Hunter Multicultural Communities opens new cafe at its HQ near Waratah train station

Hunter Multicultural Communities hopes to bring a buzz to its Waratah centre and provide community members with a stepping stone to employment after opening a cafe on Monday.

The not-for-profit organisation, based at the old Waratah Bowling Club site across from suburb’s train station, won a grant from Newcastle federal MP Sharon Claydon for the project.

Ms Claydon was on site for the official opening and to enjoy the first coffee.
“I was very pleased to give Hunter Multicultural Communities a $15,000 grant to fit out the kitchen in the café including counters, the coffee machine and fridge,” she said.

“It’s fantastic to see this fabulous project become a reality.

“It will provide a great training space for budding young baristas and chefs to learn new skills.
“I’m also looking forward to the theme nights which will showcase food from a different country each night.”
Hunter Multicultural Communities chief Annette Gebhardt said the cafe would become the centrepiece of the Waratah site and complement the organisation’s existing range of activities, which includes a men’s shed, community and diversity garden, training programs, and aged care, health and wellness services.
“We were trying to be more innovative about ways we could involve the community in some of our services,” she said. “We thought we’ve got this perfect verandah why don’t we use it as a cafe and a meeting point.
“We want to hold information sessions [at the cafe] for new migrants and established migrant communities about things like fire safety, crime prevention and also mums and bubs groups.”

Ms Gebhardt said the multicultural cafe would be operated by qualified baristas who are part of the Work for the Dole program.

“We are hoping that we will have quite a number of people that will come through the Work for the Dole program,” she said.
“Just to give them a bit of experience in a relaxed environment when they’re not under too much pressure.
“We know Novocastrians like their coffee, so hopefully this place will take off and give a lot of people a chance to build some skills.”
The cafe will initially open 7am to 2.30pm Monday to Thursday with plans to eventually operate seven days.

This article first appeared in the:

Newcastle Herald