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Jardilunji Mia: A new training cafe at Gwoonwardu Mia launches

Gwoonwardu Mia, a recognised cultural hub of the region, dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich heritage of the five language groups of the Gascoyne, is thrilled to announce the official opening of Jardilunji Mia. The name, derived from the local Yinggarda language, translates to ‘eating house,’ and it serves as an emblematic establishment dedicated to cultural preservation and professional development in the hospitality industry.

In collaboration with key partners, Gwoonwardu Mia has joined forces with Real Futures, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australian Museum, Tourism WA (Jina Plan), and Gascoyne Development Commission realise the vision of Jardilunji Mia as part of the Gwoonwardu Mia Training and Development Hub. This visionary initiative is designed to provide unique on-the-job training opportunities in the field of hospitality.

Jardilunji Mia officially launched on the 20 October 2023 with an unforgettable Gala Dining by the Firepit event featuring chef Paul Iskov from Ferver. The evening, which attracted 45 esteemed guests, was inaugurated by Burke Maslen, a board member of the Gascoyne Development Commission. This event marked the culmination of months of training and passion by the entire team.

Since its soft opening on the 13 April 2023, just ahead of the Solar Eclipse programming of events, Jardilunji Mia has already made significant strides in fulfilling its mission. Four talented hospitality students have successfully completed their certificates, and an additional thirteen students are currently enrolled, demonstrating the incredible potential and demand for this unique training café.

Sean Challis, Regional Manager at Real Futures stated, “Jardilunji Mia represents the embodiment of our commitment to preserving and sharing the Aboriginal heritage of our region while providing promising individuals with the tools to forge successful careers in the hospitality industry. We are excited about the possibilities this venture holds for our students, our community, and the broader region, and we look forward to nurturing their talent and passion.”

Barry Bellotti, Regional Manager at Gwoonwardu Mia, added, “The grand opening of Jardilunji Mia symbolises a harmonious blend of tradition and opportunity, a bridge between our rich heritage and the bright future of aspiring Aboriginal hospitality professionals. We are proud to be at the forefront of cultural enrichment and economic development in the Gascoyne region.”

This initiative exemplifies the dedication of Gwoonwardu Mia and its partners to fostering cultural enrichment and economic development in the Gascoyne region. By marrying tradition with opportunity, Jardilunji Mia is set to become a pathway into the hospitality industry, offering not only an exceptional dining experience but also a unique pathway to success for the next generation of Aboriginal hospitality professionals. The Gwoonwardu Mia Training and Development Hub will expand to offer tourism, Aboriginal business leadership, horticulture and cultural awareness.