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A chef in a striped apron in the Cultivate Kitchen

Work with us

Work in an inclusive and supportive environment that is a training ground producing some of our country’s future chefs and hospitality workers.

As a social enterprise, Cultivate has a social charter to employ a minimum of 20% of its workforce with a disability and others experiencing barriers to employment, in an open employment setting.

Cultivate is the host employer with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) which provides specific training programs and potential candidates for apprenticeships and traineeships who can achieve a Cert 3 in commercial cookery.

Across two locations at Brooklyn Park and Lobethal, Cultivate employs almost 100 people, who enjoy a range of benefits such as access to salary packaging, focussed development and support and a working environment with a social conscience that’s not only good on a plate but in the community!

If you are interested in a career with Cultivate Food & Beverage, please apply here or contact [email protected]

Meet Kira

Kira was thrilled to start her first job at Cultivate, after experiencing a series of frustrating setbacks in her job search. “I went through so many job interviews – no experience, and they didn’t want someone with a disability. I came here to interview at Cultivate and they were like ‘can you start Wednesday?’” Kira says, laughing.

Prior to starting at Cultivate, Kira had been studying Creative Writing at Flinders University, and had always harboured a secret desire to become an author. In the final year of her degree Kira developed Tourrette Syndrome. “At the time I didn’t know what it was, but it was a frightening experience until I got my diagnosis and learned how to manage it.” The disruption of the diagnosis process unfortunately meant Kira had to leave uni 6 months shy of completion.

Kira openly admits that she was never much of a cook, and was surprised to find out that she quite enjoys food prepping, “I like getting it all ready and then watching it become what it is,” she says, like a true storyteller. Kira says that the basics of good preparation are reliant upon organisation in the kitchen, “you have to know where everything is to do the job properly.”

The apprentices are required to taste all the recipes they make, although Kira tries to avoid anything with tofu – “I have some texture issues, so Lizzy taste tests those dishes for me.” Kira’s favourite dish is one of the butter chicken meals. “We make meals for Regency Foods and Foodbank and they each have their own recipes for similar dishes – which are secret and I can’t tell you what’s in any of them!” she laughs.

With her new skills, Kira does more baking at home – cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes. She was planning on going through her recipe books to find a cake to surprise a co-worker for his birthday the following week.

And how does Kira’s Tourrettes affect her work? “I have a lot of tics, hand movements, lip popping, winking, head flicks – I’ve grown used to it, and the more comfortable I am, the less likely I am to tic.” Kira says that stress is a big factor, and strangely enough, so is the cold. “But no one here bats an eye. Everyone is really nice and I’ve made a lot of friends here.”

Kira says she is aware of her triggers and if she feels overwhelmed one of the supervisors, Nick, will go out of his way to put her at ease, or give her a few minutes to regroup. “There’s a system that goes on here which I appreciate, and it has made working a lot easier.”

Kira has been identified by Supervisor Brett as a candidate to do a Food Safety course with the Head Chef. Kira does a lot of the paperwork, and batch numbers to help track products, and she is first pick to relieve Brett if he’s away.

They have put a lot of faith in me. For the longest time I thought I’d never get anywhere. Here I am, from where I started the year, to where I am now – it’s crazy!

In her spare time Kira reads and writes, and is currently working on several fantasy books. She’s also a keen gamer, a Dungeons and Dragons fan, and takes care of ‘Noodle’, a Murray Darling River snake, and her pet dog ‘Dante.’

Kira has some advice for others who might be in a similar position as she was. “Just keep trying. Keep your head above water and just keep trying because that’s what I did. And I’m loving it.”

Our Chefs cooking up a storm