Picture of Vegan Australia CEO Dr Heidi Nicholl kneeling. She is wearing a black dress with rescued chickens feeding from her hands

Vegan Australia Welcomes New CEO Dr Heidi Nicholl

It's with immense excitement and gratitude that we introduce Vegan Australia's first ever CEO, Dr Heidi Nicholl. Heidi brings a wealth of experience, unwavering dedication and a deep passion for our mission at Vegan Australia. A committed vegan with a proven track record of leadership in both small business and national non-profits, Heidi is poised to lead Vegan Australia into a new era of impact and growth. She is eager to collaborate with our dedicated team, partners and supporters to build on our accomplishments and drive forward our mission with renewed vigour. Greg McFarlane, co-founder of Vegan Australia, remains as Managing Director of the organisation.

"I have always been driven by my values and a desire to do as much good as I can in the world, and being vegan is a key part of that for me. I'm so excited to be joining Vegan Australia where I can, not only use my leadership and non-profit experience to try to make a better world for the billions of exploited animals who suffer at the hands of humans every year, but also take forward the message that being vegan is both easy and the right thing to do. 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.

Having gained an honours degree in zoology, I spent my twenties working as a molecular biologist. I completed a PhD in Healthcare Ethics in 2008 which focused on who we choose to protect as a member of our community, and why. After my PhD I split my time between teaching medical ethics at University College London medical school and lecturing in Healthcare Ethics at City University, while also establishing a successful, small business teaching archery. I worked far too much (!) but I really enjoyed trying to find the balance between sport and ethics - both important aspects in the pursuit of trying to live well.

I relocated from the UK to the US in 2013 and, having met my wonderful Australian partner Michael while teaching on a Summer Bioethics program at Yale in 2016, I moved to Australia in 2018. I was lucky to have the opportunity to transition into non-profit leadership, becoming CEO at Emerge Australia, a national organisation supporting, advocating and educating people about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. After a very happy few years at Emerge, having built the team from three to fifteen and greatly expanded the range of impactful programming, I transitioned into a new role at Humanists Australia. I loved being part of an organisation dedicated to living a life with values front and centre, and I was able to build on my knowledge of the non-profit sector in Australia.

I am now thrilled to be given the opportunity to take on this new leadership role as we continue to build and grow Vegan Australia, together. I'm grateful to Greg for all his hard work and to the team, and the whole vegan community in Australia, for helping and supporting me as I find my feet."

As we welcome Heidi to our Vegan Australia family, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have supported and contributed to our cause over the years. Please feel free to reach out to Heidi directly to introduce yourselves, share your ideas, or discuss how we can continue working together to create a more just Australia for animals. We are confident that, under Heidi's leadership, Vegan Australia will continue to thrive and make a profound impact.

Through collaboration, hard work and smart thinking, we will write the next chapter of our journey toward a more just and sustainable future for all.

Vegan Australia is an animal rights organisation that campaigns nationally for veganism. 
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