Lesson Ideas for Teachers

Making multicultural Australia

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KLA/Subject: Food Technology

Stage: Stage 4

Aussie Food


Food Technology
  • 4.6 outline changes in food and beverage consumption patterns
  • 4.7 give examples of social and technological factors that influence food and beverage choice


This idea for two lessons uses a document and photograph from Making Multicultural Australia to investigate what ‘Aussie food’ is and how it is evolving. It also touches on many deeper aspects of our richly diverse Australian population. Worksheets are included to support classroom and homework activities.

Material to Download

Worksheet: Aussie Food - Worksheet

Archival Images: Serving snags and satay

Information Pamphlets: Fact Sheet: Over Fifty Years of Post War Immigration

Book Excerpts: Wogfood - An Oral History with Recipes

Suggested Activities

  1. Brainstorm
    What is ‘Aussie Food’? Accept all suggestions.
    NB: Keep the output of the brainstorm as this will be used towards the end of this lesson idea.

  2. Read and Discuss
    Distribute copies of 'Newton, John: Wogfood – An Oral History with Recipes'. Ask students to focus on paragraph 2, page 1.

    Discuss with students the following:
    • From which culinary background does lasagne come?
    • Describe lasagne and the ingredients used.
    • Was lasagne given as a suggestion by the students during the brainstorm? Why/why not?
    Read paragraphs 4 and 5 of the same page. Ask students the following questions:
    • What did the woman mean when she said ‘I’m too old’?
    • Why might the woman have reacted as she did?
    • Can you think of other dishes using the same ingredients?

    Inform students that 1995 marked the 50th anniversary of Australia’s post-war migration program which brought over 5 million people to Australia from many countries. Over the last 200 years there has been a dramatic change in the social make-up of Australia’s population from an almost totally Aboriginal population to predominantly Anglo-Celtic in 1900 to the more recent mix of 74% Anglo-Celtic, 19% other European and 4.5% Asian (1995). See in Materials to Download - Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs: Over Fifty Years of Post-War Migration.

  3. View and discuss
    Download the photgraph 'Serving Snags and Satay'. Divide students into groups and ask them to look at the picture.

    Discuss the following:
    • From which culinary backgrounds might snags and satay come?
    • What are other examples of combining foods from different backgrounds?
    • How has food changed in the new context of Australia?
  4. Homework
    Ask students complete the worksheet: 'Aussie Food'.

  5. Class discussion
    As a class, discuss how the eating patterns of the parents/caregivers of students have remained similar to or changed from that of their childhood? Reasons?

  6. Group discussion
    Divide students into groups and ask each group to list foods found in supermarkets and the culinary background from which they come.

  7. Class discussion
    Collate group lists on the board and discuss.

    Refer back to brainstorm of ‘Aussie Food’ and compare to see if the list is now broader.

  8. Conclusion
    As food availability has broadened with an increasingly diverse population, so have many other aspects. As well as enjoying immense variety in food there is greater diversity of artistic expression such as music, dance, art and theatre. People also have a greater understanding of a range of religious beliefs and world views. People have begun and continue to develop a greater appreciation and acceptance of diversity and difference which has become an asset to our nation.

Preparation Checklist

Whiteboard or butcher’s paper is required.
Teacher to access Making Multicultural Australia and print one copy of the following for each student:

  1. Worksheet (two pages back-to-back)
  2. Wogfood
  3. Serving Satay and Snags


Ask students to:

  • Investigate what foods are available from the school canteen. Does it represent a range of backgrounds?
  • Investigate what students eat on special festival days.
  • Investigate restaurants in the local area. What culinary backgrounds are represented? What combinations of cuisine are evident? What evidence is there of other cultural institutions associated with the backgrounds identified?
  • Research what cooking classes are offered by community colleges.

Related Resources

Not applicable

Lesson Notes

Teachers should encourage students to make positive comments about foods, diversity and difference.

Date Added:

08 December 2004