Seafood Directions Speakers

Paul West 

Event MC, TV personality and chef

Paul West is a passionate advocate of real food, community, regional living and sustainable agriculture. Paul was the host of four series of A River Cottage Australia which followed his journey to grow an abundance of farm-fresh food and then cook and share it with his local community. Paul travels Australia hosting cooking demonstrations and can be seen on A River Cottage, Catalyst, Gardening Australia and Back Roads. Paul regularly hosts cooking demonstrations at food festivals around Australia and can be seen as a guest presenter on Gardening Australia, Back Roads and Catalyst. He is a passionate supporter of many charities, including National Parks and Wildlife Foundation, OZ Harvest, Earth Hour, REAP, NEST and Cure Cancer.

Paul is trained as a chef and has worked in all areas of food production, from WWOOFing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) around Australia, growing fruit and vegetables, to cooking in the bistro of Melbourne’s renowned Vue de Monde

Annabel Crabb

Presenter, podcaster, commentator, and author

Annabel Crabb is one of Australia’s most beloved journalists. She is a multi-faceted writer and broadcaster who ranges between federal politics, gender, current affairs, history and cooking and is a sought-after speaker and presenter for her incisive and humorous approach. 

She is the creator and presenter of Ms Represented, presenter and writer for the ABC-wide Australia Talks project, and co-host of the initial and 2021 return series of Tomorrow Tonight, with Charlie Pickering. She has written and presented the documentary series on life inside Parliament The House, With Annabel Crabb as well as six seasons of the ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet, for which she received two Logie nominations in 2013 including the Graham Kennedy Award For Most Outstanding New Talent and Most Popular New Female Talent. Annabel is also host of the ABC Australian history and food series, Back In Time For Dinner and Further Back In Time For Dinner. She is a regular face on ABC TV’s election night and Budget broadcasts and has a long history of appearances on ABC’s Insiders program, including a stint as acting host in 2019. 

She is a regular commentator across the ABC’s radio network. With friend and ABC colleague Leigh Sales, Annabel hosts the podcast Chat 10 Looks 3, an independent podcast in which the pair discusses books, film, culture, and cooking. Their first book together, Well Hello, was published in September 2021. 

Annabel boasts the awkward distinction of being Twitter’s most-followed Australian journalist, with an audience of over half a million.

Gus Balbontin

Speaker and futurist 

Born and bred in wild Patagonia, Gus Balbontin never allowed his small town and humble beginnings get in the way of his big dreams. A healthy disrespect for authority and a severe case of fomo (fear of missing out) landed him in Australia at the young age of 17. 

By the age of 22 he had dropped out of uni, hitchhiked South America, set up his first business and landed his dream job at Lonely Planet. Fast forward a few more years and he was leading the company globally, working with companies such as Google X, Nokia and Amazon on the latest technology, creative cultures and high performing teams. 

Seeking a change from corporate life, he hung up his boots as the Executive Director and CTO of Lonely Planet and decided to move back to his entrepreneurial roots, becoming an investor, founder and mentor across the start-up ecosystem in Melbourne. He loves sharing a story, he loves even more, knowing those stories make a difference to people, helping them in their own business and life. 

Over the last 3 years Gus has presented to audiences of 10 across regional Australia and New Zealand, to audiences of 10,000 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia. To him there’s no difference. Small, large, private, public, board room to mail room, his lessons hit a chord, his simplicity disarms you, his energy infects you and his counterintuitive way of looking at the world will motivate you to do things different. 

Often thought as futurist, not because he predicts the future, but instead because he helps you focus on what you can control to deal with any future. Still want to talk trends? Sure! He loves as much as the next person trying to imagine a world run by AI, but he warns that getting too distracted with future guesses will only take time away from you and your company to actually do something about the future.

Acknowledgement of country:
Seafood Directions and Seafood Industry Australia acknowledges the Turrbal and Yuggera People of the Brisbane area, the Traditional Owners of the Country where we live, learn and work, and pays respect to Elders past and present.