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Stephen Thorpe is a Gunai Gunditjamara man from Gippsland, Victoria. He currently works as a chef at Charcoal Lane restaurant in Fitzroy, Melbourne, where he began to forge his connection between native food, relationship to country and the assertion of his sovereignty as an Aboriginal man.

Stephen is also a mentor for young Aboriginal men with the Dardi Munwurro “Strong Spirit” organisation, which was established in 2000 to provide leadership training programs and personalised coaching. Dardi Munwurro programs are designed to assist Indigenous men in identifying their emotions and personal strengths, and in doing so, discover their own leadership potential and develop a vision for their future.

Stephen is very inspired by his family and one of his favourite quotes comes from his uncle, Wayne Thorpe. When out foraging one day on Gunai Kurnai country, Wayne pointed out, “This is not a “supermarket” full of food. Its a market full of super foods”.

View photos of the foraging, cooking and video shoot here

Stephen Portrait

Charcoal Lane apprentice chef Stephen Thorpe serves bush foods in the heart of Fitzroy.

Photo: Meredith O’Shea

“I have spoken to many of the chefs and waiters at Charcoal Lane about the importance of culture and cooking with native food, which represents to me a revival of culture”.

Stephen Thorpe

An art project created by an international group of engaged people at the Memefest Pleasure Symposium/ Workshops/ Interventions event at Swinburne University, Melbourne in November 2016.