AWARD WINNING: Dre Kelly, JT Hay, Kathleen Heath and Corben Hill make popcorn .
AWARD WINNING: Dre Kelly, JT Hay, Kathleen Heath and Corben Hill make popcorn . Emily Black

Ninja noodles make for a state award

WHEN Kathleen Heath decided to take on the task of tuckshop at Hervey Bay Special School earlier this year, she did not expect to be taking home an award just just 10 months later.

Hervey Bay Special School was recognised for their efforts at the Queensland Tuckshop of the Year Awards, winning the Community Service Award for Student Engagement 2017, as well as taking home a special commendation for Tuckshop Team of the Year and were a finalist for Tuckshop of the Year.


Ms Heath said the awards were open to all Queensland schools, private, public, primary and secondary, but to be eligible to enter they had to have a five star rating.

"Meaning everything in the tuckshop has to be healthy," she said.

"The moment your menu has a sausage roll you're out.

"We were the only special school in Queensland to make the finals and the only school out of the Fraser Coast region to go."

Queensland Association of School Tuckshops executive services manager Chris Ogden said Hervey Bay Special School were "nailed it" with student engagement, and the fact the school ran the Stephanie Alexander program was another coo for them.

"The students actually get to see where the food comes from and that is a very important life skill for students at a special school to learn," Ms Ogden said.

"By virtue of the fact that it was all healthy with a great focus on green food and the children, some non-verbal, are heavily involved."

Ms Ogden said Ms Heath was a great example of what can happen in such a short amount of time when someone who is passionate about healthy eating is in charge of a school canteen.

She added it even came down to the clever names for their tuckshop items, from their powerful popcorn to ninja noodles a and wonder water.

Ms Heath said the Stephanie Alexander program went hand-in-hand with their menu choices, which include fettuccine made from scratch and served with a tomato and garlic sauce and one of their key elements to successful student engagement was Corben Hill's "switch".

"The switch enables him to be in charge of when the popcorn machine, or other kitchen appliances, is switched on and off," Ms Heath said.


She said the next step for the tuckshop was to open a cafe serving to the public, but they needed about $45,000 to overhaul the kitchen.

"Once you get a couple of adults and the six students in here, there is not much room to move around and we need new stainless steel benchtops, appliances and a serving area outside."

The tuckshop has started fundraising, making dog biscuits, which cost $4 a bag.


If you'd like to donate to help Hervey Bay Special School receive a new kitchen contact Kathleen Heath at Hervey Bay Special School.

PHONE: 07 4197 1777


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