Interview with 2019 Len Evans Scholar – Rauri Donkin
In late 2018 the Trevor Drayton Scholarship Foundation committee announced that it was extending its support for the next generation of leaders in the Hunter wine and hospitality industry by sponsoring one of the 12 hand-picked scholars in the Len Evans Tutorial.
The sponsorship will now ensure that the Hunter is represented annually in the prestigious Tutorial. Established by the late Len Evans, and limited to just 12 scholars from across Australia each year, the Tutorial helps talented individuals in the wine and hospitality industry develop their overall wine knowledge and skills as well as preparing them to become the next generation of wine judges.
I would now like to introduce the 2018 Trevor Drayton Foundation Scholar, Rauri Donkin. Rauri is Senior Winemaker at First Creek Wines and has worked in Hunter vineyards since 2008.
Rauri will also host a special First Creek Winemakers Dinner for the Trevor Drayton Foundation here at Carrington Place on May 1stthis year and you will see some flyers for this event around the room.
Winemaking – Sam Boyd
Background: Sam originally studied at Maitland TAFE where he completed a Carpentry & Joinery course in 2011 and worked in the industry before his love of wine saw him make a dramatic change of career. He began work as a cellar hand at Allandale winery in 2014.
He is currently completing his Bachelor of Wine Studies at Charles Sturt University and has progressed to the position of Assistant Winemaker at Allandale. You can sample some of the fine Allandale wines here today.
- Short Term:Sam hopes to use the Scholarship to further his studies and also to travel and experience a Northern Hemisphere harvest.
- Long Term: In his application he stated that he is grateful to be working in the beautiful Hunter Valley and wants to eventually establish his own family vineyard/winery in the Hunter.
Hospitality – Giang Tram
Background: After completing Year 10 in 2014 at Lambton High, Giang’s interest in the hospitality industry saw her complete a Certificate 111 in Hospitality through the Salvation Army’s Reach Training progamme.
She undertook work experience at the Salvos Olive Branch Café and decided to extend her studies at TAFE, where she is currently completing a Diploma in Hospitality Management.
Giang is currently working in the Front of House team at Rydges Newcastle.
- Short Term: Giang wishes to successfully finish her Diploma of Hospitality Management, and to continue to gain as much experience as she can with a view to working in fine dining.
- Medium Term: She is now working towards entering the Brett Graham competition (Front of House category) in 2020 and earn the opportunity to work at the highest level in hospitality, including the world renowned Ledbury in London.
- Long Term: Giang hopes to expand her wine knowledge and has enrolled in the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 2 course and has her sights set on becoming a qualified sommelier.
Giang says winning the scholarship has boosted her confidence. Before she attended TAFE she was very shy, something her teachers also highlighted, but doing the course has given her the confidence to get her current job. She wants to continue learning, gain more experience and travel the world utilising her skills.
Giang hopes the scholarship will allow her to buy her first car. She purchased a bike last year to ride to work after originally taking the bus. She had to leave home at 3.00am in order to get to Rydges to start work at 5.00am for the breakfast shift. A car will reduce her travel time from 2 hours to 15 minutes.
Food – Hayley Waterhouse
Background:Hayley began her hospitality career at the age of 14 when she took a job at a small local pizza shop. It was busy and hard work but she loved it and moved on to Junction Inn at Raymond Terrace, working while she completed her Year 12 studies at Irrawang High.
After winning a number of awards at High school, Hayley enrolled at TAFE in the Diploma of Hospitality, specialising in patisserie where she continued to excel, studying under internationally recognised pastry chef, Dean Gibson. She has competed with distinction in numerous regional and national baking competitions and has just completed her apprenticeship at Euro Patisserie New Lambton.
- Short Term: Hayley wants to work and live overseas while she further develops her skills and is off to America this year in pursuit of her dream
- Medium Term: She wishes to establish professional connections nationally and internationally to help her broaden her skills and knowledge base.
- Long Term: Hayley would like to eventually return to the Hunter and share her passion for the industry, ideally opening a specialised bake house highlighting different styles from around the world. Mentoring or teaching future generations is something close to her heart and she believes this is eventually where her career will lead.
Hayley hopes the scholarship will both boost her finances to support her planned travel and that the industry recognition the award provides, will help her when applying for positions internationally.
It is also worthy of note that Hayley’s TAFE teachers have made special mention of her very real commitment to mentoring and helping others during her time at TAFE.