Animal rights organisation Vegan Australia has named Dr Heidi Nicholl as its first ever CEO, with Vegan Australia co-founder Greg McFarlane remaining as Managing Director.
Nicholl has a diverse background in fields including zoology, molecular biology, bioethics, and nonprofits.
“I want to do whatever I can to normalise veganism as a fantastic, and hugely impactful, life choice for anyone who is considering how they can live a life more aligned with their values,” Nicholl said.
Founded in 2012 by vegans across the nation, Vegan Australia incorporated in 2014 as a registered non-profit charity and is independent of other vegan organisations.
The vegan diet was officially recognised by the Australian government as a viable option for all Australians earlier this year.
The newly-released Australian Dietary Guidelines from the National Health and Medical Research Council regard plant-derived foods as alternatives to animal-derived foods.
The Guidelines also state that alternatives to animal foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, beans and tofu can, “increase dietary variety and can provide a valuable, affordable source of protein and other nutrients found in meats” for all Australians.
Recent research from the University of Oxford also shows that vegan diets have 30% of the dietary environmental impact of high-meat diets.