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Pop Up Kitchens and much, much more

We've done it all these last few months from Pop-Up Kitchens to moonlight cinemas, getting behind the counter for McHappy Day and walking through Sydney in support of a national girls' program.

Our students are broadening their experiences too.  In this edition we showcase the current achievements of Amy-Lee Silvey and Tayler Cutmore who we expect will both go on, hitting goals and reaching for their dreams.

Read on for all of the details, and if you've got more great ideas about supporting our students, please drop us a line.  We would love to hear from you!

      In this edition:

  • Maggi Pop Up Kitchen
  • Moonlight cinema experience
  • Family firsts: Amy-Lee Silvey
  • Yarn Up with Patrick Strong
  • Gomeroi Gaaynggal traineeship
  • McHappy Day
  • Hunter River Lancers presentation
  • Girls Academy #walktogether

Maggi Pop-Up Kitchen

Students from five Tamworth schools cooked up a healthy education at a Pop-Up Kitchen coordinated by Maggi, the Tamworth Aboriginal Land Council and the Tamworth Opportunity Hub on 19 and 20 October.  The event gave students a rundown on easy-to-prepare meals and nutritional values. 

Tamworth High Deputy Principal Dale Rands said a lot of students jumped at the opportunity to participate in the free workshop.

"It is an opportunity to do something different and the kids got really involved," Mr Rands said.  Students from years 7 to 10 were taught how to whip-up an easy fried rice and healthy hamburgers.

Maggi head of marketing, Sibon Schouten said she hoped the kids would come away with a passion for home cooking.

[Article abridged from the Northern Daily Leader]


  • Australia wastes $8 billion in food annually
  • Less people are cooking at home
  • Making meals out of what is in the fridge
  • Nutrition
  • Healthy eating
  • Homemade verses takeaway
  • Making healthy cooking fun to establish good eating habits
  • How to read food labels 
Students pose with Maggi staff at the event
Moonlight Cinema Experience

After two big fun-filled and educational days of the Maggi Pop-Up Kitchen, the Nestle Group in partnership with the Tamworth LALC and Opportunity Hub Tamworth took 60 students from six Tamworth schools, to a Moonlight Cinema under the stars at Trelawney.

The special event provided an extension to the Maggi's Pop Up Kitchen, and allowed students who had not been able to attend the daytime events to be exposed to Maggi's positive nutritional messages, and be taught the importance of cooking for enjoyment as well as health. Each young person took a very important message with them at the end of the evening.

Nestle's commitment to nurture and grow the relationships that they have developed with young people in the Tamworth community is significant and its value immeasurable.  The Tamworth Opportunity Hub are very fortunate indeed to be in partnership with such a professional and inspiring group.

60 local students enjoyed Nestle Group's Moonlight cinema experience

Family firsts: Amy-Lee Silvey


Amy-Lee Silvey's dreams of a career in health are coming true.

Amy-Lee is the youngest of five children and a year 10 student at Tamworth High School.  As the first person in her family to continue her schooling past year 9, she is not only a trailblazer but a young woman with her goals well in her sights.

During April this year, Amy-Lee completed a two week work experience placement at Tamworth Base Hospital. Those two weeks gave Amy-Lee a broad range of experiences in the surgical, aged care, medical, special care nursery and maternity units, with her favourites being maternity and surgical.

Since meeting Amy-Lee and her mother Julie-Ann at Tamworth High's subject selection evening in July this year, the Opportunity Hub have been researching options for her, to help her to achieve her goal of becoming a Midwife. 
After settling on a School Based Traineeship pathway, the Opportunity Hub assisted Amy-Lee and her family with her application and verification of documents, and in the last week of October, a very excited Amy-Lee, along with her equally excited parents, came in to the office to tell us she had just received news that she was one of four successful applicants who would commence their school-based traineeship in 2016!

Congratulations Amy-Lee!  We can't wait to see you make your dreams come true.

