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New training cafe celebrates Indigenous Gascoyne heritage

Rhiannon Clarke -

In a collaboration between Gwoonwardu Mia, Real Futures, and the Western Australian Museum, a new training café called Jardilunji Mia has opened its doors in Waikiki.

The establishment aims to provide on-the-job training opportunities in hospitality to aspiring Aboriginal hospitality professionals, while celebrating the rich heritage of the five language groups of the Gascoyne.

The name Jardilunji Mia is derived from the local Yinggarda language and translates to 'eating house,' it serves as an emblematic establishment dedicated to cultural preservation and professional development in the hospitality industry.

The grand opening of Jardilunji Mia was a star-studded affair, featuring a Gala Dining by the Firepit event with renowned chef Paul Iskov. The event showcased the delicious culinary creations inspired by the region's traditions.

After months of training and drive by the entire team, four talented hospitality students have successfully completed their certificates, with an additional thirteen students currently enrolled, demonstrating the incredible potential and demand for this unique training café.

Sean Challis, Regional Manager at Real Futures stated said they are excited about the possibilities this venture holds for "our students, our community, and the broader region".

"Jardilunji Mia represents the embodiment of our commitment to preserving and sharing the Aboriginal heritage of our region while providing promising individuals with the tools to forge successful careers in the hospitality industry," he said.

"We are excited about the possibilities this venture holds for our students, our community, and the broader region, and we look forward to nurturing their talent and passion."

Barry Bellotti, Regional Manager at Gwoonwardu Mia, said the launch of Jardilunji Mia was a blend of tradition and opportunity.

"The grand opening of Jardilunji Mia symbolises a harmonious blend of tradition and opportunity, a bridge between our rich heritage and the bright future of aspiring Aboriginal hospitality professionals," he said.

"We are proud to be at the forefront of cultural enrichment and economic development in the Gascoyne region."

The cafe's menu reflects the diverse flavours of the Gascoyne region, with a focus on local ingredients and traditional recipes.

By marrying tradition with opportunity, Jardilunji Mia is set to become a pathway into the hospitality industry, offering not only an exceptional dining experience but also a unique pathway to success for the next generation of Aboriginal hospitality professionals.

The Gwoonwardu Mia Training and Development Hub will expand to offer tourism, Aboriginal business leadership, horticulture and cultural awareness.

Gwoonwardu Mia is a multipurpose Cultural Centre hosted on Inggarda Country in Carnarvon that celebrates the Culture and Country of the five Aboriginal language groups of the Gascoyne Region, Inggarda, Bayungu, Malgana, Thadgari and Thalanyji. Based in Carnarvon, the Centre has worked with people from each of the five language groups to celebrate and share their stories and culture. The vision of the Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre (GAHCC) – GAHCC was to create "a common meeting place for the people of the Gascoyne Region where lives are enriched, Aboriginal culture is recognised and practiced, quality employment and business enterprises operate and where youth are actively engaged in creating their own future

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