13 June 2018
Healthy food to become new way of life

FOOD FOR THE FUTURE: EON Foundation is working with GEBIE, the ALC and schools across the Groote Archipelago to deliver healthy eating and nutrition messages to students through cooking nutritious food and establishing edible gardens. Here, Milyakburra students Billie Auld, Iris Wurramara, Vonisha Lalara and Latlisha Mamarika are enjoying banana pancakes they cooked up in their garden.

A BIG commercial kitchen is being installed by GEBIE in Angurugu’s CDP building, ready to spread a love of cooking in Groote Eylandt communities.

Cooking will be taught as part of the Food for Groote plan being rolled out by the ALC together with the CDP, GEBIE, GEAT and the non-profit EON Foundation.

EON Foundation has worked to improve nutrition in 26 other Aboriginal communities over the past 12 years and the organisation’s project manager Clancy Hearps, arrived on Groote Eylandt in April to kick-start the program. Clancy has been liaising with schools and elders to get as many people involved as possible.

GEBIE Group chief executive Corallie Ferguson said the communities were excited about the program.

“One part of the project is teaching community members about the importance of fruit, vegetables and bush tucker in a healthy diet,” Corallie said. “All ages will join to grow, harvest and prepare fresh produce to create healthy meals.”

She said health and education were GEBIE’s big focus areas and the program addresses both. “It’s probably the most exciting program we’ve taken on,” Corallie said. “We hope children will encourage their parents to come to school and see the garden that is created and that eventually people will start growing food at home – that this becomes a way of life.” She said the CDP chef was already training some of the women with a plot at the market garden.

EON’s five-year program provides sustainable access to fresh produce in schools and communities and offers training in how to grow, harvest and prepare the produce to create healthy meals. Poor nutrition contributes to the soaring rates of type two diabetes and heart disease in Aboriginal communities.