Shepparton Culture Kitchen has sparked excitement amongst eight beautiful women who are passionate for their culture and food. One of those women is born and raised on the island of Tonga, Ane Fotu who migrated to Australia and has made Greater Shepparton her home and is a Student Attraction Officer at GOTAFE Shepparton.
Ane says, “Storytelling is done in two different ways in my culture – dancing and music. Since joining the project I have realised now that storytelling can happen in so many ways and when I think about what I saw shared by Jamie Lewis (lead artist) my mind goes back to how I grew up in Tonga and how food was a very important part of my upbringing.
When I tell people that I was born and raised in Tonga they don’t believe me because they say I look like was born and raised in Australia. It is true that when we first began our journey to New Zealand and Australia I didn’t want to be around Pacific Islanders because I grew up on the island my whole life. When I went home this past November, I realised our people are unique and you know what, I am proud of who I am, I am proud to be Tongan, to be Pacific Islander.
Now I feel like I have something to give and share. I guess that’s what drove me to be part of this project – also the fact that I love food and I can’t wait to be able to share that with everyone.”
with Ane Fotu
Shepparton Culture Kitchen is a new project co-produced by MAV and Greater Shepparton City Council, to explore the diverse food cultures of Shepparton’s diaspora communities and the vital role they play in addressing issues of health inequity and disadvantage facing the region.
Shepparton Culture Kitchen is proudly supported by VicHealth, Greater Shepparton City Council, Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria.
Image credit: Ane Fotu. Courtesy Ane Fotu.