Susan’s Series Of ‘Inspiring People’:
“We Can Learn From Everything …”
I’ve met some strong women when I came to live in this part of Australia. Let me introduce you to one of them. Kim Dowsett is the manager of Café Crunch, Yarrabilba State School’s canteen. I first met Kim when I volunteered to help at the school. They directed me to the canteen which welcomes suitable helpers. As I got to know Kim, I learnt she is not only strong but also kind. She manages a team of volunteers and paid staff with good humour. Her goal is that everyone who comes to help will feel welcome no matter who they are. Kim herself had a bad experience once while volunteering at a school tuckshop and never wants others to feel the same way. She says, “Everyone is worthy”.
Kim and team serve snacks, drinks and meals to staff and students five days a week. They also cater for school functions. Most food is cooked fresh in the canteen kitchen. Kim’s philosophy of food is simple: Kids need wholesome food, not processed junk. As a mother she found that what her kids ate had a big influence on their behaviour. Two of Kim’s children have diagnosed disorders and eating junk food would send one of them “out of control”. She learnt their behaviour could be managed best by training them to eat healthy food. She says, “You can’t control every child’s disorder through diet, but it has helped my children”.
Kim is multiskilled. She trained as a hairdresser, and worked in hospitality for many years, almost completing her chef’s apprenticeship. But she first learnt to cook from her mother and grandmother whose recipes Kim still uses in catering. Kim says of her grandmother, “She was everything a woman should be: strong, calm, understanding, and funny”. She had an enormous influence on Kim’s life and helped her to become the strong woman that she is today.
That strength has helped Kim to overcome many challenges. When her partner Liam was injured and unable to work, Kim took over their lawnmowing business, while continuing to work as a hairdresser, until Liam recovered.
Kim is passionate about fitness and has competed in challenging events like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. Although she begins her day early in the school canteen, she still trains at the gym, before work, five days a week. She says it helps her mind and her body get right for the day. Kim believes that we can learn from everything, even the challenges of life.
Kim is one of Yarrabilba’s inspiring people!
By Susan Alexander
(Inspirational Writer & Local Resident)