Café to provide pathways to reconciliation

A popular local garden café is set to reopen with a new mission: to empower vulnerable people to gain training, skills and stable employment.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has announced $175,600 for the Pathways Together Aboriginal Corporation to refurbish the café at the Growing Futures Nursery.

“Since the Old Ganarrin Garden Centre café closed, not a day goes by without someone dropping in wanting a cuppa,” Mr Saunders said.

“The Pathway Together Cultural Connects project will see the café refurbished to provide training and employment opportunities, as well as the establishment of an Aboriginal Men’s Shed.

“It’s all about providing educational and career opportunities for people, in a culturally safe way, looking after their physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing at the same time.”

The funding has been provided through the Community and Place Grants Program, which aims to deliver tangible local benefit and impact to Aboriginal communities, while recognising that Aboriginal communities have the solutions to issues in their community.

Pathways Together Aboriginal Corporation Manager Rob Riley said “we’re really excited”.

“We couldn’t believe when Dugald gave us the good news that our application had been successful,” Mr Riley said.

“We’ll be able to do some training, some cooking with Aboriginal foods, hopefully showcase some Aboriginal teas and coffees, but bigger than that, it’ll be an environment where not only Aboriginal people can come, but everyone can come and have a barbecue and spend time in a relaxing environment.

“We’re just over the moon that this funding will fast track that experience!”

For more information on the Community and Place grant program, visit the Aboriginal Affairs NSW website.

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