New facilities serve up opportunities for Gladstone students

More teenagers will be able to pursue their dream of a career in hospitality following the opening of a new training kitchen at Carinity Education Gladstone.

A state-of-the-art commercial kitchen for hospitality training is part of a $3.2 million upgrade of buildings on the school campus.


Carinity Education Gladstone cook Ryan King supervises hospitality student Morgan preparing a meal in the school's new commercial kitchen.
Carinity Education Gladstone cook Ryan King supervises hospitality student Morgan preparing a meal in the school’s new commercial kitchen.

Carinity Education Gladstone Principal, Jane Greenland, says the kitchen is a vital ingredient in students’ vocational learning, providing new opportunities for young people to excel in the fields of hospitality and food preparation.

“The multi-use kitchen facility is being utilised by students undertaking training at school to achieve certificate qualifications in hospitality. Fresh and healthy meals and beverages for students and staff are prepared in the kitchen, which can also be used for catering for school and community functions,” Jane said.

Previously, Carinity Education Gladstone students undertaking certificate courses in hospitality had to travel the three-hour round trip to Rockhampton to complete their assessment.

Hospitality students have been guided by cook Ryan King, who has worked in hospitality throughout Europe, south-east Asia and Australia. He says the school kitchen, featuring a walk-in fridge/freezer, stainless steel benches, modern equipment and ovens that are common in most commercial kitchens, gives students “a real head-start with their future career”.

“Having a working commercial kitchen enables students to experience working in the industry, giving them the confidence, knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in hospitality,” Ryan said.

“The students can gain skills using modern cooking equipment commonly used in workplaces such as cafés, hotels, resorts and fast-food outlets. It’s an awesome opportunity to get hands-on experience using industry-standard equipment and makes cooking for school a lot more enjoyable.”

All four of Carinity Education special assistance schools – in Gladstone, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay and Brisbane – have commercial kitchens. Jane said vocational training opens up career pathways for students who may struggle with regular schoolwork in the classroom or have previously faced barriers to education.

“Not all students are academically inclined and instead are very good at practical, hands-on work. Undertaking VET training on campus at our school provides students with more career options for life after school,” Jane said.


Sirayah Benjamin shows Carinity Education Gladstone hospitality student Jay-dee how to prepare milkshakes in the school's new commercial kitchen
Sirayah Benjamin shows Carinity Education Gladstone hospitality student Jay-dee how to prepare milkshakes.

As part of the upgrade to Carinity Education Gladstone facilities, the school’s existing administration building has also been refurbished.

“We needed this refurbishment and improvement. As a special assistance school, we are growing rapidly with more than 114 students enrolled, up from just 24 when we started in 2017,” Jane said.

State Minister for Education, Grace Grace, said the Queensland Government invested $1.1 million into the refurbishment project.

“It looks great and is a popular addition to the school’s infrastructure. Over the last five years we have provided more than $4.1 million in capital and operational funds for Carinity Education’s two school sites in Rockhampton and Gladstone,” she said.

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