News

A recipe for success

Chris Gordon, Arlene Edmondstone, Aaron Henderson, Kassie Connors and Damian Pearce have taken their new skills to the kitchen at Wollongbar TAFE.
Chris Gordon, Arlene Edmondstone, Aaron Henderson, Kassie Connors and Damian Pearce have taken their new skills to the kitchen at Wollongbar TAFE.

ABORIGINAL offenders at a correctional centre in Tabulam are getting a second chance at life through TAFE.

The recipe for their success is a partnership between Balund-a correctional centre, North Coast TAFE and Southern Cross High School distance education.

Balund-a houses male and female residents aged between 18 and 35 who are mainly from the Bundjalung nation.

Each week teachers travel to the correctional centre to provide classes on everything from literacy, numeracy, hospitality and tourism.

The hospitality students from Balund-a had the chance to show off their kitchen skills in a real restaurant at Wollongbar TAFE yesterday.

"It's important they see TAFE and know what it is like so they can feel comfortable about coming back here once they get out," TAFE programs co-ordinator Janine Laki said.

Bundjalung man Aaron Henderson is completing a Certificate Two in Hospitality through TAFE and hopes to open his own catering van.

"I've always been involved in hospitality and tourism but I never got into the cooking side of it. So this was a really good chance for me while I'm at Balund-a to pursue that and have a taste of a different career," Mr Henderson said.

Offenders can be sent to Balund-a after conviction or they can be sent there on bail before the magistrate decides upon a sentence

The aim is to try to keep Aboriginal people out of jail, because more than one in five inmates in NSW are of Aboriginal descent.

Ms Laki said the skills learnt at Balund-a are taken into account when offenders reappear for sentencing.

She said education can help people transform their lives, even if they have been on the wrong side of the criminal justice system.

"They're often intelligent and capable people who did not fit into the education system.

"Going back and re-engaging with education is a way for them to plan a future for themselves which doesn't involve going to jail."

Chef and cookery teacher Ian West said he's seen great results since he began teaching cooking at Balund-a 18 months ago.

"We have had students that have finished at Balund-a who have gone on to complete Certificate Two or Three in hospitality and with those qualifications they can take them on to an apprenticeship and work further in the industry."

Topics:  north coast tafe



HORROR CRASH: Two die in hospital, one still critical

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked to a crash at Woodenbong last night. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

The unregistered car that rolled had no seats and no seat belts

Firefighters on scene at remote Northern Rivers fire

GRASS FIRE: Fire fighters battling fires across the Mackay region as wind increases

Two 'Striker' units patrolling remote back country to monitor blaze

This week's markets list

The Lismore Car Boot Markets. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

Where to get your local fresh produce and coffee from

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Ten things to do this week

CLASSIC: A finals heat from the 1985 Byron bay Malibu Club Classic
Photo Contributed

Surf, music, comedy and plenty of cabaret

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities