Founded in 2013, The Welcome Dinner project is the brainchild of Penny Elsley, who had a vision to bring about grass-roots social change. She developed the project to help newly arrived Australians develop a sense of connection and community through the simply act of sharing a meal with local hosts. Food has the power to bring people together and transcend cultural barriers, and this is one of the key ideas behind The Welcome Dinner Project.
Now running for more than 2 years, the project has really taken off. The dinner works through a potluck concept, where everyone can bring a dish to share. The average dinner will have eight established Australians together with eight newly arrived people, as well as a two trained facilitators who will assist and support everyone on the day.
Everyone is welcome to participant, from migrants, asylum seekers, international students and refugees. What results is a far from average feast and a way to connect with others in your community and spark new friendships. You can register to host or attend a dinner online, or even volunteer as a facilitator.
Participants are encouraged to keep in contact with the people they meet during the dinners, and can even swap and share recipes online. They'll also be a follow up email and a chance to provide some feedback on how the dinner went
If it's a good meal and some diverse company you're after, be brave and sign up. Doing something great for the community is only a meal away.