Western Australia School Stir-fry Cook-Off For FRD!Wed 03 Jul 2013
Story by Rani Hynes
After an extremely successful inaugural Food Revolution Day at Guildford Primary School in 2012, I couldn’t wait to get planning for this year’s event. Last year brought so much fun, laughter and plain old joy to 300 students, teachers and parents who all stopped for an hour to cook up a simple stir-fry using donated local produce.
Expanding the Revolution
This year I was determined to make it bigger and better and with the help of the Department of Education here in Western Australia, we launched a media release to get as many schools involved in Perth’s Biggest Stir-fry Cook-off. Unfortunately, due to national testing at the same time, school involvement was very hard to achieve.
I was however completely taken aback by a remote school in the Goldfields town of Norseman (750km from Perth) who launched themselves into a stir-fry frenzy over the course of a week! All students from years 1 to 9 took part, bringing in local produce, which they prepared and cooked into a stir-fry.
The amazing Nicole Banks who is the Home Economics teacher at Norseman District High School did an amazing job to coordinate the week. The students had a great time preparing the meal and enjoying it together.
The Impact of the Revolution
Guildford Primary School, like last year geared up again to cook yet another stir-fry using donated local produce. The senior students were kind enough to lend a hand as I busily prepared the produce in the canteen while teachers discussed the produce, where it came from, its benefits, colour, taste, texture…it was amazing to listen to.
The students were terribly excited yet again and suddenly the amazing smells of coconut oil and garlic were in the air. The most memorable part of the day was listening to the chatter as the students as they sat together enjoying their meal. “It’s hot, but I can’t stop eating it!” a little one exclaims as he bites down on some more, trying carefully to not get any more chilli. “It was delicious!” another one tells me with big beaming eyes. Then finally… “I made this for my family after learning how to cook it with you last year”. Boom! Impact, a revolution has definitely been born.
Continuing the Impact
We are now working hard to keep the momentum going. Each class was given a voucher to buy new cooking utensils from our local whitegoods store, Guns Kambos, and I send through a recipe when I can so teachers can teach it to their students and then in turn they cook it for their families. The local community has become involved too, as we have opened a food hub at the school taking deliveries from The Local Grocer, a business who sources and delivers the best local produce for us. In turn the school receives free local produce which they can then learn about, prepare and cook.
I can’t wait to see what else is to come from all the attention we received this year. The local media and Jamie Oliver himself gave us a massive boost worldwide through social media interactions. Families are getting really excited because the students are going home excited. My hope is that more families take the time to prepare and share a meal together more regularly.
About the author Rani Hynes: Mother to two beautiful boys aged 3 & 4, birth & postnatal Doula, infant massage instructor, recruitment agent and Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Perth, Western Australia. I believe balance in life is important, both inside and out. My motto: Keep Smiling! website: www.123mother2B.com.au
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