How food brings people together is the central theme of Jess O’Donoghue’s #ShepPROUD video competition entry that explores her family’s Thai heritage and Shepparton’s multiculturalism.
‘‘Growing up, food was a big part of my life and I believe it really does bring people together,’’ Ms O’Donoghue said.
‘‘I’ve been really fortunate growing up with parents from different cultures.’’
The film centres around an interview with her mum Yao O’Donoghue, who describes coming to Shepparton from Thailand in 2000 and how it has become her home.
She and husband John O’Donoghue left their life in Thailand to start a business in Shepparton that changed shape from selling dried vegetables and fruits to eventually become cafe The Last Straw, where Jess has been an ever-present helper along with her sister Jia.
The film also discusses how the people of many diverse cultures who call Shepparton home have provided a wealth of delicious cuisines and events for everyone to enjoy.
‘‘In the past 10 years the variety of food and restaurants here has increased so much,’’ Ms O’Donoghue said.
‘‘People forget these is so much to do here in Shepparton.’’
The Community Fund Goulburn Valley’s #ShepPROUD competition closes for entries at 5pm on Monday, May 1, and Ms O’Donoghue encourages young people aged 15 to 25 to get their entries in soon.
The video can be up to three minutes in length and must tell a positive story about Shepparton.
The winner will receive $4000, while the runner-up can spend $1000 on a local shopping spree.
Ms O’Donoghue, who is a budding film-maker, encouraged young people to get active and start filming.
‘‘Just enter it in. It’s not really about the film itself but about the story being told,’’ she said.
‘‘One tip I would give people would be to take lots of footage so there is plenty to edit or change around.’’
The finalists of the competition will have their films featured at a showcase on May 17 at the Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE campus, where the winner and runner-up will be announced. A four-person judging panel drawn from the community will choose the finalists based on the overall message or theme of the video and not on film-making ability.
Major backers of #ShepPROUD are Gouge Linen and Garment Services, Greater Shepparton City Council and Shepparton Show Me.
To enter a film visit www.thecommunityfund.com .au/shepproud