Cooking up a Storm

National Volunteers Week 2019 - Kodi Brady

Access to food is a major issue for rural communities, and empowering families to make the most of what they're got is something Kodi Brady is experienced in.

The Gamilaraay/Wailwan man teaches cooking at regional and remote schools, as a volunteer for the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA).

Kodi is a pastry chef by trade and ex-restaurateur and jumped at the chance to join the NASCA volunteers to teach and model healthy lifestyles.

Kodi says NASCA isn't just about sport - but about mentoring and healthy lives.

His cooking is tailored for the community he volunteers in.

"There's no point in following a recipe if you don't have access to the food. It's all about using what's available in the community," he said.

"I teach the kids that cooking and eating healthily is possible for them, but it needs to be food they can get their hands on. Cooking should always be age appropriate. For the kindies we'll make fruit kebabs and scones etc. And being creative with what we've got".

The creativity is reflected in Kodi's volunteering life, which is an important part of who he is.

"Some people sit on the beach and look at the waves to relax. I volunteer. I want to help our people, and the more I give to them, the more it motivates me."

Kodi's voluntary work with NASCA is the tip of the iceberg. He's a member of two Local Aboriginal Land Councils - Coonamble and Coonabarabran - and is currently leading a project to create a public yarning circle and fire pit at Coonabarabran, as a safe place for Aboriginal people to gather.

"I'm a grassroots person and am very interested in local work, local people and the empowerment of our people, especially those in small communities.

"And volunteering? It truly is one of the most rewarding paths I've ever walked. All I can say is, volunteering can plant seeds that bear fruit. And then I can cook them!"