By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director
Each year NAIDOC Week provides a time for togetherness and celebration as well as a platform for conversation.
To show our respects, each year IMPACT hosts “Yarnin with the Elders” – an invited lunch for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organised by the Bundaberg NAIDOC Committee.
Over the past five years the Elders Lunch has been growing and we look forward to continuing this demonstration of our appreciation for our local Elders, past, present and emerging, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
We assist people of all backgrounds at IMPACT and have indigenous clients, staff members, colleagues, and friends.
We aim to demonstrate our gratitude and appreciation for the lands on which the IMPACT sites are established, and acknowledge the cultures practiced on surrounding country.
This year the theme of NAIDOC Week is “Heal Country!” which calls for all Australians to continue the conversation around greater protections for the lands, waters, sacred sites, and cultural heritage.
To facilitate this conversation IMPACT has offered its commercial kitchen and hospitality staff to provide a culturally informed and appropriate lunch for attendees.
Former chef and café owner turned hospitality trainer and assessor Jasmyne Larter has taken particular interest in appropriate cultural foods and sought advice from a select group of Elders who explained the need to provide choice.
With this in mind Jasmyne has designed a menu tailored to local cultural culinary preferences.
The menu consists of fried mullet with vegetable mash and greens, Beef ragu on a bed of steamed rice, coconut chicken curry on a bed of rice and corned meat silverside with vegetable mash and greens.
The IMPACT IT department also lends a hand with all our events to ensure audio visuals and required technology operate as needed, and our Cooee group has created decorations to be displayed on the table settings.
Pandemic restrictions meant we weren’t able to host the Elders Lunch last year, but we hope the success of this year’s efforts will far outshine the setbacks of 2020.
While continued restrictions have removed the possibility of a buffet lunch, attendees and invited guests have had the opportunity to pre-order their meal of choice from the carefully curated menu.
Indigenous Elders do so much for their communities, and putting together a lunch where they can simply show up, gather together, and connect with family and friends is a simple way we can honour their contributions.
Get involved this NAIDOC Week and show your support for a better future for all Australians.