GOTAFE 2018 Apprentice of the Year Announced (Wangaratta)


GOTAFE’s Benalla & Wangaratta Campuses held their annual GOTAFE Trade Awards Gala Dinner on Wednesday 5th December at Oaks at the Wangaratta Turf Club. The awards saw us recognise the achievements of our apprentice students at a gala dinner, attended by apprentices, their employers, business owners and guests.

Awards were presented to apprentices in the first, second, third or fourth years from Automotive, Building & Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Hair & Beauty, Hospitality, Baking and Plumbing learning areas.

This year, Paul de Gelder was our special guest speaker. Paul spoke to guests about his life journey that led him to a career as a navy diver, how he survived a shark attack in Sydney Harbour where he lost an arm and a leg, and how he now travels the world as at top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids.

Jessica Plum from Badaginnie was announced as GOTAFE’s 2018 Apprentice of the Year for Benalla & Wangaratta campuses. Jessica, a Hospitality Apprentice, was one of the eight final year apprentices who were awarded the Outstanding Apprentice Achievement Awards for their respective learning areas.

Jessica recently completed SIT30816 Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) with GOTAFE and is now working with Benalla Gallery Café.

“I am proud to have been nominated. I have always been made to feel comfortable by my trainers at GOTAFE. Food is my passion and GOTAFE has equipped me with the skills I need to be able to go into the future. I feel like I can go anywhere with the training I have undertaken here at GOTAFE. It has allowed me to believe in myself.”

GOTAFE Trainer Glenn Kealy has nothing but high praise for Jessica. “Jessica joined this group of apprentices in 2016 while completing Certificate III in Hospitality. She then took the next step and commenced an apprenticeship.”

“From the very beginning, Jessica always wanted to learn and took everything on board to better herself. Jessica has continued to be a standout and in July of this year, she competed in the AUSTAFE Culinary Competition where she won a bronze medal. Her true character shone through earlier this year when the group faced adversity. Jessica was practically the glue that held the group together. She was an exceptional support to the other students and also to me as her trainer.”

Jessica is a dedicated apprentice who gives 100% at work. In her downtime, Jessica likes to tend to her garden where she grows her own produce to use in her cooking. She also enjoys yoga and also is a current Lions Club Member where she assists with raffles and fundraising.

As long as she can be creative and continue to learn, Jessica plans to continue to work in food as it’s her passion.

2018 Trade Awards Newspaper Spread_Wangaratta

 

GOTAFE 2018 Apprentice of the Year Announced (Shepparton)


GOTAFE’s Seymour & Shepparton Campuses held their annual GOTAFE Trade Awards Gala Dinner on Monday 3rd December at the GV Hotel, Shepparton. The awards saw us recognise the achievements of our apprentice students at a gala dinner, attended by apprentices, their employers, business owners and guests.

Awards were presented to apprentices in the first, second, third or fourth years from Automotive, Building & Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Hair & Beauty, Hospitality, Baking and Plumbing learning areas.

This year, Paul de Gelder was our special guest speaker. Paul spoke to guests about his life journey that led him to a career as a navy diver, how he survived a shark attack in Sydney Harbour where he lost an arm and a leg, and how he now travels the world as at top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids.

Kyla Wagner from Echuca was announced as GOTAFE’s 2018 Apprentice of the Year for Seymour & Shepparton campuses. Kyla, a Baking Apprentice, was one of the eight final year apprentices who were awarded the Outstanding Apprentice Achievement Awards for their respective learning areas.

Kyla recently completed FDF30710 Certificate III in Retail Baking (Combined) with GOTAFE and is now working with Beechworth Bakery in Echuca.

Kyla is pleased she was nominated for this award. “I am very passionate about baking. I wanted to learn as much as I could. I didn’t enjoy high school very much. Once I started working at the Beechworth Bakery, I haven’t looked back.”

GOTAFE trainer Kim Banfield says “Kyla displayed all the traits of a top student. She was always in front with her theory assessments and at times. She has always been a very polite and well-mannered student in class who got along with everyone and never showed signs of stress or disharmony. Her willingness to learn and ability to get on with any person from any background or stature made her the perfect candidate to take on competitions like Excellence in Baking and Worldskills. It was a pleasure to have Kyla in our classes and we wish her every success in the future.”

Kyla is currently exploring her options and is looking at continuing her studies with GOTAFE in 2019 by completing her Certificate IV in Baking qualification or possibly a qualification in management.

2018 Trade Awards Newspaper Spread_Shepp

GOTAFE Trainers Judge At The Great Aussie Pie Competition


GOTAFE Baking trainers, Stephen Pinnuck and Kim Banfield are busy in Sydney this week judging “The Great Aussie Pie” competition. It is the biggest pie competition in Australia.

Stephen and Kim have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to judge the competition for the past 15 years. The competition runs for four days with a judging panel of 12 people. They have a number of entries with each judge potentially eating 60 pies a day, so roughly judging around 240 pies for the whole competition.

