Student Stories
Student 1
I was in a bad place before I went to HEAT. I was heavily on drugs and I was expelled from my school. I couldn’t get a job. Then a friend told me about HEAT. When I learned more about what they do, I became really excited - I just love to cook. I took the course seriously and by the time I started the program I had pretty much sobered up - I didn’t want to go to class on drugs.

When I finished HEAT , I knew that to fulfil my dream of becoming a cook I had to finish school. I needed to prove to myself, my family and friends that I was capable of doing this. This student returned to education after completing HEAT and plans on getting a apprenticeship as a chef.

Student 2

I left school a the end of year 10. I was suffering with and illness and I couldn’t cope with the mainstream environment. I was staying at home and was really bored. I felt like I needed to do something with my life. There was something inside my heart I knew I had to follow, but I didn’t know how to take the first step.

One of my Mum’s friends told me about the HEAT program. I was really excited about the idea of learning to be a chef, but I was really nervous. I spent months learning to cook and refine my hospitality skills. My favourite aspect was waitressing at the charity events that we catered for.

This course was great because I was able to make friends and socialise a lot more. This course and the support I got from the HEAT team increased my self- confidence and allowed me to realise that I had so many options in life. I have now started a professional traineeship.

Student 3

I am dyslexic. I hated school because I couldn’t concentrate in class. I mucked around and caused trouble. Halfway through year 10 I was spending most of my time hanging out at my friends’ houses playing video games. I went to school one day in three.

I’d always been interested in food and cooking, then I found out about HEAT on the net. My attendance at HEAT was 97%. I enjoyed coming got HEAT because I felt that everyone- the other students and the staff- were on the same level and that we were all qual. I respected everyone at HEAT because they respected me. The day I finished HEAT I did a trial at a restaurant. Seven months later I am working full-time as a first-year apprentice. Its hard work but I enjoy it a lot. I like having responsibilities and the adrenalin rush I get during service, and the felling of satisfaction at the end of a good service. I am now saving to buy my own house.

Student 4

I stopped going to school at the beginning of year 11 as I was disillusioned with mainstream education. I was not sure what I wanted to do and wasn’t enjoying school. I spent time doing casual work but I had no clear direction for my future. I heard about HEAT, was little dubious, but decided to give it a shot.

I was learning to cook and wait on tables with HEAT. I soon found something changing inside my. I became motivated and, for the first time in years, I actually looked forward to going to class each day. The teachers at HEAT were approachable and had a lot of hospitality experience to share with the group. They allowed us to work at our own pace- this really suited a lots of us who didn’t fit into the mainstream education system.

After HETA, the staff helped me enrol in Hospitality Management at William Angliss. I then got a job in reception with a major hotel group. I am now the Assistant Manager at a four-star hotel in the Melbourne CBD. This year I have been accepted into university to study a Bachelor of Business. My dream is to one day become the general manager of an international hotel, something that is now a lot more reachable than I would have once thought.