Geoff Franklin

Geoff Franklin
01 Jun 2015

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
2014 Western Australian Apprentice of the Year
Finalist 2014 Australian Training Awards

My name is Geoff Franklin. In 2010, I made a purely business decision to purchase a neglected fish and chip shop in the Perth foothills. The objective was to get the place looking better, serve good, if not better food and on sell for a profit.

I was 48 years old, had no commercial cooking experience, but I did have a serious commitment to succeed.

Contrary to our business plan, I fell in love with the business. I simply loved preparing food and more importantly serving that food to our patrons who very quickly became regulars. The hours were extraordinarily long but it just didn’t matter. A switch turned on, a flame ignited (actually, at one point I did set fire to a fryer!) and I had an insatiable desire to do more, to go to the next level, to become a chef!

We sold the business and I enrolled at TAFE as a commercial cookery student with a view to getting a mature age apprenticeship. I needed to learn to be who I wanted to be. With the incredible support afforded to me by Polytechnic West Bentley Campus and their relationship with Crown Perth, I was successful in my application, at the age of 49, to become an apprentice at what is arguably the best five star resort casino in Western Australia.

I have been challenged, but not overwhelmingly so and this is far outweighed by the pure joy that my career change has given me.

Balancing work and study as a mature age apprentice has been demanding to say the least. Learning to study again has had its challenges, but a passionate and positive attitude towards learning has paid off with immeasurable reward.

This training pathway has set me on a different road to any I had previously travelled or envisioned.

It has opened windows of opportunity which I will pursue with the greatest enthusiasm.

Food brings people together…we celebrate, commiserate and love.

Food nurtures our hearts and souls as well as our bodies and to have the capacity to facilitate such nurturing is an incredible privilege.

Food has given me an opportunity to connect with amazing people!   

I was honoured to have been selected to represent Western Australia as the Apprentice of the Year and travel to Adelaide in 2014 to represent my state as a finalist at the Australian Training Awards in the Australian Apprentice of the Year category.

I am now a qualified chef but who knows where my story ends. My journey continues and I hope I can inspire others seeking to follow their dreams to take the next step, outside their comfort zones if necessary, to pursue their true life passion.

If I can do it, anyone can! Australian Apprenticeships made this possible. If your dreams aren’t scaring you, then perhaps you’re not dreaming big enough!

- Geoff