Fundraising cookbook hits the spot

07 Dec 2017

Producing a charity cookbook from scratch using over 100 recipes from Macquarie staff members is no easy feat as Emma Austin and Arunthethy Thevaraja discovered when they embarked on the process earlier this year.

But with the help of Macquarie’s Sydney Graduate Volunteer Network, the cookbook was successfully launched in October and has raised over $100,000 for their chosen charity.

“From gathering support for our project, to sourcing recipes from staff nationally, designing and producing the book, to promoting and selling it – it has been a bigger project than we ever imagined, with some challenging moments, but it’s all worth it now that we have raised so much money for charity,” says Emma.

“The support we have received from colleagues across Macquarie has been wonderful – so many people have helped us bring this cookbook to life,” says Arunthethy.

“Cooking is a family tradition for me and we really wanted the cookbook to reflect the cultural diversity we have here at Macquarie.”

“I think we did that with recipes from over 24 cultural backgrounds!”

Sanja Karagiannis contributed three recipes to the book. “One of my recipes shows how to prepare and paint Easter eggs, which is a family Serbian Easter tradition,” she says. “I’ve always had a passion for cooking, so I was thrilled to be able to contribute a recipe to the cookbook. My dream of having a recipe published became a reality.”

By garnering support from across Macquarie including the Macquarie Group Foundation, employee network groups and marketing, who helped design the book, as well as in-kind support from business partner Proactive Graphics which printed the book, Emma and Arunthethy were able to cover the production costs. This means that all funds from the sale of the books ($40 each) will be donated to their charity partner Sivan Arul Illam.

Sivan Arul Illam educates underprivileged children and provides employment opportunities to women in Sri Lanka, many of whom were displaced following the civil war which ended in 2009.

“Following the war many women were left widowed and children left orphaned,” says Arunthethy. “This organisation helps them earn a living and helps lift them of out poverty. We choose to support them because we felt working with a smaller charity, we could understand where the funds would be spent and what impact they were having.”

The money raised will be used to build a storage facility for Sivan’s handmade products and to expand its existing dairy farm. Both initiatives are designed to ensure the local community can build sustainable sources of income to support their families.

Image caption: Emma Austin (left) and Arunthethy Thevaraja (right) holding a copy of ‘Cook with Macquarie’.