On Stage

Nathan Runkle

Nathan is an American animal rights advocate. He is the founder and executive director of Mercy For Animals. Raised on a farm in rural Ohio, Runkle has long had a deep connection with farmed animals.
After a local farmed animal abuse case involving a piglet slammed headfirst into a concrete floor during an agriculture project at a nearby high school, he founded Mercy For Animals to give “food” animals a much-needed advocate in his local community.

VegNews magazine has recognized both Mercy For Animals and Runkle for making substantial contributions to the vegetarian movement, naming Runkle one of the “25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians” and one of the country’s “Top 20 Activists Under 30 Years Old,” and twice naming MFA “Non-Profit of the Year.” In 2009, at the age of 25, he became the youngest person ever inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

Mercy For Animals is dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.
Imagine a world free of cruelty. Where we nurture our bodies, minds and spirits with wholesome, healthy food that is kind to animals and sustainable for our planet. Mercy For Animals believes that world is possible, in fact inevitable, if we work together to elevate humanity to its fullest potential.

We are honoured that Nathan is our keynote speaker for the Sydney Vegan Expo 2016!

Jeffrey Masson
Jeffrey is the author of When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie About Love and many other books about animal emotions. He will discuss the ways in which some animals are our superiors when it comes to friendships, mourning, contentment, loyalty, peaceableness and intraspecies violence.

When it comes to living in harmony with their environment nearly all animals show greater restraint than nearly all humans. What happened to us as a species? Come to the talk for the surprising answer which you already know – but may not know you know.

Dr Leila Masson
Come and learn about how to raise healthy and happy children on a vegan diet. Find out about the health benefits of a wholesome, unprocessed, additive-free, plant based diet and what nutrients you may have to supplement. Dr. Masson will review the recent literature and give you practical advice on child-friendly meals and lunch-box ideas. She will also present information on the influence of diet and environmental factors on children’s health and behaviour.

Dr. Leila Masson is an integrative paediatrician who combines Western medicine with a nutritional and environmental approach to help her patients attain optimal health.
She received her medical doctorate from the Free University of Berlin, did her paediatric specialist training at the University of California at San Francisco. She received her Master in Public Health from Harvard University and her Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Leila has worked in the US, Europe, New Zealand, volunteered for 2 years setting up a clinic in Pakistan, before moving to Sydney this year. Dr Masson is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.
Leila has a busy practice in Bondi Beach, specialising in a holistic approach to children’s health problems, including allergies, asthma, behaviour problems, autism spectrum disorders and ADHD.

Lynda Stoner
Lynda Stoner has been involved the animal rights movement since 1976.
She is currently CEO of Animal Liberation NSW.
Lynda will be addressing the plight of rabbits and the fur industry.

James Aspey
James is a 28 year old vegan and animal rights activist from Sydney, Australia.

When he was 17, he was diagnosed with cancer and told he had 6 weeks to live unless he started immediate treatment. James went on to win his battle with Leukaemia. The journey took him deeper down the rabbit hole. He started analysing his life and found areas where he was causing harm and suffering to the planet, to himself and to others.

For the following 8 years, he became deeply passionate about helping others take control of their own health and happiness. He became a dedicated Personal Trainer, running his business and travelling around the world giving health seminars on cruise ships.

In 2014, James embarked on an unprecedented and life changing challenge. He took a 365 day VOW OF SILENCE to raise awareness for animals and promote peace over violence. This was done while travelling around Australia, and also while cycling 5,000 km from Darwin to Sydney, in his campaign Voiceless365. James ended his vow in a live interview, on Australia’s popular morning TV show, Sunrise.

James is currently touring around Australia giving inspirational talks. His talk includes techniques on being kind to yourself and to others (including animals), chasing your dreams, achieving goals and stepping out of your comfort zone. He charges no fee for his talks, and believes the truth should be free for all to hear. He simply wishes to do his part in contributing to making this world a kinder, more peaceful place for us ALL to live.
Clint Paddison
Clint Paddison’s career is both interesting and diverse. As an stand-up comedian, Clint has appeared on TV shows including the Footy Show, Mornings, and Sunrise and has worked in 13 countries, performing to audiences all around the globe including entertaining the troops in Iraq.

In 2006, however, he was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and within two years could barely walk and pain crippled 80% of his body. After surgery and medications failed him, Clint went back to his science roots and applied scientific experimentation, bulldog determination and relentless persistence to turn his health around and now leads a life drug free and pain free. He has become one of the worlds leading authorities on how to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis naturally and has helped thousands of people with RA in over 50 countries achieve dramatic health improvements and has inspired business groups across Australia with his mental frameworks to overcome life’s greatest hurdles.

Anna Hall

Vice President and NSW Convenor of the Animal Justice Party (AJP).

Working through the AJP to give animals the voice they need and deserve in Parliament, where all
the laws that currently so adversely affect them, are created.

Animal advocate / volunteer with a few animal groups..

Kathy Divine
Kathy Divine is the author of five books on the vegan lifestyle and editor of Australian Vegans Journal,
a new vegan magazine. She’s been vegan for 10 years, and was vegetarian for 10 years prior to
going vegan. Her blog www.VegansAreCool.com, contains interviews with cool vegans from around
the world. For more information about Kathy and Australian Vegans Journal,
see www.KathyDivine.com and www.AustralianVegans.com.au.
Sydney Direct Action Activism (SDAA)

Sydney Direct Action Activism (SDAA) is a group of committed vegans who came together in mid-2015.
The group mainly focuses on exposing the general public to the reality of how animals bred for food
are actually treated – by showing them recent undercover footage from Australia.
Whether we take to the streets or are welcomed into a university, in the relatively short time we have
been active, SDAA has opened the eyes of thousands of people. A key aspect of our outreach is
providing everybody we encounter with the information they need to take the next step towards a
cruelty-free lifestyle. We welcome anyone to join us in our efforts so please approach us if you are keen.
We are always looking to innovate and explore new methods of peacefully conveying our message.

The Cello Guys
The Cello Guys work at the intersection of classical and contemporary music, bringing you sounds
of beauty and joy. Jacqui (cello) & Brenton (piano) Edgecombe have been life and musical partners
for 20 years, taking their talents around the world and winning five Australian Entertainment Industry
MO Awards.
In the tradition of YouTube sensations The Piano Guys, The Cello Guys apply their classical training to a wide spectrum of music, from conventional to jazz to the latest Top 40 hits.

Paul Dengate

Paul Dengate has been playing and singing for most of his life – and enjoying every minute of it. Currently, you will find him in a pop duo called Sans Ensemble, a fun band called The 2nd Mondays, being Mike Nesmith in “The Monkeys Live Again”, recording and producing original artists in his own small studio or playing bass for some good ol’ line dancing. He will entertain you at The Expo in his
own unique style, with perhaps a rendition of “Space Oddity”, some instrumental ambience and
perhaps an original or two. He has never quite become a household name but did, at least, play
the 2JJJ launch party with Midnight Oil and Mental As Anything in August 1980.
It has been onwards and upwards from there! For Paul, music is life and happily so.

MC Pony
MC Pony performs novelty hip hop with a social conscience. Her Veganthused project is all about “inspiring and encouraging people to explore and embrace veganism”. Despite performing material that raises awareness about animal rights, environmental and social justice issues, an MC Pony show is fun, upbeat and entertaining – it’s activism with a smile!
At the 2015 Sydney Vegan Expo, MC Pony unveiled her first official single “Happy Veganniversary” –
and this year she will be back with another brand new vegan anthem to launch at this premier event.