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Launceston Community Kitchen brings people together through the power of food and cooking

A brand-new project aiming to bring people together to share the joy of cooking and eating

together has taken off at The Orchard Centre.

Led by yoga instructor Cate Harvey and supported by Pat Orridge at The Orchard Centre, Launceston

Community Kitchen is doing fantastic work to teach the basics around cooking, an important life skill that everyone deserves to have.

Cate moved to Launceston two years ago with her wife Julie and understands the importance of community: “When you come to live in a new place you need to take time to listen to people and get to understand what their needs might be.”

She began teaching yoga at various locations across town, where she met Pat at The Orchard Centre.

Pat facilitates a number of groups and organisations at The Orchard Centre each week, including Man Down, who meet there on alternate Wednesday evenings to talk about men’s mental health. Cate, who grew up in food poverty, is passionate about everybody’s right to be able to cook and eat a tasty and nutritious meal without it costing the earth.

“I write up the recipes but I’m keen that we build confidence through cooking and tasting the food we

make together,” she said. Where possible, Cate uses produce from the Community Larder (now based in the Methodist Church), which provides food, free of charge to all, that would have otherwise been thrown away. The Man Down cookery sessions run on the other Wednesday evenings.

“I thought, if we can get them making a good tomato sauce as a base for other meals, they will feel really empowered and good about it and might be able to have a go when they get home,” Cate

said. “It’s all about watching them grow in confidence through food, and it’s great to know they can now cook a range of dishes. It doesn’t matter how people feel when they walk in, they always get stuck

in and are transformed by preparing and eating food together. And it’s such fun. We always make sure there’s enough for them to take a portion home too. I heard one man say, ‘I wasn’t going to come this

week but I’m so glad I did.’ That’s why we do it!’

Now, Cate and Pat would like to roll out Launceston Community Kitchen to other groups in the area. If you are part of a community group that you feel would benefit from the support of Launceston Community Kitchen, email Cate on


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