A group of skilled Certificate III Hospitality students are making quite an impression in Wilcannia, with the unique class winning praise from TAFE Western Tourism and Hospitality Teacher Lee Cecchin.
Ms Cecchin said this particular group of budding cooks was so special because the class consisted solely of Indigenous female participants.
“It’s obviously very rare for a Hospitality class like this to be made up of all Indigenous female students, and TAFE Western think it’s something very special,” she said.
“We have a maximum capacity of 15 students enrolled, with the women ranging from 18 years to 40. All of the participants get along well, and they’re all really proud to be a part of something pretty unique.”
Ms Cecchin said the group had given themselves the name I Barka Nhuungku, which means I River Women in their native Barkindji language.
“Not only is this group of students really unique – they are very talented,” Ms Cecchin said. “The group has just spent the past six week block focusing on cookery, and the food that they have produced has been of amazing quality.”
Ms Cecchin said the students would now spend the next term learning more about food and beverage services and food safety, with work placement to round out their training.
“The group is also planning on doing some morning and afternoon tea events to give something back to the Wilcannia community,” Ms Cecchin said.
“The Wilcannia community has really embraced these students, including the very generous use of facilities at the Court House Café, Wilcannia Community Centre and Women’s Shelter.
“The students have been really grateful for the opportunities they have been provided.”
Mc Cecchin said hospitality enrolments in both Wilcannia and Broken Hill had seen a huge resurgence in 2016.
“This particular Certificate III Hospitality course in Wilcannia already has a waiting list of 15 students for the next program,” she said.
“It isn’t just Wilcannia where there’s been a resurgence. Broken Hill is running classes five days a week, catering for a huge number of apprentices, trainees, TVET students and many more.
“I believe interest in our hospitality classes is so high at the moment because of the consistent employment opportunities available in the industry, and the fact that TAFE Western offers first-class training that delivers students with ready-made skills to enter the workforce.”
Ms Cecchin said now was the ideal time for people to consider a career in hospitality, with TAFE Western always on the look-out for new students.
For more information, please visit www.tafewestern.edu.au or phone the course information hotline on 1300 823 393.