Shanna Canuto

Who’s your mob?

From my maternal grandmother I am Kuku Yalanji – the rainforest people from Wujal Wujal, located in the Bloomfield Valley. From my maternal grandfather, I am Yirrganydji – from the Cairns region

From my paternal Grandmother I am Olkola, located in Southern Central Cape York. My paternal Grandfather was born on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, to Philippine parents.

My parents were both born and raised in the mission community of Yarrabah – “paradise by the sea” which is 50km SE of Cairns.

What does NAIDOC Week mean to you?

NAIDOC Week is a chance to celebrate, share and be proud of my culture.

How do you celebrate NAIDOC?

Always with food and sharing it. Using NAIDOC as a teaching opportunity for non-Indigenous friends and colleagues. Wearing the flag/something with Indigenous artwork.



My favourite family recipe

Chicken Vermicelli


  • Oil
  • 2kg chicken pieces, skin on
  • 2 large carrots peeled & sliced
  • 2 potatoes med-large peeled & diced
  • 2 brown onions – med-large diced
  • Garlic – diced, as much as your heart desires
  • Ginger – diced, slightly less than garlic
  • Soy Sauce – hardcore traditionalists will say ONLY Old Cathay – but this is only available in Qld and NSW! ☹
  • Hot Water OR liquid Chicken Stock
  • White rice, water and Salt


Heat the oil in a large pot, on medium heat

Add the chicken and ⅓ of the ginger and garlic, stir to cook evenly, once skin starts to curl up

Once the skin is slightly browned, add the vegetables and another ⅓ of the ginger and garlic, continue stirring

Add a decent splash of soy sauce and stir

Add your hot water or chicken stock, enough to cover everything

Cook rice as you normally would, with water and salt

Meanwhile bring the chicken and veg to a simmer, taste, add more soy sauce if needed, add the last of the ginger and garlic

Cook until vegetables are soft, and chicken is coming off the bone

Serve with the cooked rice

Depending on how greedy your family members are, this could be enough for 8-10 people 😊.