Dishing Up Diversity Photographic Project

Dishing Up Diversity Photographic Project           

Migrant Women are redefining what it means to cook in an Australian kitchen.

Dishing Up Diversity provides a joyful visual narrative of refugee women from Western Sydney; a counterpoint to the “dark” storylines that color media reporting of asylum seekers, refugees, islam/muslims, African integration and female oppression.

Refugee migrant women have collectively found their own way to resettle / integrate into this western mainstream society where culture is the security blanket that provides comfort and continuity as they negotiate a foreign language and foreign unwritten rules about how Australians operate on a daily basis. 

Food is integral to culture. So we thought why not follow the trail from speciality food shops, to the intricacies of preparation and to the delicate care given to the presentation of the food as it is served on the table / rug.

We chose three diverse communities – South Sudanese / Bhutanese / Afghan Hazaras. All well versed in traditional cooking from their respective home countries, all sourcing local and imported ingredients and all modernizing their recipes to suit the new generations’ tastebuds and their cooking environments -  modern Australian kitchens with laminated benchtops and gas cookers.

Ajang is our “unsung Masterchef” from Warrap State in South Sudan. Have learnt cooking from age 10, she has now been cooking for over 40 years.  Now she takes care of 4 children on a daily basis, and has cooked for community events for more than 1000 people.

Krishna’s husband is also from Bhutan and is now working as a chef at the Opera House. However when we meet it is Krishna, her sister Champa and assorted sister and brother-in-laws who create the dishes. Mom is there destringing the beans. While maize, chokos and chillis circle the perimeter of the house and the kids stay glued to their IPHONES.

Gul, Fahima and Sabar are three friends who all met at uni in Western Sydney. All Hail from Afghanistan, via Quetta in Pakistan, and all opted for nursing careers in order to help their community struggling abroad. Now Gul takes the lead in the kitchen as the yakhni chicken soup and the world famous mantu dumplings are prepared in this quiet backstreet in Guildford.  

Dishing Up Diversity! gives a birds eye view into modern Australian kitchens.  And they are reflective of our everchanging cultural mix thanks to the refugees and migrants we welcome into the country every year.

Following the project launch on Wed 18th March, we will be looking to exhibit the photos from the photographic exhibition and showcase the Dishing Up Diversity! Photo Recipe Cards.

Both the photo prints and the photo cards are available for sale, in order to support our refugee women.

This project would not have been possible without our TIME Magazine cover photographer, Lisa Hogben.

For more information contact – Priscella Engall  on 9687 9901 /



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