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Bush tucker cook-off with foster carers and young people during National Reconciliation Week

Bush tucker cook-offs, education walks, yarning circles and a damper cooking competition were all events that foster carers, young people and staff across MacKillop took part in for National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) to acknowledge, learn and be a voice for reconciliation.

In Barwon, foster carers and children, young people in residential care, and staff joined an online bush tucker cook-up with Uncle Syd Jackson.

Uncle Syd Jackson is a former AFL player and member of the Carlton Blues during the 1970s, more recently he has worked as a chef.

The cook up involving staff, young people in care and foster carers, offered a wonderful opportunity to learn more about traditional food, engage in culture, and connect with others through food. In the residential care homes, they cooked one meal to enjoy together that evening and another plate to send to the Geelong office for staff to enjoy the next day.

Uncle Syd is happy to share his recipes with all our foster carers. Download his ‘Australian Native Food Recipes’. Send us pictures of any of the dishes you make, and we will pass these on to Uncle Syd.

In Blacktown, Darug Country, our CEO Robyn Miller and Director, Aboriginal Service Development Esmai Manahan joined the Blacktown Office Team in Blacktown where they hosted a community BBQ at the PCYC. Staff, young people, families and community members came together to share lunch, talk and participate in fun actives to celebrate, and acknowledge reconciliation in the Blacktown community. After the last two years, it was a great opportunity for staff, young people and families who access Mackillop services to connect at this social event.

Darug Elder Aunty Daphne did the Acknowledgement of Country. Local performer Nathan Eldridge played the didgeridoo and had staff and family members performing along with him. There was a painting station and guessing game for young people.

In Western Australia, some of our foster carers joined and Director, Aboriginal Service Development, Esmai Manahan, for a yarning circle during Carers Corner. The Perth Office held a morning tea and reconciliation themed quiz which the Pilbara and NT Teams joined in on online.

Our Pilbara team purchased new books during National Reconciliation Week to give to all young people in care. One of the books, The Spinifex Mouse, is set in the Pilbara and written by Norma MacDonald.

Our South Melbourne office hosted a morning tea where staff sampled a variety of native inspired dishes and held a damper competition.

We are now looking forward to NAIDOC WEEK 2022 (3 – 10 July) with staff busy planning events including cultural walks, art tours and joining in planned NAIDOC WEEK activities. Check here for NAIDOC WEEK events in your area.