First Congress Down Under

28 May 2010

The first Slow Food Australia National Congress is being held this weekend, with more than 100 Slow Food leaders and members representing all states and territories meeting in the country’s capital Canberra to discuss good, clean and fair in an Australian context and create a clear vision for the future developments of the association.

Entitled The Next Steps, the congress will provide the opportunity for diverse voices from the Slow Food network to share their experiences and discuss how to address challenges in the unique environmental, cultural and historic situation in Australia. The congress will start early on Saturday with a visit to the Capital Regional Farmers’ Market followed by congress activities and the Slow Food Australia Annual General Meeting and finishing with a dinner showcasing local foods at the Old Parliament House.

Sharing and exchanging project ideas and experiences will be an important focus of the meeting, with key guest speakers highlighting work done on food education. Stephanie Alexander, from the Kitchen Garden Foundation, will talk about the success of this now nation-wide school kitchen garden program, while Gary Thomas, a Terra Madre chef who pioneered the children’s education activity ‘Spudhunters’, will discuss approaches to engage children in learning about food biodiversity.

National and international programs such as the Ark of Taste and Terra Madre will also be presented, along with a session to look at Slow Food in literature and the media and peer-to-peer networking and mentoring opportunities.

This is to be the first members’ congress since Slow Food Australia was established as a national association in 2008. The congress is being held with the support of local convivium Slow Food Canberra, Capital and Country. It will take place at Rydges Lakeside hotel in the city centre.

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