We are very proud to be official ambassadors of Australia Day 2017. Below, you can have a read of our official Australia Day speech, and also some links to some of our favourite recipes using native Australian ingredients:
Sammy and Bella – Australia Day speech 2017
We are honoured to have been chosen as your Randwick City Australia Day Ambassadors and it is a pleasure to be here with you today.
We also acknowledge the Bidjigal (bid-ji-gal) people, the traditional owners of this land where we are meeting today and pay our respects to the elders both past and present.
We thank the land for giving us so many delicious, native flavours to enjoy this Australia Day, and we thank the people of multicultural Australia for bringing us so many diverse and delicious dishes that we enjoy every day.
We would also like to thank our Polish grandmother, Ula, who taught us many F words. (pause).
Food, Fun, Friends, and Family!
Sammy and I know a bit about food… and it’s not just something we eat. Food has an incredible power: the power to connect, the power to unify our nation. Food connects families and cultures. It connects us to our heritage.
Our parents grew up in Warsaw, Poland. A land which has been ravaged by wars and occupations throughout history. It’s a country of absolutely divine people, who, like we all do, value family, friends and food above everything else.
Go to any Polish persons’ house, and you’ll be force fed dumplings, cabbage and schnitzel and sausages until you can’t walk and your only option is to collapse on the couch and wait until you’ve digested. At which point, obviously, you’ll be re-stuffed with polish doughnuts and gingerbread cookies!
Our parents arrived here from Poland in 1981, with nothing but a suitcase and their optimism. Their first jobs were at a car factory and a pizza restaurant and they immersed themselves in Australian culture as much as they good. They quickly perfected their English and settled in the beachside paradise of Maroubra Beach.
Some of our fondest childhood memories are of Sunday afternoon barbeques at Coogee beach, our parents enjoying cold beer, and the delish smell of frying onions (with a splash of beer for flavour)
All the best memories of our family center around eating. As our grandma used to say, “you can taste the love in food”. Food is literally a vehicle of love, and the most wonderful way to send a message of love to your nearest and dearest. We know this is true in every culture.
The building we grew up in was a melting pot of cultures, and all the neighbours loved sharing food – it really brought us together as a community despite being from diverse backgrounds. The English family next door made great shephards pie, the Russians downstairs made eggplant schnitzels, the Hungarian lady downstairs always had sweets for the kids, the Filipino lady made great adobo chicken, and Australian born lady across the hall used to make us chocolate crackles.
6 years ago we were thrust into the limelight when we won 7’s My Kitchen Rules with our traditional Polish dishes. We received an outpouring of well wishes from hundreds of Australians that we had never met. Our family values and respect for traditions resonated with audiences – many of whom were either born overseas or have at least 1 grandparent who immigrated here.
Over the generations, we tend to lose some of the connections to our family history. Food is a wonderful way to stay connected to our roots, it stays in our hearts and memories for many years.
By preserving cultural food traditions for future generations, we preserve a piece of our history, and firmly plant it in our future. A future where every generation can share their food and culture with other Australians. To share those universal values of good food, good friends, and good fun.
There is nothing like breaking bread to bring people together. We encourage you to all break bread and chat with your neighbours this Australia Day. It’s the most wonderful way to welcome new Australians and make connections that will enrich and enhance your lives.
Once again, thank you for inviting us here on this very special day.