Last month, EON’s Ambassador Dr Rishelle Hume AM, took time out from her busy schedule to visit the communities of Yakanarra and Yiyili in the Central Kimberley, where the EON Thriving Communities Program has been in operation since 2015 and 2016 respectively.
As well as viewing the EON gardens at the schools in these two communities, Dr Hume also visited the home gardens of EON’s Community Assistants, Shorty and Anthony, at Guninyi and Pull Out Camps, outside of Yiyili.
Our Ambassador expressed her awe and admiration for the work being done and was delighted at the state of the gardens, currently producing an array of tasty produce including tomatoes, corn, spinach, eggplant, kale, mulberries and mangoes, despite the very hot and dry conditions (up to 46 degrees!)
Highlights of the trip included speaking at length with Anthony and Shorty at Yiyili and Lee at Yakanarra (EON’s Community Assistants) and seeing their pride in the gardens, sharing lunch with the pre-primary kids at Yakanarra who enjoyed eating an omelette loaded with vegies and herbs freshly plucked from the EON garden, and being served a coffee made by the senior students at Yiyili who displayed their impressive barista skills.
The gardens at both Yakanarra and Yiyili provide green, tranquil places for calm amidst a harsh environment and are a tribute to the hard work of Project Manager Erika Wells and her talented team. Not only are they great spaces for directed learning, they also provide opportunities for “incidental nutrition”- with the students picking produce whenever they visit the gardens.
A proud Noongar woman and currently Manager of Aboriginal Workforce Inclusion and Development Strategy with Chevron Australia, Dr Hume said she was privileged to visit the remote communities.
“This has been an absolutely amazing experience. We all need to support EON to expand the program to more communities to teach more kids about the importance of healthy eating which brings huge benefits.”