Our kitchen garden community across the country call and email the Foundation regularly with questions about curriculum integration, kitchen safety, funding opportunities, upcoming training or even just what they should or shouldn’t put in their compost! These call and emails are responded to by our incredible Support Team: with a wealth of knowledge from their own experiences in kitchen garden schools and services, there is no query they can’t answer.
Name: Ali Gobbart
What is your role at the Foundation? Community Engagement Coordinator. We love to see the schools and services getting the most out of their kitchen garden program experiences and seeing pleasurable food education in action. Whether that is learning through challenges or celebrating successes in your kitchen garden, I provide support to help realise those plans and dreams through phone, email and web-based enquiries and I help with webinars when needed. I’m part of a fabulous team of passionate people who love to celebrate your stories and to see the wonderful impact the Kitchen Garden Program has on helping children develop positive food habits for life.
What is your spirit kitchen or garden tool and why? My spirit kitchen tool is the chopping board. Like a chopping board, I provide stability and support. I am reliable and dependable amongst a flurry of activity. I work best when I’m busy and can juggle many tasks, no matter the shape or size.
What is your favourite resource or recipe on the Shared Table? Ahhh, that’s a tricky decision with so many wonderful resources to tap in to there! I would have to say I’m a fan of the recipe collections by ingredient. Plus it’s a lovely nod to the layout of Stephanie Alexander’s cookbook The Cook’s Companion. Whether it’s Asparagus, Broccoli or Carrots that you’re wanting to prepare and share in the kitchen, searching recipe collections by ingredients is as easy as A,B,C!
Name: Chris Saray
What is your role at the Foundation? My role entails delivering Kitchen Garden Program professional development to teachers and facilitators to help them best deliver pleasurable food education. As a teacher myself I understand the need to give teachers lots of interesting and engaging material to make their classes fun and informative.
I have spent nearly 20 years working in and around gardens. I love how they offer so many potential learning opportunities for the young and not so young.
What is your spirit kitchen or garden tool and why? The garden tool that best describes me is the watering can. I like nurturing things from a small seed to a thriving individual.
What is your favourite resource or recipe on the Shared Table? My favourite resource on the Shared Table is Tools for Teachers, because it helps guide educators through how to integrate the Kitchen Garden Program and find relevant learning links throughout the whole school curriculum.
Name: Jessica Brien
What is your role at the Foundation? Community Engagement Lead. I support schools and early learning services on their kitchen garden journey through phone, email and web-based support, as well as face-to-face when I can! I work closely with supportive local councils, as well as the Foundation's partners and stakeholders. I help with membership promotion, queries and professional development when needed.
What is your Spirit Kitchen or Garden Tool and why? The food processor - I'm a versatile and efficient kitchen appliance. I can chop, grate, slice and dice, and aim to help with most activities in the quickest but most effective way. My abilities stretch far and wide, and I am a reliable one-stop shop for a variety of tasks.
What is your favourite resource or recipe on the Shared Table? The Shared Table is full of hundreds of amazing resources - it is tricky to pick just one! Currently my favourite resource is the KGP at home collection. This is an extensive resource that our team created in 2020 for the kitchen garden community for when students started learning remotely. It's full of ideas for remote learning, plus simplified activities with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability. I really enjoyed creating short videos to be included in this collection and I feel proud that so many schools and services have benefited from using this collection. I know that the collection will still be valuable for our educators when planning classes for 2022 and beyond!
Name: Josie Charles
What is your role at the Foundation? Support Manager. I have been around the Foundation for many years: I’ve delivered professional development across Australia, met many educators, visited many schools and seen their kitchen garden programs in action. I learnt a lot during those years I travelled extensively. Now I manage the Support team, so I’m not delivering professional development as much, but I still chat with all the many people involved on the ground.
What is your Spirit Kitchen or Garden Tool and why? It has always been the garden shed. I have many tools, and store plenty of information and advice that is called on daily, and I’m happy to share.
What is your favourite resource or recipe on the Shared Table? Right now, the recipe for ricotta and spinach gnocchi. This is such good comfort food – it’s easy to make and I swap in any greens I have left in my fridge or growing in my garden.
Name: Kate Beckwith
What is your role at the Foundation? My role is Professional Development Coordinator. I work with Chris Saray in the Support Team to deliver training across the country.
What is your Spirit Kitchen or Garden Tool and why? My spirit tool is a garden trellis. I like to offer support to help others reach new heights. I’m at my best when I get stuck in at ground level, and work together with others to produce amazing results. I can tailor my shape to fit the need at the time, and I can stay the distance come rain or shine.
What is your favourite resource or recipe on the Shared Table? One favourite resource is hard to pick, because the Shared Table is a treasure trove of resources tailored to the changing seasons. If I had to pick one, it would have to be Volunteer resourcing challenges, because it provides examples of how, together, we can work through obstacles and find solutions that support our amazing specialists and keep Kitchen Garden Program classes running sustainably.
Name: Marcelle Coakley
What is your role at the Foundation? Membership Coordinator. I help schools and early years services become kitchen garden members, and I work with other organisations and networks to share news and updates, like the recent changes to our membership packages. I also get to hang out with the Support team almost every day. I have dipped in and out of the Foundation for 10 years and it’s always welcoming and exciting: coming back to work with one of my original teammates, Josie, is why the Foundation feels like coming home to my family.
What is your Spirit Kitchen or Garden Tool and why? The kitchen mixer, because I am on the go all the time! My dad has a loaded orange tree, and I really love baking my favourite sticky orange cake for all the special people in my life.
What is your favourite resource or recipe on the Shared Table? It’s really hard to pick just one or two, but, for gardening, I would choose the wicking box resources. I lived in the Pilbara region for many years and it was always an effort to keep up with watering, so a wicking bed would be one of my best tips for dry climates. As for a recipe, I would go with the marinated mullet with Mexican slaw. I believe it’s important to support sustainable seafood and the humble mullet, or Fremantle sardine, is one of the best examples here in Western Australia, where I live. They are so good wrapped in a home-made tortilla, with a seasonal slaw and a good coating of green sauce. Plus, they are super cheap and easy to find.
Name: Suzie Wilton (parental leave)
What is your role at the Foundation? Professional Development Lead. My role usually means delivering professional development sessions to our kitchen garden community all around Australia. Currently, while working from home in Melbourne, I am working with the team to develop our webinars and resources to support educators.
What is your Spirit Kitchen or Garden Tool and why? I am the whisk! I like to bring bubbly-ness and energy to whatever I’m doing, I like working with my hands and I’m not afraid of a bit of hard work.
What is your favourite resource or recipe on the Shared Table? I love spending time on the Shared Table, so I think my favourite resource changes all the time! Right now, I would say it’s the split broad bean falafel recipe, as I’m really looking forward to experimenting with swapping fresh broad beans for the dried ones this spring.
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