In October, Participate Australia presented Canterbury Executive Chef Stephanie Azar with the Ray Garden Memorial Volunteer Award in recognition of the amazing cooking classes she runs for people with intellectual disabilities.
The award is in honour and memory of the late Ray Garden, a member of Participate Australia (PA) for roughly 30 years, who passed away in 2013. PA, a local social services organisation based in Croydon, provides a range of disability services and works with people with disabilities to help them develop their skills to lead them to greater independence.
Stephanie’s special cooking classes have run in conjunction with participants from PA for the past two years. In each six-week program, students run through the whole gamut of learning basic kitchen skills, knife skills and simple recipes that they can cook themselves at home like pasta bake, noodle salad, mash, stir-fries and pizzas.
“I enjoy doing the classes because I see the worth in what it means to the participants and it gives me a sense of gratitude knowing I am teaching them simple life skills that most of us take for granted,” said Stephanie.
“Over the duration of the course you can see the growth in confidence and satisfaction in the participants which makes me really proud to be a part of their journey.”
“It was a great privilege to celebrate the invaluable support Stephanie has provided to our participants. This award was our way to thanking her personally and by extension, thanking Canterbury League Club for the outstanding engagement and support that we have received again this past year,” said Peter Schneider, Executive Manager at Participate Australia.
UPDATE: 4 Nov 2019
At the recent ClubsNSW’s Clubs & Community Awards 2019 on Sat 2 Nov 2019, Stephanie’s cooking program won another award in the Disability, Welfare & Social Inclusion category besting 13 other clubs nominated.
Congratulations to Stephanie, Participate Australia and all involved in the program!