Community Dinners Project

Phase 2 of the Project will begin with two related projects about local food and community connection

In July 2022, Dr Sujata Allan, Dr Nicolette Larder and Dr Jennifer Hamilton applied for a Primary Health Network Covid-Reconnection Grant for two community dinners. We successfully held two community meals using this funding. These were organised by members of the Armidale Food Group (Jennifer Hamilton, Mac Williams, Nicolette Larder, Sujata Allan, Craig Johnson, Imogen Semmler, Kade Smith and Lauren Moss). We worked in conjunction with other organisations and individuals to organise each of the community meals.

Ezidi Dinner at Vivace Festival:

This was held in conjunction with the Vivace festival on Sat 3/12/22 at the Armidale Showground. We collaborated with Empty Space productions who organised the Vivace festival – a local folk music festival and community event. This collaboration and the grant money enabled around 100 Ezidi people to attend the event which would otherwise be difficult financially to attend, and we supplied all Ezidi attendees with free lunch. Lunch was catered by local Ezidi restaurant “The Ezidi Place” and served by members of the Food Group.

It was a festive and fun day for everyone involved, and this grant helped bring the community together and celebrate a local theatre/events business, local Ezidi food and the Ezidi community.

Armidale Secondary College:

This event was held during Reconciliation week, on Thursday 1/6/23. It was organised in collaboration with Armajun Aboriginal Health Service (especially staff members Sujata Allan and Pam Widders), Armidale Secondary College (head of Aboriginal Education Carol Green) and Armidale hospital (Aboriginal Health Practitioner Mandy Cutmore), along with the invaluable expertise of local chef Mac Williams.

There was already a group being run at the Armidale Secondary College by Mandy Cutmore, consisting of Aboriginal girls in years 7-9 and focusing on health education, life skills, mental health and cultural support. With the support of Mandy and Mac, the girls chose a menu and designed invitations to invite their parents, caregivers and staff to a special brunch in conjunction with Reconciliation Week. They cooked the meal, decorated and set the tables and served the food on the day, with the support of Aboriginal Education staff and members of the Food Group.