Talking healthy food at Indigenous Art Fair
Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s Nutrition team and the Jimmy Little Foundation will be spreading the word about health and nutrition at the upcoming Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) which will take place at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal from 24 – 26 July.
Apunipima Nutrition Team Leader Melinda Hammond said the high burden of chronic disease suffered by Cape York’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was partly due to the lack of access to healthy, affordable food in remote communities.
‘We know Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are more likely than other Australians to suffer from chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. These illnesses are directly related to poor diet and lack of exercise. We also know that poor diet is the biggest risk factor to contribute to disease in Australia, followed by obesity and smoking, and in order to make health gains into the future, it is essential that we focus on improving children’s diets,’ Melinda explained.
‘Organisations like ours and the Jimmy Little Foundation work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to share knowledge about healthy eating, shopping and cooking strategies. We also work with all levels of government, other health providers including aged care facilities and community stores to put healthy food policies and food badging initiatives in place such as the Uncle Jimmy Thumbs Up! signage which identifies healthy food choices in many Cape York community stores.’
Apunipima will spend time at the Jimmy Little Foundation stand from 1-4pm on Friday 25 July and at midday on Saturday 26 July there will be a feature performance by Jimmy Little Foundation CEO and former Angels and GANGgajang member Graham “Buzz” Bidstrup and ‘Thumbs Up!’ facilitator and singer/songwriter of The Medics Kahl Wallace.
‘Kahl is from Cairns and is now one of our Thumbs Up! Facilitators. He will be working with our team in Arnhem Land following the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair but is also very keen to work in the Cape as his family comes from the remote Cape York community of Lockhart River. We have already worked with Apunipima in Lockhart River and look forward to doing more work throughout the Cape communities in partnership with Apunipima,’ Buzz said.
‘We thank CIAF for the opportunity to share nutrition and healthy lifestyle information with the artists and visitors to the Fair as we believe good nutrition makes all the difference to long term health and to eventually Closing the Gap. Our mantra is Good Tucker – Long Life.’
CIAF is Australia’s premier Indigenous art event and showcases artwork from emerging, mid-career and established Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and features visual arts, textiles, workshops, film, fashion, music and dance.
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