The Welcome Dinner Project on The Project


tonight we meet a group of Australians using the hidden power of their kitchens to welcome newcomers Matt Preston went along to find out more we will decide who comes to this country we will not allow them to be settled here to stop foreign workers at the front of the queue it’s easy to see why some newcomers to Australia might not feel it Charlie welcome this is our country they’re feeling a deep sense of not feeling wanted in this country of not feeling safe in this country I’m not feeling like they belong in this country from Kenya to study nursing she loves Australia but says it does have a threat of racism I haven’t met people who feel like you’re intruding this space how are you doing here like go back to it came from what is at Emory arrived by boat in 2013 he says he misses his family they can be hard to watch that little debate unfolding around him put yourself in my place as politicians sit there beating their chests showing who can be cooler and it can be tougher the most vulnerable people on earth are suffering the consequences of that but a very different sentiment is finding voice at the local level despite all of those debates that are going on in Canberra at the moment what we’re seeing is a very different Australia Daniel’s is the founder of the welcome dinner project an initiative harnessing the power of food everyday Australians the new arrivals share a meal at somebody’s home everybody brings a plate full of meaning I think tonight might ask Matt to facilitate the food introduction so what did you bring that’s amazing spread the celery salad and on Crescent I like because it reminds me of celebrations when I tried it and cooked it I call my mommy region oh my god I found it despite of a grill made us fantastic because this is something that reminds you of home yeah like the people the food has come from all corners of the earth you can see that dishes like migrate themselves and they change they my husband always says that this pastor is this is apostrophes class so I see it kind of is a bit of a bridge between Australian Sicily I bought a New York cheesecake as a nod to my American ancestry as a food is shared so two other stories in Malaysia is quite interesting the greeting that we have which are they may be in different languages but they all mean the same how are you have you been said before I started the project I met a group of Sudanese women who said to me you know I’d love to go to an Australian home I’ve never been invited to an Australian home I’ve been here for five years the other lady said I’ve been here for 10 years and no one’s ever invited me to their home kind of makes it motivates you to learn more about Australia so even conversations and things can relate around you history yours there’s something brilliant about sitting around a table with people who start as strangers but end up finding all these common links and those links so often absolutely everybody is called on to pick one word describe my word tonight is proud beautiful party means joy and Swahili you’re coming here as individuals don’t know each other we leave we leave connectors no that’s my words connected thank you for sharing a piece of your life with me thank you for sharing the food thank you for sharing the company organizers say they already have 1000 of these on a waiting list to host their dinner if you want to have a really joyous experience with people that you haven’t met before this is a really powerful way there’ll be someone who they love just landed like a week before I want to be in a position where I can welcome them Australia it’s best is compassionate and you know they’re all saying Australians say welcome it’s true the resources are right there at our dinner table for us to connect and to really through the food realise again our common humanity so it really is a brilliant story a great initiative and there’s also an organization called welcome to Australia and their message is exactly the same when you arrive here no matter who you are or where you’ve come from we want to hear your story we want to appreciate your journey and most importantly you know that you are in fact welcome in this country everyone is welcome in this country until metlover foo there enjoyed that very much thank you for all that signed up for doesn’t allow any single one out and sent him home anyway so if you would like to host a welcome dinner or help support the program the links are on the sites we like page of our website so go visit it and check it out

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