Gurambai Food Sharing Workshop

Gurambai/Rapid Creek has been a source of life and nourishment for locals and other creatures for thousands of years. In mid 2020, some 20 of us gathered at the Lakeside Drive community gardens, located in the Gurambai catchment for a workshop presented in collaboration  between myself and Larrakia/Gulumirrgin woman Nadine Lee.  The workshop provided an opportunity for locals and visitors to meet, eat, walk and talk about food and reflect on the way food connects humans to the river, other critters and each other.

We began the morning by sharing different food stories, and wandered through the garden, as group members shared knowledge about what was growing and how to prepare it to eat. One community garden member of Melanesian heritage spoke about how they were planting a ‘famine garden’ – crops of taro and sweet potatoe that could provide food if a cyclone came. Another group member was a well known local gardener who had published books on tropical food and shared a number of cooking and growing tips with the group.

From the garden we made out way down to the mangroves, where Nadine spoke about the importance of Gurambai/Rapid Creek to Larrakia/Gulmurrigin people. We saw the shells of ‘long bums’ – a popular local food source and Nadine shared a book from her brother on the different shellfish of Yolngu lands. As we moved further down into the mangroves we spoke of their life giving importance, and how this was threatened by PFAS pollution and development at Rapid Creek. Kirsty Howie of the Enviroment Centre gave an update on the action taking place to protect the area, and Nadine stressed the importance of everyone living on Larrakia/Gulumirrgin land to participating in caring for it.

We then wandered back up to the garden and shared a morning tea of garden produce. Together we reflected on what we had learned together about food, the land and how these relationships are shifting and changing as colonialism and development continue to impact this place.

This workshop was presented by TopEndSTS (Science and Technology Studies) as part of the Encountering Gurambai/Rapid Creek event series.  A zine created by the collective on this series is here. https://topendsts.cdu.edu.au/encountering-gurambai-the-zine/

Gurambai/Rapid Creek

Collaborators: Nadine Lee

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