To honour the Indigenous community, women from Colyton Community Hub came together during NAIDOC to share their love in the best way they know: through delicious food and amazing hospitality.
Hub members enjoying the day's festivities.
The close-knit network of new arrivals and Australian-born Muslim women served food to elders and community members, at the NAIDOC celebration of Baaybain Aboriginal Corporation at Mt Druitt.
Community Hubs is a national program that supports migrant and refugee parents and children as they navigate the education system. The Hub at Colyton Public School is one of the Community Hubs supported by SSI in five local government areas of Sydney.
The women from the Colyton Hub saw the NAIDOC celebration as an opportunity to show their respect to the traditional custodians of the land and learn more about Aboriginal culture.
“I wanted to know more about this culture and come to the festival and share our love because Indigenous people have given me so much respect and they deserve so much respect back,” said Coylton Hub member Ansar
The women arrived early to set up a stand where they could present the food they had spent days carefully preparing. Biryani, soups, goulash, homemade bread and gorgeous cakes decorated with the Aboriginal flag were all out of the kindness of their hearts.
The food was served to the elders first, and anything left was given to the wider community. Although they believed they would only have enough to feed the Aunts and Uncles, the women outdid themselves, feeding almost 400 people.
“The food just grew in the pot and we were able to feed the whole community,” said Yesim, who offered small cups of rich Turkish coffee to the crowd.
Most of the women were introduced to Aboriginal culture through their SSI Hub leader Lisa Gobo, a proud Darkinjung woman who takes a unique approach in applying a First Nations cultural approach to healing and community connection.
Through yarning circles and deep listening, Lisa and women from the Community Hub have created a safe community space for CALD, refugee and Indigenous women to gather and be heard.
Najla, who spent the day serving elders and community members with food she had cooked, arrived in Australia just two months earlier. She said she found a deep connection with the Indigenous culture and the women at Colyton Community Hub.
“I really enjoy Aboriginal culture because I like the people and how welcoming they are to their land. They welcome me to their land and now I feel like it is my land too. You give me the strength and it is an honour,” she said.