Bush tucker inspires Aboriginal chefs

A NSW Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander training program has brought together Aboriginal high school students from across NSW for a career training week focused on art, food, hospitality and tourism.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said the Aboriginal Student Career Immersion week saw 22 Aboriginal students from 11 regional schools put their culinary skills to the test by hosting a bush tucker inspired gala dinner at Dubbo’s Rhino Lodge as part of the ground-breaking Djinda Ngardak-inspired program.

“The program is designed to inspire the career aspirations for Aboriginal high school students to successfully transition into post school apprenticeships,” Mr Saunders said.

“This terrific program allows students to participate in cultural activities all week with elders and cultural leaders, ranging from foraging and plant identification at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, spending time on Country and sharing stories through art workshops with a local Aboriginal artist.

“This will mean the development of professional skills in the area of hospitality, with tastes in art and tourism to further their opportunities to participate in the workforce.”

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said students also made contacts with local industry partners that will help bolster local training outcomes.

“This is an investment in skill development for students but also an opportunity for them to consider a career in in-demand sectors including hospitality and tourism,” Mr Lee said.

“It will also help boost the regional hospitality sector and local businesses as the students look to progress into further work and training after high school.” 

Students worked closely with Aboriginal chef Malarie Webster to develop skills and prepare for the gala dinner hosted by Wilay Café.

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