Knowing what we eat and how to cook it has never been more important. Cooking skills used to be passed down from generation to generation, but now less and less people have even the most basic knowledge of how to feed themselves and their families with good, nutritious food. We are on a mission to keep cooking skills alive and we called on you to nominate your hometown or community as the host for Jamie's Ministry of Food pop-up kitchen for 12 months.

We are overwhelmed by all the wonderful applications we have received, your community spirit is inspiring and we are so thrilled that so many of you are passionate about the health and well-being of your community.

MEET OUR FINALISTS

QLD

Fraser Coast Regional Council, Hervey Bay

Fraser Coast adults are tipping the scales above average; with statistics showing the region's adult obesity rates are 26% higher than the overall Queensland rate and 67% of the population is an unhealthy weight. 21,000 adults on the Fraser Coast are obese or severely obese and only 9000 adults consume the recommended daily dose of fruit and vegetables. The proposed site is the Hervey Bay Community Centre, a facility which provides a community meeting place as well as housing twenty existing programs and services.

NSW

Catherine Giltrap, Albury

Located on the border of NSW and VIC, Albury Wodonga is a regional city that services a large rural population with the local economy tied to rural enterprise and manufacturing. Cathy, a mother of 3, made it her mission to inspire the local community to get behind her campaign. In a matter of days, she secured support from a number of individuals, businesses and both the Albury and Wodonga Council, and sparked a massive social media campaign. She also gained support from the Victorian Government who offered to provide a site within The Good Sheds renewal project.

TAS

Tasmanian Community Food Garden, Hobart

Tasmania has arguably some of the best produce in the Southern Hemisphere, but an alarmingly high number of the community do not take advantage of this. They either cannot afford it, don’t know how to grow it, or don’t know what to do with it. In the majority of cases, it is sadly, all 3! The Tasmanian Community Food Garden is situated within the walls of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and is offering the new Living Learning Centre due for completion in early 2015 as a site, which includes a teaching kitchen to promote healthy cooking practices utilising produce from the garden.

QLD

The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, Gapuwiyak

Gapuwiyak (English name being Lake Evella) is located in the heart of north-east Arnhem Land, about 500 km east of Darwin and 120 km west of Nhulunbuy. Indigenous persons have lived in this region for 40,000 years. Today Gapuwiyak has a population of 874 persons, predominantly Indigenous, and is largely a younger population. There is significant socio-economic disadvantage in the community and a low rate of attendance at the school and completion of year 12. The proposed site is the kitchen located in the community store, which will help the community to achieve better health outcomes.

VIC

Victoria University, Footscray

Melbourne’s West is the most culturally and linguistically diverse of all the regions in Victoria with over 130 nationalities represented. Footscray and the surrounding areas have access to high quality and affordable fresh produce, however around 50% of the local community feel that they can't access fruit and vegetables due to their low income, physical disability or ease of access. Victoria University has garnered support from 5 local governments in Melbourne’s West to support the project and has offered usage of its kitchen facilities on the Footscray campus.

WA

South West Institute of Technology, Bunbury

The South West is experiencing an obesity pandemic, with an almost 30% increase in the number of people being diagnosed as being obese in just the past decade. Today almost 3 in 10 adults are considered medically obese. With 30 fast food outlets serving a population of just 67,000, the Greater Bunbury area has one of Australia’s highest concentrations of fast food outlets per capita. The South West Institute of Technology provides vocational education and training including hospitality and commercial cookery classes, and is offering use of the facilities.

SA

Colonnades Shopping Centre, City of Onkaparinga

Onkaparinga is the largest metropolitan council in South Australia stretching across 51 suburbs, of which a third of the population is experiencing socio-economic disadvantage, receiving welfare including unemployment benefits, disability pensions and rent assistance. If successful, Colonnades Shopping Centre will not only donate a shop front and but will financially assist in constructing a purpose built kitchen.

ACT

Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, Belconnen

Belconnen is a district representing a quarter of the total population of Canberra. One of the biggest problems Belconnen faces is the general perception that purchasing fresh produce is expensive. The Belconnen Fresh Food Markets want to help provide their community with this opportunity and believe everyone should have the right to learn to cook, no matter what their income or where they live. Belconnen Fresh Food Markets have offered a free tenancy and support to refurbish an existing demonstration kitchen.