Diem Fuggersberger, CEO & Co-Founder
In the late 1970’s, when I was 7 years old my parents decided to escape the political regime in Vietnam. One night, along with my 5 siblings and extended family, we trudged through the mud to escape the shores of Vietnam on a 50 meter boat heading towards the Indonesian islands. The boat was called ‘0010’. It cost us 3 nuggets each to board – we left behind our beloved dog and the family home my father had built; but most devastating, was leaving my grandmother who had raised me. It was a big risk – none of the children knew how to swim, and we spent the whole voyage, crowded amongst 500 passengers, sitting on the floor, in fear of capsize, starvation or running out of water. Pirates captured us, and they took the last of my family’s belongings and valuables, including gold, diamonds and gems. The boat hit bad weather just off Indonesia and we nearly sank, it is still a terrifying memory.
We lived on an Indonesian island in a Red Cross refugee camp for 15 months before being granted Visas to Australia. We spoke no English, had no belongings but the clothes given to us by the Salvation Army and were housed in a hostel in Fairy Meadow before moving to a 3 bed home in Punchbowl shared with 15 people.
This experience shaped the person I have become. I push myself to work hard, to create a better life of equality and opportunity for my daughters and family. I miss Vietnam, and will always respect my Vietnamese ancestry, but I am very grateful for the second chance at life Australia has given my family and me.
It is my vision to make food that is authentic, that honours my ancestry and the hand made styles of cooking taught to me by my mother and grandmother. I believe food should be manufactured without the use of chemicals and e-numbers, use ingredients sourced from local producers and be packaged sustainably.