Introducing “Meet & Make”
What is “Meet & Make”?
“Meet & Make” is a new hybrid model of The Welcome Dinner Project being trialed in Victoria, providing inspirational presentations and facilitating sharing of cooking experiences and stories in a virtual setting. It’s an innovative platform born during the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown to continue to connect newly arrived people (international students, refugees and migrants) with established Australians, to help ensure no one gets left behind and has an opportunity to build new connections and friendships.
How does it work?
The Welcome Dinner Project Victoria invite community leaders who are either Indigenous or from a multicultural background to share a unique recipe, ingredients and important information about their traditional foods.The presentations are followed by a virtual Welcome Dinner experience, facilitated by The Welcome Dinner Project team.
Our first event – “Native Grains for Future Food”:
The first “Meet & Make” to be held on Tues 7th Sept 2021 is sponsored by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee Small Grants Program hosted by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Melbourne in collaborative partnership with the Welcome Dinner Project Victoria and the City of Melbourne, connecting academics, domestic and international students, change-makers and all people on the topic of Indigenous People’s knowledge, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s Agriculture and Food.
Participants will be inspired by Professor Bruce Pascoe’s extensive knowledge about Aboriginal People: The World’s First Bakers. The presentation will outline Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s agriculture and food and how some of these traditional ingredients are being rediscovered in these times, before diving into a cooking challenge to create something from Warrego Grass Flour provided to all guests courtesy of Bruce Pascoe.
About the presenter:
Bruce Pascoe, a teacher, academic and farmer from the Bunurong and Yuin peoples, had a vision of mobilising people around Australia to take a part in growing a new business ecosystem around farming traditional food. He’s co-founder of Bluck Duck Food, an Indigenous social enterprise committed to traditional food growing processes that care for the country and return economic benefits directly to Indigenous people.
Aboriginal people have thrived on what is now known as Australia for thousands of years. Earliest colonial records describe vast and flourishing plains of grain, and later research has demonstrated a wide-spread use of cultivated native plants as part of the diets of First Nations people. A map developed in the 1970s illustrates a grain belt across most of Australia from west to east – in areas where western crops are not suited, but where native plants have been cultivated for millennia.
Black Duck Foods sees native grains and tubers as a way of telling the First Nations stories. Commercialising ancient agricultural techniques and farming native species will help drive change outside the farm gate
Black Duck Foods is already having an impact – employing Aboriginal people and sharing traditional knowledge with communities around Australia. The aim is to drive Indigenous economic empowerment through food: taking traditional organisations into the mainstream, creating jobs across the ecosystem and revitalising regional Australia.