Wodonga TAFE students provide indigenous menu at Cultural Greetings Christmas Festival

KANGAROO sliders, tandoori crocodile sticks and quandong frozen yoghurt will tantalise tastebuds in Wodonga on Wednesday night.

Nine Wodonga TAFE students will provide the fresh and tasty indigenous menu for about 400 people at the Cultural Greetings Christmas Festival.

The fifth annual festival celebrates cultural community connections through a commonly celebrated custom, Christmas.

Wodonga TAFE’s Cookery and Patisserie teacher Sarah Whitling said the Certificate II in Hospitality students had worked hard to prepare for the event.

She said they had learnt “back of house” and food preparation skills, as well as producing readymade meals for their community.

“They are very proud of their skill development and the opportunity to be involved, and are looking forward to offering their traditional foods alongside that of many other community groups,” she said.

Albury student Aaron Perkins-Kemp-Berger said the 18-week course – a collaboration between TAFE, Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation and Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare – enlightened him about the art of food.

He said a visit from national celebrity chef Mark Olive was a highlight.

“It was inspirational; I went from seeing him on TV to sitting in front of him learning about indigenous herbs and spices,” he said.

A recipe booklet will be free at the festival.

Wodonga TAFE, Gateway Health, Gamblers Help, Junction Support Services, City of Wodonga, Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation Wodonga, Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service, Woomera Aboriginal Corporation, North East Border AFL, North East Water, Department of Justice and Regulations and Antech Printing host the festival.

One of the event co-ordinators Darren Harris said the festival focused on building an inclusive community and strengthening cultural community connections. 

“The evening will be a drug, alcohol and gambling-free event, ensuring a family-friendly approach to celebrating Christmas,” he said.

Highlights include cultural dancing, henna tattooing, ochre face painting, Christmas carols and photos with Santa.

It runs in The Cube courtyard from 6pm to 9pm.