Food for thought


Stephanie with Coleen Clare, Vice-President of IWDA, and Suzette Mitchell, Executive Director, at the IWDA World Food Day Feast.

Food for thought: the International Women’s Development Agency

Stephanie is a keen supporter of Melbourne-based IWDA – a non-government organisation which undertakes practical, co-operative projects in partnership with women from around the world, and especially those who suffer poverty and oppression.  On World Food Day, 16 October 2005, Stephanie had the privilege of MC’ing a wonderful, high-spirited fund-raising dinner at the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron where 200 people ate delicious food cooked by 20 top chefs – all women donating their time and skills –  raising $40,000 for the invaluable work of IWDA. This is a small organisation doing invaluable work among the world’s most vulnerable and needy.  For more information about IWDA, or to become a supporter, please do visit


Stephanie MC’ing the World Food Day Feast.

Media Release
Thursday 20 October 2005
World Food Day Feast

A recipe for success for some of the poorest women in Asia and the Pacific as IWDA raises $40,000!

The International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) are this week celebrating following the huge  success of their inaugural World Food Day Feast at the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron in St Kilda last  Sunday 16 October, where they raised $40,000.

Food industry icon Dur-é Dara, author and columnist Stephanie Dowrick, and twenty of Melbourne’s  leading female Chefs volunteered their time, staff, and food to help IWDA celebrate 20 year plight of  making a difference in the lives of some of the world’s poorest women and their communities.

The sold out event saw 20 tables of 10 people treated to a delicious three-course meal by a designated  chef, a silent auction to help raise further funds for the causes of the IWDA and, entertainment by belly  dancers and Bollywood dancers.

Suzette Mitchell, IWDA Executive Director was thrilled and humbled by the support for IWDA on the night.  “It was a fantastic night that was alive with the energy of some of Australia’s leading chefs cooking to make  a difference for the lives of many other women,” said Suzette Mitchell.

“Over 200 people ate and drank as the sun went down at the St Kilda Yacht Squadron on International  World Food Day as we heard from inspirational women,” Suzette Mitchell added.

Putheay Pan was one woman who spoke first hand of the difference IWDA campaigns made when IWDA  became the first female-focused agency in her homeland of Cambodia. Her words left not a dry eye in the  room and, only strengthened their resolve to help raise further funds for the agency.

Dur-é Dara said of the night, “This was an occasion to come together and stop and think about how other  women in the world need our support. Women are the first to wake up the last to eat and last to go to bed,  this is the reality in the world. If you support the women, the children and men will benefit.”

IWDA’s Chef consultant for the night was Tracey Lister, who has spent more than 15 years in some of  Melbourne’s best kitchens. She said, “It was a wonderful experience to see such beautiful food from many  of our top female chefs; but it was more than the food it was the camaraderie and the energy; it was seeing  younger hospitality people from Swinburne and Gateway Project students being given the opportunity to  work with such high calibre professionals. And all of it happening on the chefs only day off!”

IWDA World Food Day Feast guest Chef’s included: Sonia Anthony, The Bridge; Elena Bonnici, Pizza  Meine Liebe; Philippa Bourke, Walters Wine Bar; Cath Claringbold, mecca, Mecca Bah and Livebait;  Tanya Connellan, The Green Grocer; Karena Dunn, The Victory Hotel, SA; Brigitte Hefner, Gertrude  Street Enoteca; Di Holuigue, The French Kitchen; Cath Kalka; Dianne Kerry, The Undertaker Bar and  Restaurant; Louise Lechte and Suzzanne Blades, The Penninsula Wedding Planners; Janis Munro, Box  Hill TAFE; Jerry Mai, Limeleaves; Emma Mackay, The Commercial and Kingston Hotels; Suzi Mckay,  Harvest Home; Stephanie Maiers, EQ Cafebar; Sophie Nilsson, Ping Eatery and Bar; Nicky Riemer,  Langton’s Restaurant and Wine Bar; Loretta Sartori, Gateway; Annie Smithers, Annie Smithers Bistro;  and Lisa Whight, The North Fitzroy Star.

Melbourne based IWDA is a non-government organisation which undertakes projects in partnership   with women from around the world, giving priority to working with women who suffer poverty and  oppression. The $40,000 raised at the World Food Day Feast will go towards the continued work of   IWDA.

IWDA this year also celebrates twenty years of operation.

For more information on IWDA please log onto

For media enquiries please contact Kelly Fogarty Publicity on 0402 230 670