The Shine Training Restaurant

The Shine Training Restaurant, will be situated in the town of Sarina in Central Queensland. The concept behind The Shine Training Restaurant, came from my own desire to have a successful small business and to give opportunities to my local indigenous population that were severely lacking. I am a proud indigenous male and I want to give my deadly brothers and sisters, the chance to do something that gives them some self-esteem and self-belief, something they have been told for many years they aren't allowed to have. I want them to come out from within themselves and shine, hence the name for the restaurant.

I have a background in the hospitality industry, in both cooking and management. I am currently involved in the horticulture industry, and believe that these two industries are uniquely tied. To deliver the best product to my restaurant customers, I believe in the need to be involved in the whole process. From planting the seeds, through cultivation and preparing the produce in the kitchen. If I am aware of how my produce is prepared and handled during the entire process, I know I am giving the community the best possible product. Thats why as part of the enterprise, I will work closely with local producers to purchase the quality foods that my region is known for. As part of this I want to work with local indigenous groups, such as the local CDEP (Community Development and Employment Project) to develop a collective of indigenous growers, giving the opportunity to develop jobs within the community. The ultimate aim, is to establish a native food industry within the region that The Shine Training Restaurant will act as the main distribution and promotional base.

Working with the CDEP program, gives me the opportunity to utilise there host employment project. This is where I can employ a number of their participants to work in the business, provide training and experience for them while CDEP pays there wages. If the participant shows that they want to go on further within the business, I can provide them with extra hours that I will then pay them for. If they have excelled during their employment period with me, they will be offered full time employment if available.

My goal of empowering the members of The Shine Training Restaurant is one that have worked hard at developing. I believe that for them to "shine" they need to take an active role within the business. Many indigenous people I have worked worth, have some reservations about dealing with customers in a structured environment; it's to "shame" sometimes. Serving customers and handling money can be a real stumbling block sometimes. I want to provide the opportunity for everyone to overcome the whole shame thing. Even though I will be the owner/manager and make a majority of the decisions, it is my view that for them to develop a sense of strength and worth, I need to provide that space for them to do so. Instead of doing everything myself, I will provide the opportunity for the members to take a role in operating the business. Whether it be developing menus, ordering stock, banking or planning special events, members will have the chance to develop and showcase their leadership skills. I believe that if they feel like they are providing something worthwhile to the business, they will develop a strong feeling of ownership towards The Shine Training Restaurant. A happy and united work team, is a must for any business to succeed and remain sustainable.

As my resources develop, I would like to be able to provide accredited training for my employees. Under the CDEP program, any of their participants will have any training they do paid for. It would not be possible to employ solely volunteer employees (ie CDEP), as I will need experienced staff to operate the kitchen and front of house. Initially, hours of operation will be limited as the business develops. Initial research will determine what operating hours would be of most benefit to the enterprise. As with most hospitality businesses, I need to be flexible in managing the operation and cater for the fluctuations within the season. I would also like to encourage my employee's knowledge of the produce they are using, whether it be through on the job training or accredited courses. This way they will have a better idea of how to best use the produce.

As an additional service provided by The Shine Training Restaurant, I would like to develop a mobile catering service. Within my local indigenous comunity, there are many well known cooks who have proved their skills on a number of occassions. Whether it be local festivals or NAIDOC celebrations, these people have gained a reputation for promoting indigenous food within the community. I would like to pool their skills and knowledge, and offer a catering service that can be utilised for a fee. Many of them are older members of the indigenous community, which I believe can be a real benefit for the business. It would provide employment opportunities for older indigenous people, which is a very disadvantaged sector, but it would also provide an avenue for certain cultural knowledge to be passed on before it is lost. It would be a calming influence for younger indigenous members to have the older generation working alongside them. Respect is an extremely important value within any organisation.

I have done some initial research into the feasibilty of the project, and have obtained positive results. I have consulted with a number of stakeholders, and have collected a number of letters of support. I would like to conduct a more detailed feasibility study and develop my business plan. I have approached the First Australians Business company to assist me in developing my business plan. Some initial funding, such as a pre-seed grant would greatly assist me in this. I passionately believe in The Shine Training Restaurant, and I would love to see it get up and running. The sooner it does, the sooner I can start helping my indigenous community.

Project description: 
A commercial restaurant/cafe that acts as a training facility for local indigenous people. It will also provide a mobile catering service, incorporating local indigenous cooks. Will utilise local produce, and our own foods that we grow in conjunction with local indigenous groups.
Lead Organisation: 
The Shine Group
Lead WWW: 
Contact Name: 
Justin M. Thompson
Contact Phone: 
(07) 4956 1403
Contact Mobile: 
0408 068 287
Contact Fax: 
Contact Email:
Support Type: 
Start up funds and resources. Business plan support. Legal and accounting.
Current Partners: 
I am currently viewing the business as a sole trader concern.
Currency Type: 
Queensland - State-wide