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Eumundi shop fulfills a dream

From the National Indigenous Times

Aboriginal chef, Dale Chapman of the Dilly Bag and Aboriginal artist, Michael Connolly of Dreamtime Kullilla-Art, have finally had their dreamtime realised.
They have opened a shop - the Dilly Bag Dreamtime Place - in the heart of Eumundi, Queensland.

Dale has been operating her native bush tucker business around the Sunshine Coast region and Michael has been selling his artworks from Brisbane markets for many years.

The union between these two commenced three years ago.

Michael was attempting to expand his range of products to include a range of native bush tucker products and started the quest to look for an Indigenous person who did bush tucker.

To his surprise he found only one - Dale Chapman and she only lived just up the road in Pomona.

They met, they talked and the rest is now history.

Bush tucker is such an integral part of Aboriginal culture that it was the perfect union for these two very focused and dedicated Indigenous business operators.

Dale is a well-known Sunshine Coast local and a chef of more than 25 years, having worked within the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities for her promotion of the benefits of native bush tucker foods.

Being the only privately-owned Indigenous bush tucker business in Queensland, Dale's products and workshops are in great demand both locally and, for that matter, internationally.

In October 2004 Dale was invited to the French Riviera (the Nice College of Hospitality - France) to teach the French to cook using our own native bush tucker products and to impart some of her Indigenous cooking techniques and recipes.

That one invitation has resulted in a repeat performance to attend the bi-annual Culinary Trade Show 'Agecotel' in Nice in February 2006, as well as a 12 city tour of France visiting hospitality colleges in 2008.

While Dale was promoting her bush tucker talents, she was also playing ambassador for Australian Aboriginal culture which was also on display with various arts on exhibition, including those of her partner in dreamtim Michael Connolly.

Michael is a well-known Aboriginal artist and didgeridoo performer, formerly of Charleville but now living in Redcliffe with his family.

Michael has been operating his art and craft business since 1996 and has had many art exhibitions both locally and internationally as a solo Aboriginal artist and jointly with the Murri Art team.

Michael is also an accomplished didgeridoo performer, having performed for many government and corporate business events.

He was recently invited by the Australian High Commissioner in Malta to perform a special didgeridoo piece with the Maltese National Orchestra for their 40th Anniversary of Independence Day Celebrations before a star-studded audience, which was televised live throughout Europe. An exhibition of his artworks was also held at the St James Cavalier Centre in Valetta, Malta.

Once again, the Aboriginal cultural flag was being flown internationally.

The Dilly Bag Dreamtime Place is a blend of both Michael and Dale's cultural talents - artistic and culinary.

It is the 'one stop cultural shop' where visitors can experience art, food, song and dance, music and storytelling of the Dreamtime.

Visitors are greeted by the shop staff - Dale, Valda (Dale's mum), Jo (Michael's wife) and Michael himself.

The shop first opened its doors on March 19, with the official opening at the shop to be held on April 21.

The shop has a range of Indigenous bush tucker products including jams, relishes, native meats, fruits, nuts and herbs; and also a variety of native skin care products, soaps and shampoos.

Art and craft products include handpainted and handcrafted didgeridoos, boomerangs and artefacts, a range of framed original canvases and craftworks such as handpainted gumleaves, bark and boomerangs, a variety of authentic Aboriginal souvenirs such as t-shirts, ties, bags, teatowels, stationery, jewellery, crockery and native bush plants.

For groups they offer tailored cultural workshops in bush tucker and/or Aboriginal art and craft.

The Dilly Bag Dreamtime Place is situated next to the Post office and is opened Wednesday to Sunday, phone (07) 5442 8888.


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