Winning a silver medal at the 2018 AUSTAFE regional competition inspires Naomi to continue

Naomi was introduced to TAFE by her mum during her studies in Early Childhood Education at Chisholm. Through watching her learn and grow, Naomi was inspired to take the leap herself to complete Year 10 VCAL, making the switch from school.

student in chefs clothing with a medal holding plate of food‘School was not suited to me, for lots of reasons. Since making the switch, I’ve found my place where I feel at home.’

After briefly exploring the horticulture space, Naomi took the leap to hospitality. The future is looking brighter through an apprenticeship program that means she’s at TAFE one day per week, and applying what she learns with real work experience, in a local restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula – PIZZA D’oh.

‘When I stepped into the kitchen, I thought this is my thing and what I want to do. I love all the possibilities there are with hospitality from being in the restaurant, seeing the joy on peoples’ faces when they’ve received the best service ever, to cooking in the kitchen.’

‘I know front-of-house like the back of my hand now, so I’m working with my mentor, Michael Simmons, to perfect my cookery techniques and develop new skills. He has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and be competitive, firstly by believing that I can actually do it, and then by helping me to develop and perfect my award-winning lamb backstrap dish. Since winning a silver medal at the 2018 AUSTAFE regional competition, my confidence has grown, and I’m inspired to continue.’

The feeling of joy was echoed by student peers who support each other to succeed.

‘We are a big family in the kitchen at Chisholm. We work together to help each other to get the job done.’

But Naomi has a vision that extends past Mornington Peninsula on completion of her three year apprenticeship training.

‘My sights are set on travelling the globe, before finally opening my own restaurant, showcasing all aspects of fine dining.’

‘I’m really hard working and committed, and through the support I’ve received at Chisholm, I know I can push forward. I’m looking forward to what happens next.’