“Pies get cut into quarters for us to taste. We nibble on the meat, pastry, aroma, the stability and all of those things that go towards it. And then we move onto the next pie. We nibble because there is no way we could eat a full quarter of 60 pies in a day”. Said Stephen.

“We first mark the pies cold. In this section we don’t eat the pies, we mark for symmetry, colour, pastry thickness, amount of filling, and if it is the gourmet section what sort of fillings have they tried. Whether it’s creative or not. When hot, we taste the pies and mark on stability, aroma, meat and fillings that they have used.”

Stephen’s idea of a good pie “one that is well constructed, it’s got good flavour but not over powering, the meat doesn’t run out everywhere, the pastry isn’t too thick. Just a good, consistent, stable pie.”

The competition is a great way for the Bakeries and the industry to get some more exposure. People travel far and wide to try the “Greatest Aussie Pie”.

“I think it’s good for bakeries. The bakeries that have entered all get feedback on their entries. If they don’t go as well as what they hoped they can improve with the suggestions on their feedback. People who act upon their feedback are the ones that eventually take out the big prizes”.

 

Our People: Glenn Kealy, Hospitality


Glenn Kealy, GOTAFE Wangaratta Hospitality Trainer talks about his passion for teaching and his experience in hospitality that spans almost 35 years.  “I love mentoring my students, they love the way I teach and in my 14th year of teaching I am still reinventing myself and what I teach, I am constantly adjusting to my customer’s needs, but this time it’s not a menu it’s a style of teaching,” said Glenn.

“The best part of my job is guiding, facilitating and mentoring my students to be the best chefs they can be, if they enjoy class and go on to succeed in the industry then I know I am doing my job.

“I bring passion, a strong work ethic and experience to teaching every day.

“It can be exhausting, most teachers will empathise with me, every time you teach, you are on show, it’s a performance, and you must be engaging, be real and be informative every time you teach.

“I still second guess myself and question whether my skills and experience are enough to teach, but deep down I know they are. And every now and then I get a thank you email or card or just a simple face to face thank you and I realise how much I have to offer and how much I have passed on.

“And sometimes it is my job to keep the passion alive for students, being an apprentice isn’t easy, it is hard work, long and odd hours and you don’t always get to see the joy your creation brings to your customers.

“I started out as a 16 year old trainee chef in my hometown of Harvey in Western Australia, so I know what it is like to start out in the industry.

“The Wagon Wheels Motel and the Harvey Hotel taught me a bit of everything of the industry as a whole.

“After that I worked in a number of big hotels on the Gold Coast including the Ramada Hotel, then back to Western Australia to work at the newly built Cable Beach Club in Broome.

“The Cable Beach Club was my first taste of what good food was all about, it was high quality food and high quality service, and it was a standout in my early career.

“At the Club I worked with international chefs who were handpicked by Lord (Alistair) McAlpine.

“I always felt like a bit of a country kid playing with the big boys but with hard work and passion I felt like I earnt my stripes.

“We had our preparation stations, our specialities if you like and I was amongst chefs from Italy, France, South African and England, we were expected to produce the highest standard for our domestic and international guests.

“After that I travelled overseas working in a variety kitchens for a variety of organisations, including P&O Ridge View Lodge that would cater and board the homeless just outside of London, and The Thistle Hotel chain in Aberdeen Scotland.

“All these experiences and overseas travelling taught me how to meet different customers’ needs which help me now as a teacher.

“Back in Australia at the age of 24 I was setting up a tavern restaurant called Sandy Cove in Mandurah south of Perth, then as a chef at the well-known and award winning Subiaco Hotel, then moving to Melbourne I worked in Melbourne at The Snail and Bottle Restaurant at the Law Institute of Victoria then moving to the North East I worked locally at King River Café, Spotless in Wodonga and now as a trainer at GOTAFE in Wangaratta.

“My students tell me they have to listen to me because I keep them guessing, they never know what is coming next, for me that’s a great compliment.”

Students Share the Dignity


Claire Taylor , GOTAFE Events, Tourism and Hospitality Trainer is working with the Certificate III, and Diploma of Events students to create an ongoing project which will raise awareness around the charity, Share the Dignity, who provide free access to sanitary and personal care items for the many homeless women and women in domestic violence shelters.

“We have developed a project involving the students at different levels that will enable them to create, organise, and follow an event from start to finish that has positive outcomes for the community at large and the students as well.”

The statistics show that 44% of homeless people are women, which equates to over 85,000 women that need our help. Homelessness, poverty, unemployment and domestic violence – these are just a few of the reasons why women are forced to choose between buying food or sanitary items. This is not okay.

“The student’s project started in March and will continue to go through until November. There are two main drives for sanitary items being held in April and August, and another drive for a project called #itsinthebag that will be ongoing until November. The #itsinthebag drive culminates close to Christmas time, and encourages people to donate an unused handbag full of goodies for women who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to buy these products. These bags are distributed amongst local charities for Christmas.”

It’s easy for anybody to get involved and donate to Share the Dignity.

“We have four main campuses at GOTAFE in Shepparton, Seymour, Benalla and Wangaratta where the public are able to come in and donate throughout the year. They can drop off sanitary items, shampoo, conditioner, little trinkets, hair brushes, deodorant, toothbrushes and anything else that would be appropriate to make a women in need feel better about themselves.

“The drop off boxes at each campus will usually be situated within the main reception area, and the public can come in and donate whenever they are able. The students would like to get people thinking about this charity when they are out shopping, and if you are buying these items for yourself, buy something extra to put into the drop off box.”

“It’s such a worthwhile cause, and a great way to be able to show the students that an event doesn’t always have to be about making money. It can be about raising awareness and making a difference, which is what we are hoping to achieve this year.”

To read more about Share the Dignity, click here.

Passion, practice and patience key to patisserie chef’s success


“With baking, you have to keep learning, by training or practicing,” said Luke. “It’s important to take pride and have passion in what you do. It’s also important to love what you do.”

His advice is sound advice, as he was awarded GOTAFE’s Baking Apprentice of the Year in his last year of study in 2010 and has international experience at a renown Patisserie School in France. Luke attributes his success to his training and trainers at GOTAFE.

“My GOTAFE Baking Trainers were Kim, Steve and Maria, they were really good to me and also inspired me further to become a baker”.

Initially, Luke started his baking career at High School, working part time at Gaffney’s Bakery in Yea. He enjoyed it so much that he started working full time, beginning his apprenticeship at GOTAFE.

Once finishing his apprenticeship at GOTAFE he travelled overseas to France to train for two months at Ecole Nationale Superieure De Patisserie (ENSP). Luke took the view that France is well known for their pastries so why not learn from the best, so after completing his training he moved to Paris, living and working there for six months.

“I didn’t find it too hard to get a job. I was lucky because my boss spoke a bit of English which made it easier if I had any questions.”

Luke is now back in Australia, working at Le Petit Gateaux, Melbourne a patisserie specialising in creative cakes and tarts.

Luke continues to build his career and said he constantly strives for innovation. “Trying to be a bit different from everybody else is the biggest challenge.

“I am always trying to come up with my own ideas and not copying anybody else’s.”

Fussy eater to head chef


Chris Buzza was a self-confessed fussy eater until the age of 15, when an experience with his Dad at the MCG changed all that.

“My Dad and I were about to have lunch in a corporate box. Dad said to me, ‘I know you will not like much of the food but at least try it.’ I did and I really enjoyed it,” said Chris. “This experience gave me the inspiration to pay more attention in my food class at school and to start pursuing hospitality as a career.”

Chris started his hospitality training at GOTAFE as a Year 12 student through the VETiS (Vocational Education and Training in Schools) program. Chris also completed a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and in June this year, he opened his own café in Mooroopna, Bill and Beats.

“Opening my own business is something I have wanted to do since I first started out in hospitality. I like the idea of being my own boss and the challenges that it will bring.”

Chris believes you need to get as much experience as you can if you want to be successful in the hospitality industry.

Chris found it very beneficial and gained a lot of experience working with a variety of chefs with different cooking backgrounds, learning new skills, techniques and flavour combinations. He went on to say there is so much in the world of food you can do.

During his training at GOTAFE, Chris did work experience at Golf Clubs, Restaurants, Hotels and even the Army Barracks at Watsonia.

“I really enjoyed my time at GOTAFE. There was quite a bit of variety and it was good to learn from teachers who had worked in the industry for a long time and were very passionate about food.”

He started his apprenticeship at the Shepparton RSL and finished it at the Aussie Hotel.

“I rang the kitchen at the Telegraph Hotel in Numurkah for five years.

“I moved to London for a year which was great experience and then came back to the Telegraph Hotel for another year before taking on the role as head chef at Sebastians Restaurant in Shepparton.”

Where Are They Now? Bill & Beats Cafe


Growing up Chris was a very fussy eater until at the age of 15, an experience with his Dad at the MCG changed all that.

“My Dad and I were about to have lunch in a corporate box.  Dad said to me, ‘I know you will not like much of the food but at least try it.’  I did and I really enjoyed it.  This gave me the inspiration to pay more attention in my food class at school and to start pursuing hospitality as a career.” Read more…

GOTAFE to Launch Regional Tourism Program


A new initiative between GOTAFE and William Angliss will give local students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the hospitality, tourism and events industries without having to leave home.

GOTAFE Trainer Kirsty Ash said the Regional Tourism Employability Program, to be launched this Wednesday at GOTAFE Shepparton, aims to showcase training and career opportunities available locally. Read more…