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Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council
Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council

Mossman Gorge cooking for generational change

| Posted in: Media

Community-driven collaboration has secured healthy cooking skills for life in the Aboriginal community of Mossman Gorge.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen has just wrapped up its final week of classes after being stationed in Mossman Gorge. The program offers practical hands-on cooking classes and shares tips and tricks for preparing meals from scratch with fresh affordable ingredients.

With support from Apunipima Cape York Health Council and Mossman Gorge’s governing body, Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Aboriginal Corporation (BBNAC), Jamie’s Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen was able to make Mossman Gorge its second Aboriginal community to visit. Jamie’s Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen is delivered by the Good Foundation and is supported by funding from the Queensland Government, Department of Health. 

BBNAC chair Karen Gibson said the green light to have the kitchen in the community was a collaborative effort from BBNAC, Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Mossman Gorge community, and service providers Royal Flying Doctor Service Wellbeing Centre and Cape York Partnerships Opportunity Hub. Community stakeholders worked together to organise site logistics, use of amenities, program promotion and class bookings. 

The program aims to inspire people to get back to basics in the kitchen and share ideas to assist families to prepare meals at home rather than opt for takeaway foods and in turn, help to reduce the rate of diet related chronic disease.

“This is an opportunity to learn about good food and transform it to another level,” Ms Gibson said. “It’s about our people being open to adopt new ideas and learn about food in the kitchen that will ultimately contribute positively to our people’s health.

Ms Gibson said having Jamie’s Ministry of Food visiting Mossman Gorge for five weeks was very exciting for the traditional Bama people.

Health Action Team chair and community resident Donna Henning said Jamie’s Ministry of Food is an inspiration for the 130 people living in Mossman Gorge.

“It’s very empowering to have this big kitchen on our doorstep,” Ms Henning said. It’s a real opportunity to learn more healthy skills.”

BBNAC vice chair Roy Gibson, who facilitates the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks in the community, said without collaboration from the community and other organisations, its people would have missed out on this opportunity.

“This is the best thing that could happen to our community right now,” Mr Gibson said. “It’s just magic to see our people involved in a project to this scale.

“Our people are able to understand more about the importance of eating healthy food and that cooking good food gives kids a better start to their day. This is something that the kids can pass on for generations.”

Apunipima’s Mossman Gorge Primary Health Care Centre manager Sharyll Ellington said this was another step to help Close the Gap. Ms Ellington manages a team of health professionals from doctors to men’s health and maternal and child health workers who see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients every day.

“Our health workers are always educating our people on eating healthily, ensuring they have enough physical activity in their day and are having their regular health check,” she said.

“To have Jamie’s Ministry of Food in the community complements everything we aim to do as a community-controlled health organisation and this is empowering for not only us in the health industry but for our traditional people.”

Apunipima’s Community Nutritionist, Kirby Murtha said, “Collaboration between partners has been key to making this a success. As a result of Queensland Government funding and the commitment made by the Minister for Health Cameron Dick, to increase Jamie’s Ministry of Food program reach into Aboriginal communities we have been able to make this happen.

“The local partnership between Apunipima, BBNAC, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Cape York Partnerships has also been critical in ensuring strong community engagement and of course sorting the logistics on the ground. We are delighted with the response and look forward to working with our partners on future programs.”

Note to Editors

The Good Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which has partnered with Jamie Oliver and principal partner, Woolworths to deliver Jamie’s Ministry of Food throughout Australia. Queensland Health has committed funding to The Good Foundation to support the delivery of the program state wide in Queensland. Stockland has commenced a local partnership with Jamie’s Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen program in Queensland. Good Guys, founding partner of Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia, is proud to support the program which is helping to build healthier and happier communities.