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Meals that evoke residents' memories

An Indigenous residential aged care home has a standing agenda item at its residents’ meetings dedicated to the food and the dining experience.

As most of the residents grew up in camp or mission locations, they expressed their wish for more barbeques at the home, as they love the smell of the fire and smoke and the memories this evokes.

The residents said kangaroo tail was everyone’s favourite food to barbeque. They also said that they loved tinned bully beef (or corned beef) with damper, as this reminded them of a treat they enjoyed when they were younger.

Both of these meals are now regularly served at the home. When staff can access them, kangaroo tails are bought and kept in the freezer. When they’re not available at all, oxtail is cooked in the fire instead.

These meals have become a treasured and meaningful experience for residents – and one that is not just about the food. Residents take a long time to eat these meals and savour every mouthful, while sitting together around the raised fire pit and sharing memories.

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