• A big fan of Jamie Oliver: Julie Bangun. Picture: Courtesy of NACCHO (Supplied)Source: Supplied
A woman from the remote Northern Territory town of Wadeye says she’s been overwhelmed by the reaction to her letter inviting celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to visit her community.
Ella Archibald-Binge

19 Apr 2016 - 9:50 AM  UPDATED 19 Apr 2016 - 10:31 AM

A big fan of the British chef, Julie Bangun invited Oliver to share his healthy cooking tips and learn how to cook bush tucker.

“On behalf of the Wadeye community, I invite you to visit us and teach us to understand healthy eating and nutritious food,” the letter reads.

The letter was posted on the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s (NACCHO) Facebook page earlier this year.

It soon went viral, attracting global media attention.

Jamie Oliver’s Australian team has since been in contact with NACCHO, confirming they’d seen the letter.  

“It surprised everyone, and Julie most of all, that everyone picked it up and ran with it and sent messages to Jamie,” says Lee Kirschner, Ms Bangun’s co-worker at One Tree Community Services.

“So Julie in remote Northern Territory has made contact, even if informally, with Jamie Oliver. And I’m sure one day soon maybe we’ll get an unexpected phone call.”

Ms Bangun cooks regularly in her role at One Tree Community Services, providing health tucker for the childcare service and the local safe house. Co-workers say her specialties include chicken curry and mashed vegetables to make sure the kids get plenty of nutrients.

Ms Bangun told NITV she hoped Oliver could help encourage the local kids to eat healthier.

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“Most of the kids like eating sweet stuff and takeaway,” she says.

“That’s why I wanted Jamie to come here, you know to teach other ladies, even the young mums how to cook really proper nutritious food – vegetable, fruit and drink lots of water.”

Oliver’s team has yet to confirm whether a trip to the NT is on the agenda. If he did visit, Ms Bangun says he could learn a lot from the experience.

“We’d like to take him out hunting so we could show him how to cook magpie, geese on the open fire. It’d be good,” she says.

Medibank has also reached out to offer their support to help the Wadeye community set up a healthy eating program. Medibank has previously partnered with other organisations to support the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, which aims to help kids form healthy food habits.