Fun on a stick

Crowds at Hunters Hill Festival boost local services

Nine thousand food-and-wine lovers revelled in sunshine at this year’s Hunters Hill Food and Wine Festival held at Boronia Park Oval on May 6, a family fair that boosts local services. Festival-goers enjoyed a rustic market with more than 60 stalls and music from some wonderful local residents.

Uni of Sydney volunteers

Some of Hunters Hill’s favourite eateries such as Le Village, Big Mike’s and Gourmandise de Paris dished up everything from deliciously fragrant, hot Nutella-and-strawberry crepes to gozleme and paella. To accompany the gourmet food, wines from areas such as Hunter Valley, Mudgee and Orange were offered.  Like speed dating, these wineries gave tastings to anyone who bought a glass then quizzed vintners about the creative process behind the flavours.

Whoops and squeals of joy heard throughout the day were positive feedback on rides and activities for younger generations. As well as quality time with family and friends, the day out was a chance to mix with other locals. Many festival-goers chatted with vivacious SCS nurses and learned about local health supports; others took advice from Hunters Hill State Emergency Services about protecting homes in an area surrounded by bushland.

The charity event was sponsored by the Hunters Hill Hotel, URM, Hunters Hill Council, Willis Towers Watson, Access Engineering Systems and run by volunteers. We were lucky to commandeer 100 festival marshals – mainly overseas students from the University of Sydney’s School of Business – with help from Debbi Gomel, the faculty’s Job Smart Volunteer Coordinator.

“It’s great to find opportunities like the Hunters Hill festival which get our students out and about, getting a sense of community while giving back,” says Debbi. “It also enhances their confidence as well as social and language skills.”

The day’s revenue of $30,000 will help build local support services from SCS, Hunters Hill-Ryde Men’s Shed, Hunters Hill State Emergency Service and the Gladesville branch of the St John’s Ambulance Service – which all enable locals to lead safer, healthier,  independent lives.  SCS was the main beneficiary, receiving a $22,000 cheque in June. See you again next year for another wonderfully long and lazy Sunday afternoon at the Hunter’s Hill Food and Wine Festival.