G'day! You've come to exactly the right place, Mate. Just about every statement you typed in contains a search term that will give you plenty to read: sneaking veggies in; Christmas menus; slow-cooking (and slow food, too); peasant food; pairing wine, beer and other beverages with food. Pull up a comfortable chair, because you're in for some good browsing!
I'm a home cook too, and have been a member here for a very long time. Your knowledge will be respected here, rest assured. You can learn a lot from reading in the Professionals' forums, but we home cooks must think of those as "read only". We post in the General forums, and our questions are answered there because everyone, pro and home cook alike, posts there. Besides the forums, be sure to explore the cooking articles, cookbook and equipment reviews, photo galleries and more. We're proud of what's been built here by the members and by our founder, Nicko. Our members are the richest resource of this site.
When my husband finally retires, we hope to take our "trip of a lifetime", which will include Australia and New Zealand. The more we learn and see of your part of the world and the people there, the more we want to visit. I hope you'll add to that knowledge with more about your cuisine.
Enjoy the site! We hope you participate often and get a great deal from being part of it.