Women! Dinner! Conversation! All under the stars.
Join us for our International Women’s Day 2019 event in the Free to Feed courtyard. Surround yourself with thoughtful women for a delicious dinner and intimate conversation.
We’re bringing together three strong and powerful refugee and migrant women to share their unique experience of femininity! The Panelists include Mahshid Barbzatabi, Rawan Abdal, and Farah Sharifi. The conversation and Q&A Panel will be facilitated by Loretta Bolotin, our very own lady-boss.
In a true celebration of the women, dinner will be produced by an ALL women dream team. You will enjoy an abundant and delicious three course Middle Eastern feast and walk away feeling nourished and inspired by both the outstanding food and conversation.
It’s going to be an incredible night and we can’t wait to celebrate WOMEN with you!
Bookings essential / Tickets are $78, kids under 5 can attend for free.
Mahshid Babzartabi, is a former USA-educated business translator from Tehran and after arriving in Australian in 2013 has become an Iranian community advocate and leader, assisting members through food and facilitating community donations.. Reflecting on her reason to leave Iran Mahshid says, “I didn’t feel safe as a person and not free as a woman and not valued as a human being,”. With a big heart and a cooking prowess to match, Babzartabi is a living advocate of connecting and healing through food.
A qualified architect and business partner, Farah Sharifi has led some of the most interesting and prominent urban planning projects in Iran. She has also experienced the uncomfortable dichotomy of working as a professional woman in her country. Looking to broaden her opportunities, as well as her freedom of expression, Farah and her husband chose to pursue a new life in Australia, where she has had to rebuild her professional identity and community. As a talented amatuer cook, Farah has done so through volunteering her time and energy with Free to Feed, as well as taking the occasional starring role as an instructor and cook. While also completing her PhD in Urban Planning at Swinburne University, this creative foodie outlet has allowed Farah to not only to develop a new community, but also help other women find their own voice through her example.
Rawan Abdal is a hardworking, incredible woman. She attained a Bachelor's Degree in Biology in Mosul, North of Iraq. It was also in Iraq that she developed her skills and passion for cooking. In 2014, Rawan left Iraq with her husband, daughter (4) and son (2) in search for a better, safer life. Their migration journey took them to Turkey for two years before arriving to Australia in 2016. Rawan is the perfect example of a multi-hyphen person: she shares her culture and food with the Melbourne community as Cook in Residence at Free to Feed, she recently completed her certificate in Allied Health IV Physiotherapy from The Stirling Institute of Australia, and is preparing her family to soon become a family of five come June!
Free to Feed:
Free to Feed empowers [new arrivals] refugees, people seeking asylum and new migrants through employment in the delivery of shared food experiences. We are the leading social enterprise provider of authentic food experiences and community building events in Melbourne. We represent a rich tapestry of talent originating from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia & Venezuela, for whom the Free to Feed program is life-changing and often their very first job in Australia!
We are a registered Charity and all ticket sales fund the Free to Feed Program, allowing us to give more paid training, professional development and hands-on employment opportunities to our Cooks in Residence and expand on our catering efforts in 2019.