It’s been a big year for Deliza Forrest. Not only has she graduated Year 12, she’s locked in her hospitality apprenticeship with Italian restaurant Donna Bionda
through MAX Employment.
Deliza knows her apprenticeship will be a great fit, saying “I like it in hospitality, I like the atmosphere, how rushed it all is and all the people.
"Cooking is in my culture. I grew up around food, and Dad has sort of been my mentor through it all. It’s just a big passion now, and Dad always been there giving advice and stuff."
“I’m looking forward to Donna Bionda, it’ll help my career in the kitchen and in hospitality in general. I can go a lot of places with this.”
Deliza’s father Clint agrees, saying “Del is really open minded, and she could go anywhere with food. She can work in restaurants overseas or around Australia and experience the different cuisines.
“It’s good that she’s giving it a go. It’s always up to her, but if you don’t try you won’t know. At the end of the day as long as she’s happy then that’s good,” Clint says.
Donna Bionda’s head chef Jodi Parsons is excited for Deliza to get started, saying that a world of opportunity awaits her.
“I’m so passionate about hiring Indigenous apprentices and young people in general who want to get into the hospitality industry. It’s such a great industry.
“I found that the kitchen, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what language you speak, if you’re willing to work hard, it really accepts everyone,” Ms. Parsons says.
Ms. Parsons attributes her own success to great training and mentoring, and wants to pay the favour forward.
“I would never have gotten to where I am if I didn’t have good training and good people behind me. I want to be that for other people.
"When I started, no one looked at me and thought ‘she’s not very academic’ or ‘she comes from this background.’ All they saw was someone that turned up to work every day.
“They trained me, taught me the things I needed to know and encouraged me. That put me on the path to where I am today. So I want to give that back.”
Deliza is completing her apprenticeship through the Australian Government’s Jobs, Land and Economy Programme
, which focuses on increasing the rate of Indigenous Australians in long term employment.
For information on the programme, and how to get involved, please contact Eddie Mills on 0418 784 703.