BanditFood has always been an important part of Bandit’s life and culture and she has enjoyed cooking since she was a little girl.

Bandit was born in Laos and the village she lived in did not have any shops, so families had to cook everything they ate. The children would also collect rice every morning and sometimes make banana leaf rolls to offer to the local monks as part of their Buddhist traditions. As a child, Bandit imagined growing older, having her own family, and teaching her children to cook, as her mother did for her.

In Laos, food is a symbol of luck. Bandit enjoys cooking because she likes to give luck to other people, and it is a way of connecting to and sharing culture.

Bandit loves to make all kinds of meals and she likes to eat different things each day, and her favourite dish to make is larb as this dish is made for good luck. Larb can be made with different kinds of meat and is prominent in all Lao celebrations and ceremonies. Bandit says if friends come to visit they will ask, “Where is the larb?”.

Bandit enjoys living in Naracoorte where she has the independence of her own house, she can drive herself places, and she is able to do the things she likes which is mostly cooking and caring for her ever-growing garden, where she grows some of her own food.


Q: What does Unity Housing mean to you?
A: I am living in good housing. I am well supported by Unity Housing staff, and they respond quickly to any requests or questions I have.

Q: How long have you been with Unity Housing?
A: I have been with Unity Housing for five and a half years. This is the second property I have lived in.

Q: What type of Unity Housing property do you currently live in?
A: I live in a three-bedroom house with a good-sized front and back yard. It is great, especially when my family are visiting from Melbourne, they can stay with me.

Q: How has Unity Housing helped to connect you with the community?
A: Unity Housing has helped connect me to other tenants and community members of different cultures and ethnicities. I volunteer one day a week at the library and attend all Unity Housing events.

Q: What do you like about living in your neighbourhood?
A: Friendly neighbours. I love to cook and always cook for everyone and visit my neighbours regularly.