New cooks in Cooktown thanks to #whatsyourReason community grants

Sgt Dave Goode of Cooktown PCYC shows off a freshly cooked meal with four Indigenous boys in a bright kitchen

Cooktown PCYC is upskilling local and Indigenous youth by teaching and empowering them to cook nutritious meals thanks in part to our first round of #whatsyourReason community grants issued earlier this year.

Through these community grants, local organisations and individuals were able to apply for up to $5,000 each to create positive social and economic impacts in their communities.

Sergeant Dave Goode of Cooktown PCYC was one of the successful candidates, obtaining funding for food supplies that would enable his plan to deliver cooking classes for youth in Cooktown.

Mr Goode said within two weeks teenagers from Hope Vale and Cooktown had learned the do’s and don’ts of the culinary world and the importance of a nutritional diet.

“The Eat, Live, Cook program involves young people in the kitchen and provides them the tools to create tasty meals that they can then take home and teach to their families,” he said.

“Many participants come in a bit unsure, a bit introverted and by the end of the lesson when we sit down to eat and talk they’re all completely rapt with themselves!”

“The cooking program also helps us improve the community relationship with local police. The ‘sit down’ at the end of each lesson allows us to have open discussions on many topics that in other circumstances might not be broached.

“Proudly, we were able to spend our grant with the local IGA store, meaning an economic boost for our community too.”

Our CEO, Paul Synnott said the organisation hoped to support motivated individuals to do more in ways relevant to their local community.

“The Eat, Live, Cook program is exactly what the grants aim to support; an activity that grows the community and will have a lasting impact on not only the participants but their peers and families too,” he said.

The program is scheduled to run for the rest of the year and will see dozens of students through the PCYC doors.

The Eat, Live, Cook program funding was awarded as part of My Pathway’s inaugural #whatsyourReason community grants. Round two is expected to open in October 2021 for eligible not-for-profit organisations and individuals. More information will be available on our whatsyourReason page.