For the first time, the Army Reserve Catering Operator Course has been conducted by the ADF School of Catering (ADFSC) at HMAS Cerberus, marking an important step towards joint capability training.
CAPTION: Students of the first Army Reserve Catering Operator Course held at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria. From left, Privates Harmeet Singh, Samara Fourmile, Shanane Doughboy, Nazareth Gamia and Lance Corporal James Noonan. Story by Richard Wilkins. Photos by Leading Seaman James McDougall.
The first Army Reserve students attended session 48 of the course at Cerberus from August 12 to 25, where they learned how to prepare, cook and serve food using field equipment.
The five students were from units within the 2nd Division, three of whom are combat-support operators from Indigenous communities in Queensland, from the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment, within the Regional Force Surveillance Group.
Students, including Private Nazareth Gamia, said the training opportunity made braving the chilly Mornington Peninsula weather worthwhile.
CAPTION: ADF School of Catering Instructor Haley McCarthy, left, and Private Nazareth Gamia present their desserts.
“It was a great experience undertaking the course at HMAS Cerberus, especially in the new training kitchen with all the new, professional equipment,” Private Gamia said.
“I learned a lot of new techniques for cooking foods, some of which I’ve been cooking for years.
“The most challenging thing was definitely the weather, which was very different from north Queensland.
“It was a cold, windy and wet two weeks in southern Victoria.”
Traditionally run at Latchford Barracks, Bonegilla, the course was moved to Cerberus as part of the review and modernisation of ADF catering training, where the ADFSC training kitchen had previously been used as a working commercial kitchen.
It will soon include more instructors from across the three services, further enhancing joint capability.
ADFSC instructor Sergeant Callan Stacey said the recent changes to the Army Reserve Catering Operator Course provided a good opportunity for networking and understanding service life.
“With better access to facilities, instructors and equipment, we can better plan for assessments to coincide with opportunities around the base,” Sergeant Stacey said.
“As part of this course, students were able to work alongside caterers from services contractor Ventia to provide breakfast for Navy recruits and junior sailors, as well as provide lunch for the HMAS Cerberus command and executive team.”
CAPTION: Australian Army students serve lunch to HMAS Cerberus personnel.