Deadly Koolinga Chefs Healthy Cooking Program



About the program

The Deadly Koolinga Chef Program (DKCP) is an Aboriginal community based children and adolescent’s cooking and nutrition program that aims to build nutritional health literacy for improved and sustained health and well-being.

The DKCP translational research project development has been in collaborative consultation with Aboriginal community Elders, Aboriginal community organisations, Local Government and relevant Aboriginal health services.

The program caters for 6 – 12 year old children on a weekly basis through the school terms, with workshops for adolescents (13 – 18 years) throughout the three year duration of the research initiative.

The project funders

Australian Government Department of Health

Funding from the Australian Government Department of Health for the Deadly Koolinga Chef Program is provided through the Public Health and Chronic Disease Program: Child and Youth Health Grants. The intended outcomes of these grant programs are to contribute to a reduction in the incidence of preventable mortality and morbidity, including through the national public health initiatives, promotion of healthy lifestyles and approaches covering disease prevention, health screening and palliative care. The DKCP was successful in securing two grants from the program:

  • The DKCP addresses the specific objective of the Child and Youth Health – Part A grant by delivering a preventative health strategy that addresses the development of nutrition knowledge and cooking skills. The intended outcomes of the DKCP are to improve preventive nutritional health strategies and improve the nutritional health literacy in children and young people to minimise the incidence of chronic diseases.
  • The DKCP addresses the specific objective of the Child and Youth Health – Part B grant by providing courses to strengthen workforce and community capacity. The DKCP specifically addresses the strengthening of research and evaluation capacity and health literacy within the Indigenous workforce across the child and youth sector.

Ian Potter Foundation

The Ian Potter Foundation is a major Australian philanthropic foundation that supports and promotes excellence and innovation. The Foundation was established in 1964 by Australian financier, businessman and philanthropist, Sir Ian Potter (1902 – 1994).

The DKCP was successful in securing funding from the Ian Potter Foundation through the Health and Disability grant, which is situated within the Public Health Research funding pillar. The DKCP addresses the Ian Potter Foundation objectives of improving the health outcomes for Indigenous Australians through preventative health initiatives. The funding is being used to:

  • Provide nutrition certification courses to members of the Indigenous workforce in health and education across the child and youth sector; and
  • Employ a Aboriginal Cooking Class Facilitator to ensure the culturally safe delivery of the program.


Murdoch University Ngangk Yira Institute for Change

The Ngangk Yira Institute for Change focuses on translational research that provides practical solutions to improve health, educational and social outcomes for Aboriginal families and their communities. Research is conducted by Aboriginal researchers in partnership with leading WA and international, maternal health, youth resilience and mental health experts and services, and with the close involvement of community elders and stakeholders.

Ngangk Yira’s research takes a connected approach from pregnancy, young adulthood, to parenthood and the transition to older adulthood, recognising the evidence that a strong start in life is fundamental for healthy and resilient children, families and communities. Ngangk Yira focuses on translational research that is led by Aboriginal people who share a deep commitment to bring about meaningful change.

Ngangk Yira research pillars are:

  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Family Empowerment and Resilience
  • Healthy Families and Healthy Communities

Website link:

The project partners


Our Pinjarra community participants:

  • Murray District Aboriginal Association



Our Mandurah community participants:

  • Winjan – Aboriginal Corp
  • Nidjalla Waangan Mia – Aboriginal Health (near Mandurah Hospital)
  • City of Mandurah / Young Yorgas
  • Coodanup College / Young Men
  • Mandurah Primary School
  • Greenfields Primary School
  • Dudley Park Primary School

Art Work

The DKCP thanks Mrs Gloria Kearing for permitting her artwork to be used throughout the website. Gloria is a Bindjareb woman Elder and artist from Pinjarra, and her paintings tell stories of the local food which was hunted and gathered in the area.

The link below features Gloria’s stories: