“Most people aren’t aware that, for most of their lives, they’ve been eating Aboriginal foods.”

Warndu's Rebecca Sullivan is curating the Adelaide Festival Ngarku’adlu, a Family-Friendly Picnic and a fine dinning event.  Both dining events will involve stories and knowledge shared by cultural leaders, and guests will learn about traditional Aboriginal cooking techniques; places where bush food is sourced, picked, foraged, hunted and cooked; and how these foods can form a bigger part of everyone’s household pantry.

The event is a collaboration with chefs like Clayton Donovan a Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung man that grew up on the mid-north coast of New South Wales and the first Indigenous chef to run a Good Food-hatted restaurant, Jaaning Tree;  Warndu's Rebecca Sullivan from Warndu a self taught cook and event guru, and Paul Iskov the chef behind West Australian-based native food pop-up Fervor.  Additionally, the event will  the services of Indigenous-owned businesses, not just in terms of food supply, but also ancillary services and products including design and cleaning products.

Damien Coulthard, an Adnyamathanha and Dieri man and co-founder of Warndu, says the event is a way for the wider (South) Australian community to rethink its connection with First Nations culture.

“This is an extraordinary way for South Australia to celebrate and acknowledge the longest living culture in the world through the Aboriginal lens of place, taste and story,” says Coulthard. “It’s an opportunity for all Aboriginal identities involved to share their unique experiences and to connect with other sisters and brothers, along with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses, who are respectfully contributing to the industry.”

“In your kitchen drawer, you might have a mixer, grinder, butter knives, knives for steak, a potato peeler – all kinds of things,” says Thomas, who will be conducting tours as part of the picnics. “We want to show the diversity and function of the tools used by Aboriginal Australia. People often jump to the conclusion that certain artefacts are weapons, but they’re actually part of Aboriginal food culture and used to help you put food in your mouth.”

Ngarku’adlu will be held on the Barr Smith Lawns at the University of Adelaide on Saturday March 13 and Sunday March 14. There will be two sessions (11am and 4pm) daily and alcohol is not permitted. Tickets are $49 ($29 for concession card-holders and children three to 12. Children under three are free) and available online.

Extracted from Broadsheet