Published On: 14 October 2021Categories: Stories

Bullying and book learning made it hard for Liam Joyce to get out of bed for school.

However, a school-based traineeship with Loaves and Fishes Tasmania has given the 16-year-old newfound confidence and competence.

Liam finds the combination of vocational training and school works well for him.

He started his journey with Loaves and Fishes when a teacher at his high school suggested he would benefit from a work experience subject.

“Normally you have to pick work experience as a subject. I didn’t actually pick it. But I was offered it by one of the teachers that thought it might be a career option for me.”

From there, Liam was offered a school-based traineeship with Loaves and Fishes. November next year he will have a Certificate Two in Kitchen Operations. With his certification he will also receive points towards his Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE).

High school wasn’t easy for Liam; he had experiences with bullying and didn’t find school achievable.


“I was alright. Like, I’m not the best at school, but I was passing at least. I was just happy to be scraping by.

“Bullying; it’s kind of what school was to me. I got bullied from grade one onwards.

“It was hard to get out of bed.”

Since Liam has been working with Loaves and Fishes, he has found new ways to learn outside the classroom. Liam has a different learning style, and did not benefit from traditional classroom schooling.

“I’m more of a learner, when I do it with someone. If I write it down, I can’t remember it as well.”

“I have half-days at Don (College). It makes me want to try harder because I’m not there that often, and I don’t have to worry about the whole day at school.

“Now whenever I’m here (LFT Kitchen), I wake up for work so much happier. I still find the same (struggle) getting up for school, but I make it through.”

Kitchen supervisor Patrick O’Connell said he has seen Liam come out of his shell throughout the year.

“He takes initiative in the kitchen environment and has a can-do attitude when getting tasks done,” Patrick said.

“Seeing Liam grow in both self confidence and assurance had been great to see.

“As a kitchen team we really value the contribution that Liam brings to Loaves and Fishes.”

*We are very proud of Liam, who has obtained a full-time apprenticeship with Central Bar & Restaurant starting November 15, 2021.

By Kelsey Cameron

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