Amy-Lee Silvey is on her way to becoming a Midwife

Yarn Up


"There's only a positive light you can see in these kids eyes... You're changing their lives and broadening their options for them to have a better life.  Especially when they know I have been in their shoes and walked the same walk.  They have similar stories. So the effect it has on me, its always positive."

"With this program, the Opportunity Hub program, I don't think I'll be going anywhere soon, just because I love everything about it."

Listen in to Patrick's full interview here:

Gomeroi Gaaynggal Traineeship


Tayler Cutmore is what one would call a “quiet achiever”.  After living with various extended family members for some time, Tayler became an independent student at age of 16.  And recently, with the assistance of Tamworth Family Support Services and the Youth Refuge, she has secured a home of her own. Throughout her senior high school years, Tayler has found the motivation and drive to get herself to school each day, take part in a range of other extra-curricular activities, and see her education through to Year 12.  And there are even bigger things ahead!

Recognising her potential, the staff at the Tamworth Opportunity Hub recommended Tayler to the Gomeroi gaaynggal (Gomeroi babies) Centre for a week’s work placement.  The Gomeroi gaaynggal team work to improve health outcomes and opportunities for Aboriginal women and children. Over the week, Tayler took part in Arts-Health, community outreach and recruitment activities, assisted the staff as they took blood samples, and worked alongside the sonographers in the ultrasound clinic.  She loved it and the Gomeroi gaaynggal staff loved her! The outcome was such a great fit for the Centre, and for Tayler, it has resulted in Tayler being offered a 12 month traineeship, which will earn her a Certificate II Aboriginal Health Care!

After completing her HSC exams this week, Tayler will have no gap before commencing the traineeship. She is very excited and proud of her achievements and we are too!  Congratulations Tayler!

Above - Tayler Cutmore pictured with Callan Elliott from Sarina Russo Apprenticeships, Nathan Saddler from- VTEC & Opportunity Hub and Gomeroi gaaynggal staff; and below - Tayler participating in Arts Health activities at the Gomeroi gaaynggal centre.

McHappy Day

The Opportunity Hub partnership with the McDonalds' and Hungry Jacks' restaurants is going from strength to strength. 

We now have one young person in employment after supporting them through a the recruitment process, and a number of other students are currently working with  us to put the finishing touches on their resumes and practice interview skills as they prepare to undertake the recruitment process. 

The Opportunity Hub is able to support any young people wanting to kick off their career or just understand more about the opportunities within the fast-food industry.

One of our tips for young people wanting to get a taster or a foot in the door in any industry, is to start by volunteering.  We put that advice into practice ourselves when we volunteered to support McHappy Day at McDonald's West Tamworth store, and were pleased to see a lot of smiling, familiar faces.  Thanks for your support!

Hunter River Lancers – School visit      

On Thursday 22nd October 2015, Corporal Steven Green gave a very inspiring and informative presentation to 45 students at Tamworth High School. Corporal Green, a local young man, recounted his personal story to the students in an honest and "warts and all" way. 

He told students about his own experiences of not being sure of what career path he wanted to follow, how he discovered the diverse range of opportunities available through the Army, and why he decided that joining the Australian Defence Force was the path for him. He also provided a lot of information on the different roles within the Army and covered many career options.  Students listened with interest to stories about life in the Army, overseas tours he has completed, places he has been in Australia, the work/life balance, living conditions and pay.

The Hunter River Lancers is always interested in hearing from local students and the Opportunity Hub can support you to approach them and explore your options.

Corporal Green with students from Tamworth High School

Girls Academy #walktogether

Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council and Opportunity Hub Tamworth staff participated in the Girls Academy #walktogether campaign launch with over 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Girls from across the country – The national campaign raised awareness and much needed support for the Girls Academy, a great program helping girls to reach their full potential.  The 10km walk from ANZAC Bridge, Rozelle to the Sydney Opera House via Barangaroo and was captured by SBS News – if you look closely you will see us on the video!!! 
Prior to the event, we had the opportunity to meet with Ricky Grace, founder and CEO of the Girls Academy and Terry Boland, Program Director from rolemodels and leaders Australia. We know there is a need for such a program in Tamworth and will be discussing the proposal with schools to scope out the program possibilities for Tamworth.

