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Monday, September 9, 2013

New Program Coming to Roelands Village, Western Australia

A team of local Aboriginal people will be undertaking studies and work experience in the hospitality industry as a step towards selection for the Outback Academy Hospitality program. The pre- employment program Outback Academy RESPECT was designed with support from Woolkabunning Kiaka Inc and the South West Institute of Technology (SWIT) to assist students and the Programs Creative Director, Indigenous chef Mark Olive, to decide if hospitality is the industry for them. The Indigenous Coordination Centre Perth provided funding to Woolkabunning Kiaka Inc to support the initial planning phase.
The Outback Academy was established in 2013 to accelerate economic freedom, employment and well-being with Indigenous people and communities across Australia. The Hospitality, Food and Tourism programs are Outback Academy flagship initiatives, including the establishment of Australias first floating Outback Cafe and Academy on the Murray River in Victoria/NSW and the Roelands Outback Cafe in south-west Western Australia. Both will feature local Indigenous cuisine and a unique visitor experience, while providing real work experience and employment for local Aboriginal people.
Mark has been a regular visitor to Roelands Village throughout 2012-13 and sees great potential there for the program, alongside a unique visitor experience that includes Indigenous and other foods grown on the farm and prepared in the proposed Roelands Outback Cafe.
Woolkabunning Kiaka Inc (WKI) is the organisation that represents the former residents of what was known as Roelands Mission. Executive Director Les Wallam notes: the Outback Academy working side-by-side with our Elders and community will support us to realise our dream of making this a happy place, a place where all are welcome and come to hear our stories too. WKI - Roelands Village Ambassador and former Carlton Football Club legend, Syd Jackson is excited about the program. Food is a big part of our story here. As children we worked the farm for the Mission owners. We want to see the farm productive again and bring the food as we say from the bush to the table
After completing the RESPECT program, students will be assisted into either an apprenticeship in Commercial Cookery or Hospitality. They will undertake as part of their studies one week per semester over three years in bush native foods with Mark Olive and local knowledge holders. The Outback Academy also provides a range of opportunities for students to showcase and apply their newly learned skills through major events and travel with Mark and in soon to be established Outback Cafes and Academies.
This is the first program of its kind in Australia. The Outback Academy welcomes employers, agencies, government, philanthropists and Corporate Australia to support this initiative.
Students and Mark will be preparing a Community Lunch on Thursday September 12 at Roelands Village 12.30 2.00. For enquiries contact Outback Academy General Manager, Clare OKelly on 0417 012 615 or email clareokelly@optusnet.com.au