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Alan White chats up about Feast for Freedom on Big Brekkie

Alan White is Director, Fundraising, Marketing and Enterprise at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, overseeing a suite of fundraising and marketing communications programs that enable the ASRC to remain independent in its support of people seeking asylum and refugees. He also leads the ASRC's social enterprises, Catering and Cleaning. Alan joins Gman on Big Brekkie. Alan is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) the only globally recognised fundraising accreditation, sits on the Fundraising Institute Board of Directors, on the board of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the Fundraising, Advocacy & Brand sub-board of Plan International’s Board.

In 2018, Alan was named one of Fundraising & Philanthropy Magazine’s “Movers and Shakers'' and in 2019, Alan was awarded The Innovation Index's Fundraising Innovator Award and had the privilege of being named Australian Young Fundraiser of the Year at the FIA National Awards of Excellence. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s (ASRC) Feast for Freedom is an annual fundraising event in aid of people seeking asylum. Returning for its third year, Feast for Freedom is a celebration of what unites us; food, culture and community, while raising vital funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, an independent not-for-profit supporting people seeking asylum. This event is a true celebration of refugees and Australia’s cultural diversity - and an opportunity to celebrate what unites us. The ASRC are calling on the public to host their own Feast for Freedom with friends, family and colleagues, cooking recipes that have been gifted by refugees to raise funds for the ASRC’s programs which support people seeking asylum.

This year’s Feast will feature recipes gifted by refugee cooks from Palestine and Sri Lanka. As a Feast for Freedom host, people will receive exclusive access to these recipes and more from the Feast for Freedom recipe archive (featuring recipes gifted by refugees from Papua New Guinean, Ethiopian and Iran). The recipes provided for 2021’s Feast for Freedom are lovingly gifted by ASRC member and Foodbank volunteer Aheda as well as Tamil refugee and chef, Niro. Aheda was a chef in Palestine and has been seeking asylum in Australia since 2018. Aheda is a Palestinian cuisine traditionalist and has dreams of one day opening a food truck to share her love of traditional Palestinian food and culture. You can also currently find Aheda delivering immersive cooking experiences and sharing her cultural traditions through Melbourne-based social enterprise ‘Free to Feed’. “I love sharing my food. When you make it and try my recipe, I think you’ll enjoy and be happy”, says Aheda. Aheda’s recipes include Smoky Baba Ganoush, Green Falafel, Sayadieh Samak, a simple green salad and Baklava (all recipes are included in the Feast for Freedom recipe book which hosts receive in their official hosting kit).

See more on Aheda and register to receive her gifted recipes here:

Niro’s journey with cooking began in an Australian immigration detention centre. After his first three years of being confined to a small room and served ‘vegetables with sauce’, Niro and about thirty other Sri Lankan refugees successfully advocated to cook for themselves one day. Together they tested recipes and taught each other how to make traditional Sri Lankan food that reminded them of home.

"After I was released, I had a chance to keep cooking my traditional food with Tamil Feast. Four of us who met in Detention would cook and share our food with 80 guests every week”, says Niro. Niro is now taking his cooking on the road via his mobile market stall ‘Tukka Tukka Kothuroti Man’. Niro’s recipes include Paruppi Vadai, Kothu Roti and Payasym (all vegan and available in the Feast for Freedom host recipe book).

See more on Niro and register to receive his street food recipes here:

Melbourne Chef Darren Purchese of Burch and Purchese is also joining in the food celebration and participating in this year’s Feast for Freedom campaign by the ASRC. Darren Purchese says of working with the ASRC “I always feel a real sense of compassion, love and community when I get involved in their important projects and it makes me humble and more appreciative of the things I have in my life that we all take for granted. I am excited to combine my love of food and working with the ASRC – Oh! And picking up a few new recipes along the way is always a bonus.” Darren and Aheda have created an online dessert cooking class together as part of Feast for Freedom - available from 1 March via the Feast website. A donation of any nominal amount is required to view the class and receive the exclusive dessert recipe created by Darren and inspired by Aheda’s traditional baklava. Restaurant hosted Feast for Freedoms Restaurants are also invited to participate in Feast for Freedom this year, choosing to host their own Feasts and inviting customers to make a donation (or by donating a % of proceeds from ticketed events or specific dishes). The ASRC’s official Feast for Freedom weekend is Friday 26th – Sunday 28th March with final donations closing on 30th April 2021.

Register to host your Feast here:

How to be a host and create your own Feast

1. Register at to become a Feast for Freedom Host – choose a date anytime between February and March or host your Feast on the campaign’s official weekend – Friday, 26 th March – Sunday, 28 th March. The ASRC will then email you a personal fundraising webpage where your guests can RSVP and you can receive donations toward your fundraising goal to support the work of the ASRC. 2. Choose your cuisine – Sri Lankan, Palestinian or something from the archives. Cook recipes gifted Aheda, Niro or past refugee cooks. Hosts are also welcome to cook their own recipes,there are no rules! 3. After registration, a FREE ‘Feast Host Kit’ will be sent to you to help you on your way to Feasting success, including a collectible recipe book with the gifted recipes, a Feast shopping tote, , wooden spoon, shopping list and conversation cards to use with your guests. Register before Sunday 14 February and receive an extra gift - a FREE Feast tea towel. 4. Host – Host your Feast in your home or workplace, raise funds for people seeking asylum and celebrate what unites us!

● Raising $282 – Can help fund the weekly food, housing and healthcare needs of someone seeking asylum. ● Raising $470 – Can help provide six months of vital medication and medicine through the ASRC’s health clinic. ● Raising $1,000 – Can help provide a vulnerable family with their food and grocery needs for an entire year through the ASRC’s Foodbank. Websites Campaign website – ASRC website – Social Media Facebook – Instagram – @asrc1 and @feast_for_freedom Hashtags – #FeastForFreedom #CelebrateWhatUnitesUs #ASRC Please contact Sophie McGrath PR for more information – 0402 535 122 |


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