Far from a traditional education setting as it can be, the Co-Op is a multipurpose built training platform that enables the inclusion of local business', College endeavors and learner entrepreneurialship that reflects local and international business, hospitality, retail and tourism expectations.
Firstly, we acknowledge the outstanding contribution of Unity College's students who have, and continue to, play an integral role in the success and sustainability of this initiative. We are very proud and grateful for your efforts and contributions…
The vision was always to create a 'learner run' environment that reflected various curriculum opportunities available at Unity College in a space that was relevant to industry standards.
During 2015, the Unity College Vocational Education and Training faculty mapped backwards from community consultation around entry level employment pathways in the local area. Career opportunities on a national level and courses of study we also mapped.
From this consultation, key changes were made to courses and a more collaborative approach between the subjects was fostered. The approach focused on 'Our students, Our training and Our Community' and incorporates what we can produce at the College, who we can bring to the College and how it will benefit our learning and local communities by doing so.
Initial programs such as the Barista Boy's, Unity College's own Mil Hut Honey and the Fitter, Faster, Stronger initiative paved the way for local industry professionals to be invited to the College to showcase their products and services. This allowed us to promote these industry partnerships to our learners and the College community, it was not long before we were creating plans for the future integrating business' not just their products with educational outcomes in mind.
With this success, and vision, a more permanent location was sought to use as a central point to the initiatives, the Community Co-Op Café is that location today.
Now boasting a retail space, busy café environment serving drinks and food items as well as stocking carefully chosen items from local business' who have been invited to the Unity Co-Op brand, the initial venture now sustains a full time manager and turns over tens of thousands of dollars per year in support of the College community and its students. All sustained by students of the College from various curriculum and year level backgrounds, who now use the environment as a learning and excellence experience platform.
Looking ahead, the future is very bright, we would like to thank our Co-Op Community for their support. Industry leaders in their own fields, we are privileged to have them partnering in our vision.
Unity Co-op Community Partners
Tim Adams Specialty Coffee
The Happy Snack Company
Food & Agribusiness Network – Sunshine Coast
Unity Community Entrepreneurial starters
Chook & Floss
Riley Thompson Photography