Colac Botanic Gardens Café – what a treat!
Lydia Wilson loves working at the Colac Botanic Gardens Café.
“I love my job! I help Jacinta in the kitchen, do some dishes and I do the tables in the morning all by myself. I meet and greet customers and they are all nice people. I’m so happy I am here and have achieved an important goal.”
The Café is operated by St Laurence Community Services and employs people of all abilities. They run a very busy lunchtime session during the week and weekends and also cater to functions including weddings and corporate events.
Maree Ganon has been managing the café the whole fourteen years it has been operating as an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE), originally initiated by Colac ACE, then Coal Community College and now St Laurence. Over that time, Maree has mentored many staff as they have developed their employability skills.
“I love coming to work every day and watching people grow.” Having a job and a valued way of contributing to the community is essential for personal growth and wellbeing. The Botanic Café is a perfect place to learn both practical and social skills.
Lydia is a vivacious 21 year old woman from Birregurra and, at the time of writing, had been working in the café for only four months but was still very excited about the opportunity.
“I really love talking to the customers and making sure they get what they want. I am also going to be a bridesmaid at a wedding here in August and can’t wait! It is so beautiful here, anytime of the year”
Other ADE operating successfully in Colac includes the Pickle Gallery, (Preserves) Wrinkle Busters (laundry) and Grant’s Maintenance Crew.