Praise for the Pop-Up Kitchen:

It was an excellent afternoon where our students were given the opportunity to develop their cooking and communication skills. There was an overwhelming amount of positive feedback about this event from the students who attended. We would like to sincerely thank the Opportunity Hub and Maggi Kitchen for giving our students such a wonderful and fun experience - Helen Pinkerton, Careers Adviser, Peel High School

The Pop Up Kitchen was an awesome experience. It was very different to anything I’ve ever done. Since I took part in the pop up kitchen I waste less food and I really think about what goes into the food that I cook - Cassadee Withers, Student, Peel High School

It was a great experience because it was a hands-on experience, the food was tasty and we got to take it home. I couldn’t believe that we waste billions of dollars of food each year. An awesome day. thank you - Kaidia Rule, Student, Peel High School

Just a note to thankyou for your inclusion of Oxley High School in the Maggi Pop up kitchen. Students were amazed and excited  by this experience.
A lot of student discussion on the bus trip back to school generated around the information facts about the sugar and fat intake of soft drinks and brought burgers or takeaway foods. Being able to visually  see what they were consuming in fat and sugar certainly turned some of the students off these products. (I have noticed a few more water bottles being consumed).  Students found the chicken stir fry and Tandoori burger easy to cook, healthy and discovered that it tasted great as well - Janine Way, Aboriginal Education Officer, Oxley High School

Feedback from Oxley High School students -

  • That was so much fun
  • I felt like I was a master chef
  • I wish our cooking classes could be set up like that.
  • I am going to cook  the burgers  for my family.
  • Using a variety of vegetables combining colours actually made me want to eat the food.
  • Wouldn't usually try these meals at home if mum cooked it, but loved both the stir fry and burger.
  • I will be paying closer attention to food labels when I go shopping with my parents.
I found the Maggi Pop-up kitchen very information and fun.  The hands on cooking for the students was engaging and educational.  I learnt how to tenderise meat! - Kim Knox, Aboriginal Education Worker, Tamworth High School
The organisation and presentation of the Maggi  Pop-up Kitchen was flawless.  The students were engaged which is not easy with a large group of high school students.  They learnt a lot about nutrition and food wastage -  Joe Moore, Norta Tutor, Tamworth High School

At the Maggi Pop Up Kitchen, we got to cook Teriyaki Chicken burgers and a chicken stir-fry. It was good to be learning outside the classroom. The washing up wasn’t as bad as I thought but wasn’t as good as the cooking. It was great to cook something new as I’ve never tried stir-fry before – I’m still not sure about all those vegetables! But the burger was delicious! - Deakyn Langenbaker, Year 8 Student, Parry School

The Pop Up Kitchen was a great initiative for all students to be involved in. Cooking healthy food is a life skill that everyone should learn. Students and staff all enjoyed the experience and I would highly recommend the Pop Up Kitchen to other schools. Thank you Maggi and OCHRE Opportunity Hub for organising such an enriching experience for our students - Casey Kelly, Teacher, Parry School

Amazing how they told us that its quicker to cook a healthy burger than driving to a takeout place - Bernie West, student, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

Ripper food! - Bailey Wilson,
student, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

I was totally amazed by the event. The kitchen set up was inspiring. The organisation superb. All students from a wide variety of backgrounds and schools were totally focused.  The real clincher for me was that students from Farrer remembered not only the food, but the nutrition messages long after the event - Mark Treneman, Aboriginal Programs, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

The Tamworth Opportunity Hub coordinates and matches training and career opportunities with Aboriginal students, providing incentives to finish school and transition into sustainable jobs. 

Tamworth Opportunity Hub can be contacted at:
Address: 123 Marius Street, TAMWORTH NSW 2340
Phone: (02) 6766 9028; Fax: (02) 6766 9036
Facebook: Opportunity Hub Tamworth or via the link below

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