Local stories


There are lots of new things happening at Gungahlin Lakes Club (GLC), including a refreshed menu. Recently, we sat down with Chef, Peter Robinson and Marketing Manager, Matteo Belladonna to learn more about the exciting changes happening at the club.

How long has Gungahlin Lakes Club been around?

We opened our doors in 1996 and since then it has been one of the pillars for the ever-changing Gungahlin community. Known to locals as "The Lakes", the club is situated on over 70 hectares of green parklands, the clubhouse offers stunning views and a modern interior offers a unique and enjoyable club experience

At "The Lakes" we want to be a community hub where people can go to meet friends, build connections, have a great meal and have a good time. We try to update our offering and our internal spaces regularly but ensure that our feel remains the same.

How has your menu evolved over that time?

Traditionally, clubs have always associated with dishes identified as “club classics”. These include schnitzels, parmigiana, fish and chips, steaks and others. Tastes change and so does what people are looking for. Over time, we have tried to innovate and introduce new dishes, shaking up the classic club formula with the introduction of new dishes and differing cuisines. We also try to cater to those who prefer lighter meals and acknowledge emerging food trends through our diverse menu offering.

We have recently introduced a whole range of new dishes and salads that can be enjoyed by everyone, and the partnership with Healthier Choices Canberra has been vital in fine-tuning and future-proofing our traditional food offering without compromising quality or flavour. Our motto is “not your usual club food”, meaning that we still offer all of the club classics you would expect but at the same time providing lighter variations of the same meals depending on personal preference.

What would be the most popular dish on the menu?

Unsurprisingly, our best sellers remain our great steaks and chicken schnitzels - classic clubs meals. More recently, however, our salads and vegan dishes have been extremely popular too. We believe this is synonymous with an ever-growing segment that enjoys going to the club without having to give up their nutritional choices, while also providing options for anyone that wants to try something different. Our chefs take great pride in producing quality food and we invite everyone to try a new offering and experience the difference.

Do you see any food trends coming through, that you’ve reflected in your current menu?

Our chefs have been responsive to the changing food culture, incorporating recipes that adhere to the demand for alternative diets while remaining loyal to those who love their ‘club classics’. Instead of staying in our niche, we have seen this demand as an opportunity to expand our menu so that it remains fresh and appealing. The prime example of this is our range of vegetarian and vegan options that extend beyond the typical ‘veggie patty burger’ and instead aims to be exciting and delicious and challenge some of those stereotyped preconceptions.

You now showcase healthier options on the main menu as well as the kids’ menu, what influenced you to make that change?

Again, we saw the demand for health-conscious eating as an opportunity to enhance our menu; to change things up while also appealing to a wider audience. It goes without saying that if the demand for healthier choices is increasing, then the demand for kids’ healthier choices needs to be considered as well. Being a family-orientated club, it is important for us to respond to the wants and needs of parents, and this includes providing nourishing meals that their kids will still enjoy. This is one of the things that makes us stand out in the dining experience that we offer.

How can Canberra support GLC?

Come in and enjoy one of our delicious meals! Not only has our restaurant got all kinds of meals on offer, but our pizza and burger bar will also satisfy the deepest of hungers while our café is perfect for a lighter meal and a coffee catch-up. Enjoy a range of facilities including our outdoor beer garden, our lounge overlooking the picturesque golf course, and our retro-style games room for the kids!

We encourage everyone to go out and support their local club, so we can keep providing outstanding service and local jobs to our community.

Pictured: some of the delicious meals on offer at GLC

To find out more information about what's going on a GLC head to their website: http://www.ainsliegroup.com.au/venues/gungahlin-lakes-club/

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A foodies delight is coming to Woden this March. The Hellenic Club of Canberra, in partnership with the Greek Community of Canberra and Fair Canberra Inc, is bringing you the Hellenic Festival: Street Food of the World. We sat down with the Hellenic Club team to chat about the 2 day food feast!

What was the inspiration behind the Hellenic Festival?

