simon bryant

Simon Bryant is an Australian chef. Best known for his role as "The chef" to South Australian food icon Maggie Beer's "the cook" in the popular program The Cook and the Chef. He has authored cookbooks including, “Vegies” (2012) and “Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff” (2015).

He served as Tasting Australia Festival Director 2018 – 2021, and Creative Director 2014, 2016 and 2017. Simon is the Founder of dirt(y); which promotes single origin, small batch, Australian grown raw and whole foods.

Simon has a 25-year career starting in Thai and Indian fast service restaurants, a stint as a butcher, event caterer, brasserie line chef, and Chef de Partie in Cheong Liew’s much applauded, The Grange Restaurant. He was Hilton Adelaide’s Executive Chef for seven years with various international posts showcasing South Australian produce in Russia, USA, Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore.

He is a passionate advocate of using menus to throw light on the minefield of ethical issues surrounding food. Whether it be fair prices for producers delivering more thoughtfully produced food; using best practice ingredients with minimal environmental impact; the responsible and culturally appropriate use of Australian native foods; or the ethical treatment of animals in the food chain.

He is an Ambassador for the SA Animal Welfare League and Oxfam GROW and FAIR, among others.

Simon Bryant website
Simon Bryant and the ‘informal excellence’ of South Australian hospitality
Instagram: SimonBryantChef

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Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre. 
Ronni Kahn: A Repurposed Life, is published by Murdoch Books.

Image Credit: HERO Image: Ronni Kahn, Photographer: Hugh Stewart

While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future.

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