South Coast Correctional Centre partnership provides skills and jobs

An innovative pop-up café at the South Nowra Jail construction site is providing Aboriginal women vital skills and employment while feeding hundreds of hungry construction workers.

The unique partnership between the South Coast Correctional Centre and the Waminda South Coast Women's Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation has seen the opening of the Nyully Tucker pop-up café at South Nowra.

The cafe feeds the almost 200 construction staff working on the centre’s expansion.

Centre manager of security Ken Nicholl said it was a natural choice to collaborate with Nowra-based not-for-profit organisation Waminda to bring the project to life.

“We value the great relationship we have with the Shoalhaven community, so we are always looking for ways to build stronger ties or give something back,” Mr Nicholl said.

“We already have a dedicated community projects team that spends hundreds of hours each month doing grounds work and maintenance for local sport clubs, councils or not-for-profit organisations.

“This partnership with Waminda will provide seven full-time jobs and vital skills training to women from the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, so it is something we’re enthusiastic to support.”

The six-metre portable kitchen shed offers a healthy range of food and drinks, like honey-mustard chicken salad, smashed avocado on toast and protein shakes.

Nyully Tucker project manager Sophie Clayton said she appreciated the support from correctional centre management to launch the project.

“It has been a long-term goal of ours to run a hospitality business that serves delicious and nutritious foods, while providing Aboriginal women with ongoing employment,” Ms Clayton said.

“Nyully Tucker is not only a really good opportunity for these women, it’s a chance for the correctional centre staff to connect with the local Aboriginal community and challenge its perception of authority.”

The word Nyully means food in the local Dharawal language and represents the idea of coming together and sharing food.

The kitchen shed is part of Waminda’s focus on pursuing social enterprise projects, which create ‘profit for a purpose’ by sustaining the organisation financially while providing valuable employment opportunities.

The cafe is open from 6.30am to 3pm Monday to Saturday.

The South Coast Correctional Centre expansion will create 360 new beds and include a new industries building and extensions of the perimeter fence, visits area, clinic and car park.