Shirley was born hungry.
Shirley grew up in a small inner city suburban block in Perth, WA, with chooks, (and at various points ducks, geese, a lamb and a goat); several rotating vegetable crops, an enormous mulberry tree, and a home brew shed. It wasn’t unusual to see her father dancing about the backyard swatting at white butterflies with a tennis racket; or picking grubs from the cabbage, corn and kale to feed to ‘the girls’.
Her parents dinner parties involved digging a Hangi, roasting a whole pig, and producing piles and piles of sides. Stocking up meant a weekend of fishing, foraging, or practicing home kill skills on Mike’s cattle farm in Kojonup where they grew and processed chooks, sheep, cattle and pigs.
After studying Education, Shirley spent 15 years teaching in the food-centric hills of the Darling Ranges; before moving to QLD, where she taught for a further decade and a half. It took 12 years before her ‘part time hobby’ of sourcing quality, ethically raised food for family and friends became a sole focus. In 2019, Shirley and her family moved to their own small farm in the North East of Victoria, where they grow veggies, raise meat, and work to live ‘off grid’ as much as possible.
In 2015, Shirley established Hand Sourced as a consumer based alternative to commercial shopping. It is a marriage of passions: food and education with a sideline love of words.
Unsurprisingly, Shirley loves to eat, cook and experiment with food. She takes great pleasure in creating things from scratch and owns a preserve filled pantry always at ready for the Zombie apocalypse.
When not in the kitchen, She’s reading, photographing cemetaries (!), renovating their 70’s mud brick house, or off visiting yet another farmer on yet another farm. She is organised, dedicated and passionate (some even say obsessive!) with interests that lay close to her work: environment, culture, education, and of course, all things food. She believe healthy conversation is the way to start social change.
Shirley is qualified to talk and educate on gastronomy, sustainability and animal ethics, and holds the following qualifications:
Bachelor’s degree in Education
Master’s Degree in Gastronomy
Post Graduate Degree in Sustainability (Hons)
She is an Honarary Justice, Victoria.