2021 is a highly symbolic year for Greece, as it marks the 200th anniversary of the outbreak of the country’s independence war against the Ottoman rule in 1821. As part of the commemorations for the anniversary, the Hellenic Club of Canberra, in partnership with the Greek Community of Canberra and Fair Canberra Inc, will be bringing our own festival to the Hellenic Club Woden this March - Hellenic Festival: Street Food of the World. We hope the festival will help bring the community together to discover great food, music and dance from different cultures.

What kinds of foods can we expect on the day?

There'll be a variety of foods stalls to choose from including;

  • Greek Community Stalls – souvlakia (kebabs), lamb on the spit, octopus, loukoumades (Greek donuts), spanakopita (cheese & spinach in pastry), tiropita (cheese in pastry), koulouria (traditional Greek bagel-like bread rings with sesame seeds that are delicious and crunchy).

  • ACFA Latin Association & Mexico Lindo – Mexican food

  • Pacific Islander Association – watermelon drinks, island donuts, lamb, tara leaves and coconut cream

  • Canberra Punjabi Cultural Association – North & South Indian food and finger foods

  • African Associations – West, North & East African finger food and hot foods

  • Australian Guangxi Association – dumplings, spring rolls and noodles

  • Fair Canberra – sausages, kransky, onions and chips

  • Thai Association – Thai curry, fish cakes and satays

There’ll also be re-fill water stations available on the day, so make sure to pack a water bottle and stay hydrated.

Will there be entertainment for the little ones?

Throughout the two days, all associations will be hosting performances showcasing their cultures. We will also have Gecko Gang at the Festival from 12-5pm on both days doing free face painting and balloon modelling.

The Hellenic Festival is sure to be a fun-filled weekend in Canberra. Running over Saturday 20 March to Sunday 21 March, at the Hellenic Club Woden carpark, this FREE event is a great way to get out and about and sample new cuisines from a variety of cultures! For more information please visit: https://www.hellenicclub.com.au/club-news/hellenic-festival-is-coming-this-march

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Last week we celebrated Healthy Lunchbox Week. A campaign created by Nutrition Australia to champion and educate families on the importance of healthy lunchboxes.

Healthier Choices Canberra (HCC) collaborated with Ainslie IGA to bring Healthy Lunchbox Week to life. All week Ainslie IGA had an end of aisle display featuring healthier lunch box items, including muesli bars, breakfast items and lunchbox sized beverages.

Nick, Manager at Ainslie IGA, said participating in Healthy Lunchbox Week was a no-brainer for the IGA. “We have lots of families who come through daily. The end of aisle display provides an opportunity to showcase what the healthier options are, hopefully making it a little easier for families”.

End of aisle display at Ainslie IGA

With the support of the ACT Nutrition Support Service (ACTNSS), HCC also held a pop-up stall outside the IGA with Dietician, Jacqui Bampton showcasing some of the healthier lunchbox options and answering any and all questions parents and guardians had.

“It was great having Jacqui there on Thursday, talking to customers about the basics of making up a healthier lunch box but also providing a bit more information on why some products are more suitable than others" said Nick.

Jacqui Bampton, Nutrition Australia, outside of Ainslie IGA

7 tips from the team at Nutrition Australia on how to plan a healthy lunchbox.

Steps to planning a healthy lunchbox

  1. Make time to prepare. Have fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and yogurt, bread and crackers all bought in advance.

  2. Shop wisely and save money. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season to ensure good quality and value for money.

  3. Make your own snacks. For example snack packs from fresh ingredients which you can buy in bulk.

  4. Look after the environment. Put sandwiches and other items in reusable containers. This uses less packaging and creates less rubbish.

  5. Choose a variety of foods from the 5 food groups.

  6. Include a bottle of water. No need for sweetened drinks such as juice, cordial or soft drink as these contain too much sugar which is not good for teeth. Non-water drinkers usually start drinking water with the example of other children. Freeze a small quantity each night and top up with cold water in the morning for a cool summer drink.

  7. Keep food cool. In warm weather freeze a water bottle or put a small ice pack in the lunchbox.

Thanks to Ainslie IGA, ACTNSS & Nutrition Australia for the opportunity to work together to promote healthier school lunches! For more information visit: https://www.healthylunchboxweek.org.au/

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