free to is a social enterprise based in Thornbury, Melbourne and we're the creators of the free to feed project. 

free to feed is a pop-up cooking school with all classes run by refugees and asylum seekers.

Our instructors have exceptional cooking skills and, before fleeing, played important roles in their home countries (Iran, Pakistan, Kenya and Sri Lanka) serving traditional dishes, as professionals and feeders of their families and communities. Now, as asylum seekers in Australia, without any formal qualifications or work experience, and facing a range of barriers including isolation, finding employment can be very challenging.

free to feed gatherings are empowering and enriching experiences for all Australians to connect with some of our most vulnerable, newly arrived community members.

For most of our instructors, free to feed will be their very first job in Australia!

free to feed provides training and mentoring from some of Melbourne’s finest chefs, cooking instructors and public speakers to help instructors transform their existing know-how into the skills needed to meet the significant demands of running our dynamic cooking and storytelling gathering. 

Learn more about our cooking classes here.

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our values

Empowerment

By hosting free to feed in your home or business or coming along to our events, you're helping refugees and asylum seekers receive training, support, a wage and opportunities to share their skills in meaningful ways.

Cultural exchange

This is a great opportunity for you to meet with refugees and asylum seekers and share stories, whilst learning how to cook authentic, delicious cuisines from around the world!

Openness

We believe that sharing a kitchen is a strong and genuine gesture of welcome and acceptance, an intimate space in which the simplest and most meaningful cultural exchanges can occur

Making connections

We believe in community and we hope that our programs will foster genuine connections between everyday Australians and new arrivals.

our reason for being

Refugees and asylum seekers often risk everything in an attempt to escape persecution and restrictions to their human rights and liberties. They set out on perilous journeys to reach countries where they hope to be free.

Free to make a life for themselves; free to express themselves; free to grow and develop their skills and more!

We exist to assist refugees and asylum seekers to lead the lives they dreamt of, as they made their journeys towards us.

All too often, the experience of refugees and asylum seekers upon arrival is far from one of freedom. A web of linguistic, cultural, economic and social barriers can stand in the way of this community building their new lives. With your support, we work with refugees and asylum seekers in Melbourne to directly address these barriers.

Our goal is to enable refugees and asylum seekers to be free to to lead the lives they envisage through the realisation of meaningful employment opportunities.