Bushland Tukka Cafe and Catering Service opens August 27

THE Bushland Tukka Café and Catering Service will be officially opened on Wednesday August 27 in the arcade of Bushland Shops, Mudford Street, Taree.

The café is part of an exciting community development social enterprise established by Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services Inc, with funding from the NSW Family and Community Services "Community Builders Program".

The Bushland enterprise has also just taken possession of a catering trailer with monies from the Enterprise Training Company (ETC) Community Support Fund which means Bushland Tukka will be mobile and available for local events in the near future.

The cafe will be opended by member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead with the official Welcome to Country conducted by Biripi elder Mr John Clark and the Koori Dance Troupe from Manning Gardens School will be providing entertainment on the day.

Children from Manning Gardens School under the guidance of local artist Sam Everett and Community Services student Janine Learmonth have already created colourful murals on the empty shop windows inside the arcade and have created fabulous weavings and paintings that have been made into flags and tapestry wall hangings, creating an atmosphere of celebration.

The café and catering service will initially provide opportunities for volunteering and work experience, as well as training, hands on experience and qualifications in hospitality with the aim of providing pathways to paid work for unemployed members of our community.

The aim is eventually for the enterprise to become self-funded and provide paid employment to workers.

Enthusiastic Community volunteers have already completed Barista training with ‘Doppio or Nothing Espresso’ and have begun a Hospitality Certificate II that is being facilitated by TAFE on site at the Bushland Tukka Cafe.

Their volunteer work at the cafe is structured to provide the hands on practical components of the course that build towards their qualifications.

Within the next month there will also be a shared office, meeting and workshop space next to the café that will provide an outreach facility to other local community services.

A community bush tucker garden is also in the early stages of development.

Brenden Moore from the Royal Botanic Gardens Community Greening project is also attending the opening and will be visiting again in September to conduct seed sowing and native plant propagation workshops in the Bushland Tukka Community Garden.

The Bushland Enterprise is also supported by a number of other organisations that are helping to realise the dream of a stronger, healthier, more connected community.

Specifically, the Inger Rice foundation, ANZ Staff Foundation and Greater Taree City Council funding will help us to run hospitality training and healthy eating programs for youth, young mothers and the general community and the NRMA have provided funding to conduct a community safety project.

The main aim of the project is to reinvigorate and unite the community through shared interests, the spirit of harmony, cooperation, creative enterprise and empowerment.

It is hoped that The Bushland Arcade will offer a safe place where everyone can feel they belong – a place for the community, developed by the community and eventually run by the community.

Stay tuned for further exciting developments on this project!