Huge congrats to one of our past students, Julie Kettyle – pastry chef extraordinaire! Julie recently received notification of her success in being awarded an Australian Overseas Foundation scholarship and is excitedly planning her travel itinerary for when international borders re-open.
The Australian Overseas Foundation (AOF) is a non-profit organisation providing awards to travel and work overseas for Australians between the ages of 21 and 34, who have completed a trade apprenticeship or vocational traineeship to Certificate Level III.
Julie said the AOF scholarship was a great way for people with a trade qualification to gain extra opportunities to extend their experience and skills. “Having a trade doesn’t put you on the backburner for extra opportunities.”
“Applying for the AOF scholarship is a non-competitive process, and it puts so many opportunities within reach that I wouldn’t have considered as an apprentice.” Julie is hoping to use the scholarship to work and travel whilst based in the UK – to be able to see and do everything on her wish list. “I want to do everything I can! This has been a dream of mine for as long as I’ve wanted to be a pastry chef.”
The AOF scholarship offers many opportunities to recipients. “I hope to attend professional trade classes whilst overseas to extend my skills. I would also like to visit Europe to experience different countries’ interpretations of pastry and their traditional dishes and culture.”
Julie started her pastry chef career with Wodonga TAFE in the Certificate Ill in Retail Baking (Cake and Pastry) whilst she completed her apprenticeship locally. Whilst still an apprentice, Julie participated in the World Skills Competitions and won Gold for Retail Baking Cakes and Pastry in the Riverina regional finals. She then participated in the state World Skills competition for Retail Baking – Cake and Pastry and achieved 4th place in the competition.
Julie demonstrated a positive approach and ‘can do’ attitude to all that she took on, and her outstanding achievements were further recognised when she was awarded Wodonga TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year 2016.
After completing her apprenticeship, Julie was successful in gaining in a role in Queensland as a Pastry Chef at Versace Palazzo Gold Coast. From there, her career expanded quickly as she put in the hours required for employment as a professional chef. Julie worked for a year and a half on the Gold Coast and gained a promotion to Chef de Partie whilst employed with Versace Palazzo. She then took up an invitation to move to Brisbane as part of the team establishing the new boutique luxury hotel, ‘Emporium Hotel South Bank’, and was promoted to Sous Pastry Chef during her 18 months there. “My career has been full-pelt in the time since starting my apprenticeship.”
Since the restrictions of COVID-19 social distancing forced the Emporium into temporary closure, Julie has been turning her hand to new skills, taking to social media to share her journey of creations from Pierre Herme’s ‘Pastries’. “Pierre is considered one of the godfathers of pastry.”
“This seemed to be a great project to keep my love of sugar alive through the social isolation times, and a way to stay connected with others as well.”
Check out Julie’s creativity at ‘a_sweet_pastrychef_life’ on FB, Insta and YouTube. And find out more about the AOF and scholarship opportunities via http://www.aof.org.au/
Source: Wodonga TAFE