Kick Start Café trainees celebrate their graduation

Three young trainees who joined the Kick Start Café in Riverwood North last year have found jobs in the hospitality industry after successfully completing a 10 month long industry program.

Kick Start Café trainees celebrate their graduation

Locals, Ravin Lotomau, Joshua Antwi and Paniora Nukunuku graduated this month with a Certificate III in hospitality, barista accreditation and RSA and RSG certificates.

They celebrated their graduation at a special ceremony attended by representatives from supporting businesses and community bodies.

The Kick Start Café is a social enterprise initiated by leading Australian property and investment company, PAYCE and supported by Riverwood Community Centre, St George Community Housing, building company DASCO Australia and Schibello Caffé.

Kick Start Café is now being incubated by the PAYCE Foundation, aiming to build it as a sustainable social enterprise with a model which can be replicated on other sites and other developers.

Each trainee was guided through on-the-job experience and the TAFE course by the café’s head chef, Shane Hillard, who, with 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, was thrilled with the success of his latest trio.

“Since the Kick Start Café program commenced three years ago at Washington Park, 10 young people have completed their training and gone on to secure jobs in the hospitality or related industries,” he said.

The café, located on Kentucky Drive at Washington Park, is well patronised by local residents and businesses, as well as nearby construction workers.

PAYCE Director, Dominic Sullivan said PAYCE was extremely proud of the graduates and the program’s success in supporting youth and equipping them for a positive future.

“The Kick Start Café has been an outstanding social enterprise initiative and we could not be more pleased with the opportunities it has provided,” he said.

“The trainees have gained some wonderful experience, not only with food and beverage preparation, but also interacting with customers and other businesses.

“That has built their confidence and developed leadership skills that will benefit them throughout their working lives,” he said.

With the three latest graduates moving on to permanent jobs, the Kick Start Café’s 10 month program has just taken on its next batch of trainees.

Sixteen year old Jonas Masters, 18 year old Aaron Subritzky and 19 year old Jonny Burt are all keen to gain hands-on experience and pursue careers in the hospitality area.

Mr Sullivan said he hoped more local residents and businesses would support the café and the program.

“Please drop by and say hello to the café’s new recruits who, I am sure, will be only too pleased to serve you and make you welcome,” he said.

Australian Kookaburra Kids soar to new heights

Australian property development and investment company, PAYCE has announced its support behind Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation’s latest program, Taking Flight, pledging a $25,000 donation.

Australian Kookaburra Kids soar to new heights

The Taking Flight program launched earlier this month is aimed specifically at those Kookaburra Kids transitioning from school into tertiary study or the workforce, but who still need support to navigate to becoming independent adults.

The Kookaburra Kids supports school aged children living in families affected by mental illness by providing recreational and educational camps throughout the school holidays.

PAYCE has been supporting the Sutherland Shire based organisation since 2015 as a strategic partner, pledging $250,000 over five years and has now donated an additional $25,000 towards the Taking Flight program.

The program provides:

  • The opportunity to work with an experienced coach to develop an integrated approach to career planning that supports the individual’s situation, interests and values
  • Job placement opportunities to educate and build capacity to get full-time employment
  • Guidance on suitable tertiary courses
  • Mentoring support with on-going professional and emotional guidance, and
  • Fundamental skills development opportunities to stay in front of work/study challenges.

PAYCE Director Dominic Sullivan said the new program was a very worthy initiative and the company was proud to support the new program.

“Taking Flight really is a great new and perfectly targeted service,” he said.

“Not all Kookaburra Kids have the confidence or family support to access resources to make the best decisions on their tertiary education and employment choices.”

Mr Sullivan said PAYCE was committed to helping grass-roots organisations that make a difference.

“The circumstances that Kookaburra Kids find themselves in are beyond their control and the work of the team really does help these young people towards a bright future,” he said.

“Every child deserves to reach their full potential and that can only be achieved with the right guidance and support.

“I am sure many of them will go on to make big contributions to the community,” Mr Sullivan said.