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The Food Lovers’ Guide to Australia – Series 5 Episode 6 (2004)

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clip A new life in Australia education content clip 3

Original classification rating: G. This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Channa Dassanayaka is from Sri Lanka and came to Australia when his mother, who was a politician, thought that things were becoming too dangerous in Sri Lanka and sent Channa to Australia for his safety. When his mother died, he felt adrift between two cultures and lost his way for a while until he faced his demons by returning to unfinished business in Australia with the mentoring support of an Australian of Sri Lankan origins.

Curator’s notes

A cooking segment that tells us some interesting facts about being an immigrant in Australia and far from one’s roots. It was only when Channa returned to Australia after the death of his mother and found a sponsor to help him with his work, that he has felt able to begin life again in his adopted country.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This clip shows Sri Lankan chef and restaurateur Channa Dassanayaka working in a kitchen and talking about his passion for food and the memories that aromas trigger for him. Channa discusses his mother and ancestors in Sri Lanka as major influences in his life and explains that his mother, a Sri Lankan politician, sent him to Australia for safety reasons and gave him a restaurant to run. Channa meets restaurateur and businesswoman Dur-e Dara and she explains the sponsoring arrangement that she and Channa have entered into.

Educational value points

  • Channa Dassanayaka is a chef and former restaurateur, originally from Sri Lanka but now living in Australia. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Channa trained and worked as a chef in both Sri Lanka and Germany before coming to Australia after his politician mother decided that Sri Lanka was an unsafe environment for him due to the fighting between the Tamil minority and the Sri Lankan Government. Channa opened and ran a Sri Lankan restaurant in Melbourne called Woodapple and in this clip he explains that the connections between family, culture and memory are important aspects of his cooking.
  • The clip alludes to aspects of Hindu culture. Following the death of his mother, Channa says 'everything stopped for a while’. The impact of his loss led him to return to Sri Lanka where he lived for some time in an Ashram meditating and practising yoga. An Ashram is a Hindu hermitage or community formed primarily for spiritual healing and reflection.
  • Melbourne identity, restaurateur and businesswoman Dur-e Dara OAM (recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia) is shown. Dur-e Dara is a well-known figure in Melbourne with interests across a range of businesses and cultural organisations. Convenor of the Victorian Women’s Trust, where she works for gender equity and improving the status of women, she has established and managed a number of Melbourne’s premier restaurants, and in 2005 was awarded the annual Restaurant and Catering Australia Lifetime Achievers Award for her contribution to the industry.
  • Channa worked in Australia under one of the sponsorship programs of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. After his return to Australia following the death of his mother, Channa met Dur-e Dara and worked for her under a formal sponsoring arrangement. A number of immigration programs are available for people wishing to live and work in Australia under various categories including skills, family, business and humanitarian visa classes.
  • The Food Lovers’ Guide to Australia series is a celebration of Australia’s strong food and lifestyle culture. This Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) television series presents Australia’s rich and multicultural culinary traditions and diverse produce. Joanna Savill and Maeve O’Meara are experienced journalists and television and radio presenters who travel around Australia producing episodes of the program, which won the gold medal for Best Food and/or Drink Television Show (Long-Form) at the 2005 World Food Media Awards.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

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ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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