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UPDATED: Indigenious and Multicultural Recipe Book

Celebrate QLD's multiculturalism and cultural diversity and how it links to food. Refugee and migrants are important parts of our community and contribute to our food culture (examples growing Asian greens, tropical fruits). It helps send the message of local food to communities who are typically not targeted in policy.

Photo of Yen
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After working with multicultural teams, food is fundamental element to create community and share culture.  Our society and food scene is richer for their contribution. (example - my background is Vietnamese and I know there are people who started market gardens for herbs/vegetables often used in Asian cooking.  also large Italian migration in North Queensland shapes agriculture/food production there) The annual Multicultural Festival in Brisbane, is a huge showcase of food.

The idea is a recipe book made up of contributions by our community - of notably cultural diversity, non-English speaking backgrounds, Indigenous etc. 
Celebrates the often fascinating stories of people, the countries they come from, their contribution to local food (what they bought over, what they have adapted)
In addition to raising awareness about food and local production - it helps these often isolated communities feel greater belonging and integration, and celebrate and maintain their own unique traditions/foods/culture.

Concept builds

1) Recipe Book
Editions of book could be by regional location, by cultural group
2) Recipe Book (online)
A way to collect information/recipes and always update the book/ take sections people most interested in
3) Community Engagement. The recipe book is a vehicle for social activities, gatherings and other programs (tours, cooking classes, community dinner, community gardens)

CONTENTS OF BOOK (per page spread/recipe)
1) Person/ Photo of contributor (eg. Thuy (my mum!)
2) Their story to QLD (eg came to Australia as a refugees in 1979, fleeing Vietnam when 8 months pregnant. She only really learning to cook from friends when they arrived here. food she most enjoys)
3) The cultural food story of that group (eg story of Vietnamese food.culture general, and the food they have adapted/grow here and where)
4) Photo/ Recipe text
(recipe in Native Languages and English)
***each regional location has different cultural influences.

What actions would need to be taken to turn this idea into a reality?

There are community groups often created by cultural groups. Dept of Communities already funds Multicultural Officers in local governments (Local Area Multicultural Partnership Officer) - some Councils like Brisbane City Council have their own teams too. These people/community development areas already work closely with community groups and service providers.

Create a template (online and graphic layout) that members of community can easily insert their info and photos.

Make engagement link with other existing work or incentives, or event days
Community Leaders to nominate good people/ recipes
Allow one-on-one engagement especially requiring translation services
Allow online platform to allow others to input (eg 2nd generation migrants etc) - recognize language/ access/ media skills maybe limited in some instances.

Putting templates to print

Link to local libraries and community groups
Online - to continue to collect stories/recipes
The book distribution becomes new avenues for engagement/events/public education/ cross promo etc - this links to community gardens, food production, videos, cultural events.

Who might make a good partner for this project?

Dept of Communities
Local Governments
Support Services for migrant refugees (often includes charities)
Voluntary Community Groups (eg often by a cultural group like the Vietnamese Association)
Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Board (business development)
Food producers

Strategic issues with BCC Multicultural Team included topics of Intercultural Relations Project creating links between Indigenous and multicultural groups and International Students

What suggestions would you have for potential sources of funding for the development of this project?

Community funded (participants/ groups)
Dept of Communities/ Dept of Premier
Revenue from book sales
Grants (eg Federal - Diversity Australia)



Join the conversation:

Photo of Olivia Mackay

Hi Yen,

We have come up with a similar project in the South West of Sydney. We'd love to hear more about your progress, challenges and ideas!

Photo of Yen

Hi Olivia,
That's so great to hear!!! My project idea unfortunately didn't go past the ideation stage, but I think the concepts are still relevant and that local community networks would be the best bet. I think a clear graphic design strategy/template for info and layout would also help streamline the gathering process. Since I posted this idea in 2011, I've started to work more with chefs on other projects, and now think industry endorsement would be another way to promote the idea. (I haven't seen it but "The Great Australian Cookbook" apparently is nice reflection of multiculturalism from some 'celeb' chefs).

Photo of Yen

I also just found this project close to Brisbane (Logan City Council) - good people to get in touch with -

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