Mission Australia, Charcoal Lane

Focus Area: Education Training and Employment/Migrant and Indigenous Community Welfare

Organisation: Mission Australia

Programme: Charcoal Lane

Number of People Involved: 8 Indigenous Students

Mission Australia’s purpose is to stand together with Australians in need, until they can stand for themselves. They are dedicated to closing the gap in living standards between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. One way of achieving this is by providing opportunities that can help disadvantaged Aboriginal job seekers get a start in the workforce.

Charcoal Lane is a unique social enterprise restaurant that is set up to give young Aboriginal people the chance to develop their vocational skills and experience in a supportive hospitality environment.

Unemployment for Indigenous youth is three times higher than the national average. Charcoal Lane’s main objective is to directly address the unemployment barriers that Aboriginal youth in Melbourne face. The restaurant aims to create a skilled workforce for the hospitality industry, providing leadership and mentoring to help vulnerable young people achieve their potential and

gain long-term independence.

Charcoal Lane is reconciliation through dining and it is the only Indigenous-focused hospitality enterprise in Melbourne. Established in 2009, it produces native Australian cuisine for a social purpose. Their contemporary menu is seasonally driven and draws on the best of native Australian food. For the young trainees that work there, Charcoal Lane is a truly life-changing experience.

With funding from the Bennelong Foundation, eight young disengaged people have found a place to learn, interact with their peers and increase their knowledge of Indigenous culture and history. Our support will help cover expenses such as salaries, TAFE fees, and equipment as well as building a platform to increase the number of qualified young Aboriginal people in the hospitality and retail sectors.

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