Tjapukai apprentice chef Ashley Farrall has been awarded the NAIDOC Apprentice of the Year.
Ashley Farrall 2LR
Tjapukai Chief Executive Officer Greg Erwin congratulated Ashley saying the budding chef’s innovative work in the kitchen using his cultural bush food knowledge led to Tjapukai nominating him for the award.
“Ashley enjoys experimenting with traditional bush foods and has created a number of dishes for Tjapukai’s new menu including sweet potato and macadamia salad and lemon myrtle tarts,” he said.
“Tjapukai is one of the largest Indigenous employers of any tourism enterprise in Australia and endeavours to train young Indigenous people where ever possible.
“It is rewarding to see a young man like Ashley using his cultural knowledge to help Tjapukai present the stories of Indigenous Australia, in this instance, through our menu.”
TAFE Queensland North trainer Garry Sansom said he was not surprised at Ashley’s success. “Ashley is passionate about his cultural bush food and is always willing to share his knowledge with other apprentices training with him at TAFE Queensland North,” Chef Sansom said.
“With the training that Ashley is receiving, he is able to apply his newly learned cooking techniques to create outstanding dishes using ingredients that are part of his culture and inspiring to his fellow apprentices.
“Ashley has the determination to become a highly respected chef who will be recognised for his dedication to not only preserving the cultural heritage that has been handed down to him, but to introducing bush foods to a wider group of people and in so doing contributing to the reconciliation process.”
Ashley, 22, discovered his passion for cooking and bush foods in Echuca in Victoria when he participated in the Indigenous business organisation Outback Academy’s RESPECT program and studied culture and bush food with Yorta Yorta Elders and Aboriginal chef Mark Olive.
The second year apprentice joined Tjapukai 18 months ago and is looking forward to completing the third year of his apprenticeship at the Indigenous cultural experience in Cairns so he too can become an inspiration to young Indigenous people.
“I want to open my own restaurant and employ young Indigenous people as I believe getting them involved in hospitality helps overcome the problem of drug and alcohol addiction,” Ashley said.
“I would like to become a well-known chef so I can travel and both inspire and guide others to successfully achieve their goals.”