Dayne Keefe completed a hospitality certificate through Multicultural Australia's award-winning Tucker Time project
Dayne Keefe completed a hospitality certificate through Multicultural Australia's award-winning Tucker Time project

Rocky’s Tucker Time program earns regional training gong

THE TEAM at Multicultural Australia’s Tucker Time were delighted to be named one of the state’s top training programs last week.

The Rockhampton office’s food rescue and hospitality skills project won Community Training Initiative of the Year as part of the Queensland Government awards.

However the real proof of the program’s success lies in the number of trainees who landed a job before they even finished their Certificate I in Hospitality.

“It’s always a big celebration for us when the trainees go on to score a job as a direct result of taking part in the Tucker Time project,” said coordinator Justina O’Connor.

“We had 13 trainees start this round and a number of them probably won’t make it to the graduation ceremony because they’ll be busy working.”

Collecting fresh produce from generous donors is the first step for Tucker Time trainees Dayne Keefe and Clair Vale
Collecting fresh produce from generous donors is the first step for Tucker Time trainees Dayne Keefe and Clair Vale

Tucker Time not only taught them skills in the commercial kitchen – their site supervisor is a qualified chef - but also gave trainees increased confidence and improved networking skills in their search for employment.

Multicultural Australia teamed up with the Second Bite organisation which helped them collect leftover food from such retailers as Coles, Aldi and Nandos.

The trainees accessed the kitchens at Salvation Army in order to transform those ingredients into wholesome and well presented meals which were donated to people in need.

Multicultural Australia also worked with the Rockhampton Regional Council to provide workshops to the public on reducing food wastage.

Dayne Keefe from Yeppoon is one of the trainees who joined the Tucker Time program to gain current qualifications and skills.

“I knew the hospitality experience and current references would make me more competitive in applying for jobs,” he said.

“We had a go at dehydrating and preserving food as well as presenting attractive meals… and now I always use fresh garlic when I’m cooking at home.

“It’s also a good feeling to take food which would otherwise go to waste and distribute it to homeless people and people in shelters.

Tucker Time trainees turn leftover food into beautifully presented meals for people in need
Tucker Time trainees turn leftover food into beautifully presented meals for people in need

Armed with a Cert I in hospitality, a first aid certificate, as well as his RSA and RSG (alcohol and gambling-related industry certificates), Dayne is now confident he can find a job in the hospitality industry.

He has also gone on to enrol in a diploma in information technology through CQUniversity, with a view to working in administration in the future.

As this Tucker Time program cohort finish its training, enrolments open for another, late-October round.

The Skilling Queenslander for Work program, funded by the Queensland government, focuses on people who are not currently enrolled in education or working full-time, and people with barriers to finding work.

Contact Multicultural Australia’s Rockhampton office on 49212222 for more information about the enrolment criteria for Tucker Time and its other training projects.



Water bomber fights large grass fire at Mt Chalmers

Premium Content Water bomber fights large grass fire at Mt Chalmers

Police have also been called in to implement traffic control in the area.

Praise for LNP’s four-lane, 110kmh Bruce Highway plan

Premium Content Praise for LNP’s four-lane, 110kmh Bruce Highway plan

The massive $33b project where the Bruce Highway would be duplicated between Gympie...

Player injury brings rugby grand final to lengthy halt

Premium Content Player injury brings rugby grand final to lengthy halt

WATCH THE REPLAY: Brothers go on to claim A-grade crown with win over Gladstone.