14th August 2017

Wander through the streets of Melbourne's creative hub, Fitzroy, and no doubt you'll stumble upon some intriguing street art. Now, a vibrant new mural by Gunnai Waradgerie man Robert Young is a welcome addition to the suburb's colourful cultural landscape. Bringing to life the exterior of Mission Australia's social-enterprise restaurant, Charcoal Lane, the artwork shares the story of the region's Aboriginal roots.

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25th January 2016

The National Indigenous Culinary Institute has been instrumental in placing its young chefs in some of the country’s top restaurants, and now three from the program are about to join the ranks at Noma Australia, the 10-week pop-up that sold out in four minutes. The chance to work with world-renowned chef Rene Redzepi is, for many chefs, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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16th May 2014
During National Reconciliation Week, Mission Australia social enterprise Charcoal Lane hosted the Fitzroy Reconciliation Breakfast.
 
The event was a fundraiser for the Smith Street Dreaming concert, which celebrates of the richness of Koori culture and attempts to build better relationships with the community on and around Smith Street as part of the local Leaps and Bounds festival in late July.
 
Around 60 community and business leaders attended the breakfast at which former Olympian Kyle Van Der Kuyp (pictured, left) was the key note speaker.
 
Kyle spoke about the importance of reconciliation for the Australian people.
 
He touched on what it means to be aware of your ancestry, and how that can help you recognise and appreciate who you are and where you have come from.

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19th December 2015

Rayleen Brown was perturbed that Aboriginal women who scour the desert for days in search of bush tomatoes were paid a pittance for their gruelling work.

The desert fruit has nourished Indigenous people for millennia – raw, dried or rolled into tangy, sticky balls. But as chefs and artisan producers cottoned on to bush foods and the industry took off, the women who picked bush tomatoes were not seeing the benefits. ‘‘There’s not enough protection around these plants. A lot of the women... really don’t know a lot about what happens to it later, ’Ms Brown said.

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15th May 2014
Mission Australia social enterprise restaurant Charcoal Lane has gained recognition, featuring on ABC's Radio National’s First Bite program and being awarded a Diner's Choice award.
 
A Melbourne restaurant by day and night, Charcoal Lane also operates as a Mission Australia program providing support, and on-the-job hospitality industry skills and training for Aboriginal youth.
 
Radio National Presenter Michael McKenzie visited the Gertrude Street eatery and sampled the new menu while chatting with trainees and Head Chef Greg Hampton.
 
The interview gave Greg an opportunity to speak about his innovative menu that has been designed to introduce diners to traditional native Australian ingredients including finger lime, crocodile and quandong.
 
The program also focused on our unique traineeship program, with some insights into how working at Charcoal Lane helps many to feel more connected to and take pride their Aboriginal heritage.

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