Local foodies join Mayor Marg O’Rourke, councillor Jennifer Alden and planner Trevor Budge. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

The Australian National Commission for UNESCO has endorsed the City of Greater Bendigo’s application to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Gastronomy.

The endorsement means Bendigo city will now forward its application to UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, where it will be considered alongside all other applications from around the world.

Australian National Commission for UNESCO Chair Kylie Walker said the application was praised for being well-considered, comprehensive and inclusive.

In particular, the application was praised for its consultative approach which embraced traditional owners.

The commission acknowledged the Dja Dja Wurrung, and Bendigo’s celebration of International Year of Indigenous Languages which included an indigenous seasonal calendar.

The calendar raises awareness of sustainable land-use practices and the traditional cultural knowledge of the region.

The submission was also praised for its support for the sustainable development goals and its potential to inspire new approaches to inclusive growth, both within Australia and globally.

“We are thrilled to have our application make it to this point and to receive such positive feedback from the Commission,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“We have cleared the first hurdle by having the Australian National Commission for UNESCO approve our application. However, we know the next step and the application’s evaluation in Paris is the most challenging part of this process, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. We hope to hear in November whether we have been successful.”