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Is this Australia’s best co-curricular program?

The Lakes College Co-Curricular Program

The Lakes College have been shortlisted as an Excellence Awardee for the 2023 Australian Education Awards – Best Co-Curricular Program.

The annual Australian Education Awards showcase our country’s top-performing schools, principals, department heads and teachers for their outstanding achievements and transformative work that make a profound difference to the lives of young people across Australia.

The Lakes College Culinary Club (TLCCC) have been recognised at a national level in the AEA Category – Best Co-Curricular Program. Growing from a twelve-student team to a thirty-student team, TLCCC has shown its results in its continued growth and involvement in the College’s events and has also begun to be sourced by outside organisations for catering in the local community.

TLCCC gives students an opportunity to learn the importance of service to community, build real-world capacities and develop a mature, professional work ethic. The program fosters that rare, but vital, symbiotic relationship between deep engagement with the broader community while simultaneously creating a place of purpose and belonging for young people.

Culinary Club involves students aged 11 to 18 years old preparing complex six course degustation dinners through to catering for College events with over 500 guests. From requiring students to skilfully handle a knife, to exposing the students to many methods of cookery, the practical skills don’t cease.

Chloe in Year 7 says that she enjoys doing the catering side of TLCCC and that she has learnt a lot about cooking and making food: “I think it is the best co-curricular activity because it teaches you everyday skills you need to know in a fun way and with your friends!”

Emily in Year 7 said that she loves TLCCC because of the connections that she is able to make: “Even when it is crazy busy – you still get a smile from the team.”

As Chef Joel, (Coordinator and Creator of TLCCC) would say, “Culinary Club allows our College events to show heart, but it also nourishes the hearts of the students themselves.”

TLCCC is committed to keeping its heart bound to local ingredients and exciting food adventures. As the program grows, it is including further vocational goals, like barista training and Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate courses to support community events.

The biggest achievement the program TLCCC has made is reaching a rotation of students that now sees the older and more experienced Culinary Club members being involved in the training, management and supervision of the new students enlisting in the program.

The Lakes College Principal, Nicole Gregory is thrilled with the announcement, noting that, “The culinary arts at The Lakes College is a jewel in our TLC Beyond program. It engages our students in a cross-pollination of science, art, and food technology. Led by Head Chef Joel McCulla, Joel brings together these areas of learning through our highly regarded Culinary Club program. Chef Joel sees our students not only grow in their understanding of the experience of food and its service, but he seeks to develop discipline and shared responsibility as our students learn that culinary success rests with the whole team.”

Service, community engagement, a place for students to grow and lead; this is TLCCC’s commitment and its character.

The award winners will be announced at the Gala Event on Friday 11 August 2023.

For more information on the awards and to view the full list of award recipients, refer to Australian Education Awards | The Educator (educatorawards.com).

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