My Food Story

Grassroots, Social Enterprise

2020 – 2021

“I want to share something related to my country to show that Iraq is not just about war but that it’s a beautiful country with lots of things to share. Because Dolma is delicious I want to share so people can try,” Marwah.

My Food Story is a series of short films created by participants from refugee and migrant backgrounds creating their first short film based on their favourite dish. Participants were selected through the My Food Story Competition in 2021. CuriousWorks were brought in through our Social Enterprise program to teach participants about filmmaking and assist them in creating their first short films.

The My Food Story Competition was run by Sydney Local Health District’s Youthblock Youth Health Service program Yhunger (Younger Hunger) as part of the Refugee and Asylum Seeking Youth (RASY) project, a collaboration with the NSW Refugee Health Service, Settlement Services International, Western Sydney’s Multicultural Health Services, and CuriousWorks.

The project invited 14 to 25 year olds from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds to produce a story about a favourite dish that reminded them of “a time, place, people and sensations”.

The prize was a two-day filmmaking workshop at Lilyfield’s Community Refugee Welcome Centre, culminating in the creation of the dishes on camera, which transformed the winning stories into five-minute short films.

CuriousWorks was originally brought onto the project mid-2020 by project coordinator Rowena Yamazaki after she saw Miranda Aguilar and Sivani Yaddanapudi speak about Ethical Storytelling and present Sivani’s short film Trishul  at the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network Meeting at the Auburn Youth Centre in March 2020. 

After countless COVID-related delays, the workshops were finally able to go through with the films being shared at an intimate showing at PYT Fairfield a week before Refugee Week 2022. You can learn more about the showing and hear from two of the participants, Marwah Mader and Marleen Jameel, students from Navitas Skilled Futures class in Fairfield, here. The work and the screening were also shared on the first page of the Fairfield City Champion.

It was an honour to be a part of My Food Story and assist these story-tellers bring their visions to life. As Miranda Aguilar said in the My Food Story screening:

“It’s not just about food. It’s about memories, perspectives and transporting you to different cultures and worlds. 

Thank you for sharing your stories with us because they are powerful and important.”

All of the My Food Stories films are now available to watch online!


 All films are © NSW Health, 2022

CuriousWorks Crew: Diego Murillo, Ali Mousawi, Miranda Aguilar, Sivani Yaddanapudi, Shawn Spina & Tracy Gou.

Rowena Yamazaki, Tony Ling and Sam Yaqoub from the YHunger Project at Youthblock.

Sundus Yousif and Eloise Le Compte at The NSW Refugee Health Service.

Dor Achiek and Moones Mansoubi at Settlement Services International.

Special Thanks to Camilla Portela and Genevieve Lewis at Navitas Skilled Futures.



The My Food Story Participants are:

Marwah Mader

Wasan Al-Tomina

Marleen Jameel

Katreen Zebare

Venice Lam

Dennis Lam