AMES Australia hosted a fabulous ‘Taste the Difference’ dinner this week to celebrate Refugee Week.
Around 70 diners enjoyed cuisine from around the world prepared by chefs from migrant and refugee backgrounds and served in a room at Melbourne’s Multicultural Hub.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp spoke at the gathering, emphasising the contributions of refugee and multicultural communities in making Melbourne a richer and more interesting place.
AMES CEO Cath Scarth welcomed the diners and spoke about the importance of diversity in Australian society which was reflected in the plethora of different food traditions enjoyed by most Australians. Cath also noted the crucial role of the Multicultural Hub in welcoming and supporting new arrivals to Melbourne.
The attendees enjoyed an entrée prepared by the East African sisters, a main course cooked by Syrian chef Nayran Tabiei and a desert provided by Palestinian chef Aheda.
The chefs spoke about the importance of food in their respective cultures. Present were members of the general public, community members, AMES staff and corporate partners, including 7-Eleven and Parks Victoria.
The attendees were mostly people who had booked for last year’s dinner, which was cancelled because of a COVID lockdown. Tickets sold then raised $2000 which went to AMES ‘People in Need Fund’ and was distributed to international students, asylum seekers and other people without income because of the lockdowns.
Event organiser Reshma Manandhar said the night was a huge success and felt like a family gathering.
“There was a really good vibe and everyone enjoyed themselves,” Reshma said.
“It was really good opportunity for Melburnians to meet people with a lived experience of being a refugee and to talk about and celebrate the very real contributions refugees make in our city,” she said.