It takes some extremely severe circumstances to force an individual to seek asylum in another country. Many folks who leave home are fleeing war and persecution – often with families in tow – but even after safely arriving on Australian shores there are hurdles. Between short visas and intermittent work rights, asylum seekers experience barriers to financial support and employment opportunities. Mongrel is looking to address this directly, launching a program aimed at supporting asylum seekers in Brisbane and giving them the chance to gain valuable skills and experience in hospitality.
Mongrel’s Good Food Project – launched in conjunction with Silver Chef and Veneziano Coffee Roasters – will see a group of asylum seekers undertake a four-day training course in front and back-of-house hospitality (and barista training), taking place every Monday when Mongrel is usually closed to ensure a stress-free environment. The course will culminate in a special dinner on Monday September 23, where trainees will put their newly learned skills into practice under supervision of Mongrel’s staff. Guests can expect delicious a three-course feast including the likes of kousa mahshi (stuffed zucchinis), lubia polo (green bean rice), medu vada (crispy savoury doughnuts), bastilla (chicken pie), bastani (rose water, saffron and pistachio ice-cream), and om ali (Egyptian bread pudding). Two sittings are available on the evening – one at 6:00 pm and one at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available here, with an extra donation option if you wish to contribute further. All profits made go directly to Asylum Circle, helping further the organisation’s goal of supporting Queensland-based asylum seekers access food, housing and community support.