Jesmond cookbook

A recipe for success

This story was submitted by Jodie McEwen, a member of the Newcastle community and proud Jesmond Public School parent.

Community groups are always looking for ways to raise money and Jesmond Public School is no different. Our little local school has plenty of green space, fantastic cultural diversity and is small enough so that everyone knows everyone else. What we don’t have, is much spare cash.

After last year’s Canberra excursion was cancelled due to many families being unable to afford the cost, we set about to raise enough money to subsidise this year’s excursion. We decided to compile a cookbook, one that reflects the smorgasbord of international cuisine found in our playground daily, when the children crack open their lunchboxes. This was the seed for Around the World in a Lunchbox.

Our aim was to produce a quality cookbook that would showcase our students, their families and their exquisite dishes. We wanted the finished product to look amazing, so we sought the expertise of a graphic designer. We approached one of our school parents, Chris Lawrence, who is a graphic design lecturer at the University of Newcastle, hoping that he would be able to assist us. “I thought the cookbook was a great idea, but I was working to capacity and didn’t have time to help” said Chris. “I was, however, able to suggest the project to my third year graphic design students, to see if anyone was interested in gaining some practical experience. To her credit, Brooke put up her hand and the cookbook started to take shape.”

Brooke Hall is a fourth year Honours student completing her Visual Communication Design degree. Brooke has been an integral part of producing Jesmond’s cookbook, designing the book to make sure that it has a wide appeal. The final polishing of the cookbook manuscript was sandwiched into the days when Brooke wasn’t in Sydney, undertaking an internship with Westpac.

“I had done a small cookbook project before, but Around the World in a Lunchbox has been a much bigger project than I first thought” says Brooke. “The project has stretched over many months, but the cookbook is a great addition to my portfolio and the fact that the school is so happy with the finished product is really rewarding.”

As the cookbook’s co-ordinator I believe that being able to access the University’s skilled and talented students has been a significant factor in the success of the project. Without Chris linking us into the University’s graphic design program and Brooke’s invaluable help, our cookbook would lack the high production values and aesthetics that it now has. Having Brooke’s skills available to us was just the icing on the cake.

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