Native bush foods at Reconciliation event

By Bek Shepherd, Aboriginal Communities Officer

Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians and at the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples.   We all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures and futures.

Central West LLS staff recently celebrated 20yrs of Reconciliation with this year's theme “More than a word, Reconciliation takes action”.

On the 23rd of June, an inspiring tasting experience like no other was hosted in Dubbo by Central West LLS team.  The focus of the event was to encourage colleagues and DRNSW staff to step out of their comfort zones, try something new and taste the amazing flavours that Australian native bush foods have to offer, and have a yarn.

With a feast of traditional Aboriginal native foods including crocodile, emu and kangaroo marinated in a selection of native bush spices such as Lemon Myrtle, Pepperberry, Wattleseed, Aniseed Myrtle, Native Thyme and Saltbush.

They were accompanied by a Warrigal green salad and Kumara, Coconut and Myrtle soup, an infusion of Australian native bush foods mixed with European influences.

And of course, we can't forget the fresh baked Johnny Cakes cooked over an open fire.

I am passionate about introducing native bush foods into our community gardens, backyards, kitchens and being used in everyday life.

They are easy to grow in small or large spaces, low maintenance and make for an endless supply of delicious and highly nutritious alternatives in salads, meat dishes, jams, chutneys and teas.

Warrigal greens (Native Spinach) River Mint, Native Basil, Native Thyme, Saltbush, Lilly Pilly's and Lemon Myrtle, all grown organically in my garden, were highly valued for their medicinal properties and as a staple food source by Indigenous Australians.

It was a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge on the nutritional and medicinal benefits of these incredible indigenous superfoods growing naturally in this beautiful country we share.

It was also a great space to promote and support local Aboriginal businesses, like Dreamtime Tuka, Wilay Cafe and Indigiearth who supplied the heavenly cakes, biscuits, slices, and teas.

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