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ECU partnership helps change lives of troubled youths

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Depression, obesity, broken families, and drug use are issues which affect thousands of young people each year, leading to a number of troubled youths within our local communities.

In light of this, ECU is working with local Mount Lawley businessman and owner of the Royal Shalimar Indian Restaurant, Mr Kiran Kosagi, to develop the ECU Community Kitchen, which aims to engage and inspire troubled youths through the art of cooking.

The program, which was trialled last year, was an initiative of Mr Kosagi, who, following the vandalism of his shop, wanted to develop a program that would motivate local youths who lack a sense of direction.

Through the sponsorship of ECU’s Faculty of Business and Law, the initiative has developed into a six-week cooking program that provides twelve individuals with the chance to experience commercial cooking in a real life restaurant kitchen.

Individuals who complete the six-week program are placed in a great position to get a job within the hospitality industry or pursue further education through a TAFE course or apprenticeship, with all units completed receiving recognition of prior learning.

Mr Kosagi believes the program is a fantastic way for local businesses to make a difference within the community.

“Local businesses are constantly complaining about security in the area, so I decided to see if I could help make a difference by giving youths something to work towards.”

“Through the support of ECU and other local organisations, this idea has developed into a wonderful program that gives troubled youths a head start, boots their self esteem and provides a launching pad to start their cooking career,” said Mr Kosagi.

2009 program participant Mr Michael Ridger says the program helped him discover a passion for food.

“I am now studying a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and Hospitality Management at TAFE and hope to get an apprenticeship with a local restaurant where I can further develop my cooking skills. I really enjoyed the program and it provided me with a great learning experience.”

The six-week program officially launches on Wednesday, 27 October. For more information email Faculty of Business and Law Marketing at

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Media contact:

Corporate Communications
(08) 6304 2131
0402 016 344
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