Interview and update with one of our 2017 recipients
Winemaking Division – Kim Williams (Highly Commended)
Last year, Kim Williams was a Trevor Drayton Scholarship recipient in the Winemaking Division. At the time she was completing her Certificate IV Agriculture and Diploma of Viticulture. She was hoping to gain ground level entry into the Hunter Wine Industry and put her new skills and knowledge based studies into practice, hoping to contribute in the long term to the future excellence of grape production and appreciation of fine wines in the Hunter Valley
During the past 12 months she has used her scholarship funds to further her education in the industry and is with us today to provide everyone with a brief overview of her year.
2018 Culinary Scholarship Recipient– Chloe Boyd
Currently enrolled in the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery with an expected finish date of 2018
Background: During late 2015 and early 2016 Chloe was employed at the Royal Oak Hotel in Cessnock as a kitchen hand, and over time her responsibilities expanded to food preparation and assisting with functions etc. She spoke of her passion to work at Hunter hatted restaurant Muse and her employer set up a work placement for her. She eventually applied for and was offered an apprenticeship by Troy Rhoades Brown at Muse.
- Short term: To finish apprenticeship at Muse Restaurant.
- Medium term: To gain further experience in the culinary world of SE Asia.
- Long term: To settle back in the Hunter Valley and eventually open her own restaurant as she is confident that the area has access to some of the best produce in Australia.
Scholarship monies will allow Chloe to travel to Melbourne and visit a number of restaurants and obtain work experience. Any additional funds will be used to purchase tools and appliances to further extend herself at home and grow her own produce.
2018 Hospitality Scholarship Recipient– Courtney Edwards
2016 – TAFE Diploma in Hospitality and employed at EXP. Restaurant in the Hunter Valley since November 2015
Background: Left school during year 11 to pursue the Certificate III in Hospitality and was given special exemption to undertake the Diploma of Hospitality at the age of 17 years of age. Courtney then started working at EXP. Restaurant on a casual basis. Shortly after Courtney was offered a trial for a fulltime position and still holds this position.
- Short Term: In the last 15 months Courtney has developed a strong interest in wine, and has now set her sights on becoming a qualified sommelier. She is currently enrolled in Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 2 course as a first step to achieving this goal.
- Medium Term: After completing the current WSET course Courtney wants to continue to the level 3 and then her Diploma.
- Long Term: Courtney’s long-term goal is to run her own French style Restaurant.
Courtney plans to use her Scholarship funding to extend her studies, helping her to meet the cost of her sommelier courses and the travel costs associated with her studies.
2018 Special Scholarship Awarded by the Trevor Drayton Committee
Each year, in addition to the Scholarships awarded in conjunction with TAFE, the committee considers applications from people involved in the industry who may not meet the criteria to apply for Scholarship funding through TAFE.
The committee has again decided to award such a scholarship in 2018 and the recipient is: – Ian Edwards
Ian was born in Dungog on October 9th, 1961. His mother was a wonderful country style cook who cooked for family and visitors as well as at the local hotel. It was from her that Ian inherited his love of food and hospitality.
In 1985 he moved to Newcastle and since as he puts it, “there were no cows or sawmills to be seen”, he was officially unqualified for any of the jobs available in the city. He took a job as a kitchen hand at the iconic Alcron Restaurant, high on Church St Newcastle, overlooking the harbour.
After six weeks the owners realised they had a hard worker on their hands and offered Ian an apprenticeship at the Alcron and he completed his training in 1987. Ian’s career from that point reads like a timeline of the region’s most famous restaurants and includes The Alcron, The Ambassador Restaurant, Noahs on the Beach, The South Steyne floating restaurant, Café Continental and Ducks Crossing.
His career of choice and life, however, took a very difficult turn in 2015 when after suffering a detached retina in one eye, he suffered further complications in both eyes and was diagnosed as officially blind.
Devastated but undaunted, Ian decided that rather than walk away from the career he loved with such a passion, he would use his skills to develop a programme to assist vision impaired people pursue fulfilling employment in the hospitality industry. His new project is known as “The Blind Chef” and he is working to open a café and training facility to not only train individuals, but to operate commercially with corporate catering, retail products and a café open to the public.
The scholarship funds awarded to Ian will help him through the next stage of the project including a web site and planning.