Celebrating connectedness, culture and deliciously diverse food from all over the world, our multicultural community gathered together on 30 September for the first ever virtual Swinburne World Kitchen.
The event also stands as an acknowledgement of World Food Day and its values of growth, nourishment, sustainability and togetherness. World Food Day takes place on Friday 16 October and plays an essential role in raising awareness of world hunger and what steps can be taken to combat the issue. Like World Kitchen, World Food Day is also a time to celebrate the interconnectedness and rich cultural diversity that can be discovered through food.
From our Vice-Chancellor and President
Joining the World Kitchen event virtually, Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester acknowledged the importance of supporting migrant communities and outlined some of the ways in which Swinburne strives to achieve this goal.
“While our migrant communities have a whole host of talents and abilities to offer not only Australia but the rest of the world, we do know that at times it can be very challenging for them to find the support they need in order to realise their potential,” said Professor Quester. “In alignment with these beliefs, Swinburne is proud to be the university that provides the largest number of welcome scholarships for asylum seekers who cannot access higher education.”
“This event is a little bit different from the years gone by, but we are blessed with a strong spirt of diversity and connectedness, which transcends all these obstacles and remains defining for us.”
Cultural cuisine through our virtual event
This year, we had several familiar faces from our Swinburne community presenting dishes from five corners of the globe:
- Spring rolls from Vietnam, presented by Kim and Suong
- Dumplings from China, presented by Zoe and Jenny
- Isso vadai from Sri Lanka, presented by Rushda
- Curry from Malaysia, presented by Rachel
- Kadai paneer from India, presented by Jasleen
Staying connected in challenging times
Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Bwe Thay, who helped make this year’s unconventional event a possibility, took centre stage to remind us of the importance of staying connected through these challenging times.
“During these difficult times it is ever more important to stay connected and sharing our stories and celebrating diversity through events like these is one of the best ways we can do that,” said Bwe.
Drawing from his own personal experiences, Bwe also reminded us of the transformative power of education and diversity.
“Through being a refugee migrant to being appointed the Deputy Chair of the Multicultural Commission and as a passionate advocate for social justice, human rights and multiculturalism, I'm proud to stand before you today and state that the Migrant Aspiration Project has touched and transformed thousands of lives from our diverse community.”
A musical tribute to healing
Victorian Karen Community Leader, Eh Su also appeared at the event to give a beautiful performance of an original song dedicated to healing our communities in these trying times.
“Whatever difficulties we face, with kindness, compassion, love and understanding, we can make it through together”.