The Snowy Monaro region is widely accepted as the "birthplace of multiculturalism in Australia", thanks to the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The Scheme delivered one of the largest engineering projects in history, using predominantly migrant labour. Approximately 100,000 people worked on the Scheme's construction between 1949 and 1974, with two-thirds of them migrant workers from over 30 nationalities.
The region continues to have a strong multicultural community, with over 80 nationalities represented. A number of events are held throughout the year which celebrate our cultural heritage and diversity.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council was pleased to receive funding through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and ABC's Heywire Youth Innovation programme to deliver the Coking for Cohesion project.
This youth led project connected young people with the members of multicultural community. Workshops were held in schools and at the Hub Youth Centre; these workshops involved someone from the multicultural community sharing their recipes and showing young people how to prepare the kinds of dishes they would make at home. Participants then sat and ate together and shared their stories. Over 60 young people participated in the project, and approximately a dozen cultures were represented.
The project focussed on increasing social cohesion through the shared experience of food. Food can tell a story, it can bring people together and is a universal language of its own. The project gave people the opportunity to tell their own story in a safe environment and foster greater understanding of diversity and each other’s’ perspective.
Cooking for Cohesion culminated in the production of a multicultural recipe book which celebrates the diversity of the region. Copies of the cookbook are available at The Hub Youth Centre or click below to download (PDF).