Healthy tucker in Lockhart River

Community stories: 23 October 2013

In 2012 the Lockhart River community voiced a need for male health initiatives and thanks to funding from FRRR’s Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program the Lockhart River Men’s Cooking Program was born. Lockhart River is a remote Aboriginal community located on the east coast of Cape York, approximately 800km from Cairns (a 12 hour drive on primarily dirt roads), with a population of 542.

The grant of $2,243 provided much needed cooking equipment, nutrition education resources, promotional materials and healthy food to cover the cost of the cooking sessions. The program was a joint project between Apunipima – Cape York Health Council and Disability Services Queensland and was delivered by Apunipima Dietitian Rob Tyson.

Poor nutrition contributes to the high rates of chronic disease amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The program created an opportunity for disengaged men and those with disabilities to take part in regular healthy cooking and nutrition sessions at the Lockhart River men’s shelter.

The program focused on developing the participant’s skills and knowledge in preparing economical and nutritious meals using ingredients available from the Lockhart River retail store. Throughout 2012-2013 the men’s skills and confidence with preparing and cooking meals improved and the feedback about the program was very positive. 

Some quotes from the 2012-2013 participants.

“It was wonderful, I appreciated it and everyone who went there learnt something.”

“It was good and I will keep coming along.”

The success of the program will see 2013 sessions held during the Men’s Group meetings in order to encourage more men to attend the sessions.    

Given the positive feedback and good results of the program Apunipima – Cape York Health Council will continue to support the program throughout 2013-14.