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The Big Red Truck delivering hospitality training on the move

​Central West region’s Big Red Truck

Students in Central West Queensland have been designing 3-course gala dinner menus for 300 guests and refining their barista skills for their 'open house' coffee shops as part of their hospitality training with a difference.

Year 10–12 students have been working towards their Certificate II in Kitchen Operations, made possible by the unique Outback College of Hospitality Trade Training Centre (OCOH).

The OCOH or 'Big Red Truck' as it is more fondly known is a 25 metre, B-double truck that transforms into a full-size commercial kitchen. It delivers training to students at 5 different schools including Longreach State High School and also Aramac, Barcaldine, Blackall and Winton State Schools. It services an area of over 500 square kilometres.

Longreach High Principal Brendan Krueger explained the OCOH is the only truck of its type delivering educational programs in Australia.

"In 2017 it was awarded with a Department of Education Showcase Award for Excellence in recognition of its high and consistent educational outcomes and qualifications produced by students undertaking training through this initiative," he said.

The Big Red Truck is often used for large community events in the outback and is fully self-contained, catering for crowds of up to 300 people. Revenue from its hire during the school holidays also contributes to the running costs. Students have the opportunity to work on the truck during these periods, providing them with valuable additional work and industry experience.

The students and truck have travelled to many remote locations, including Beetoota near Birdsville, and the Burke and Wills Roadhouse in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Catering events for 2019 include the Channel Country Ladies Day at Thargomindah in October.

"It's a great resource and has had great outcomes since it started in 2011 – both helping senior students to succeed and also in building essential industry connections and partnerships," Mr Krueger said.

To find out more about the Big Red Truck watch the 2017 Showcase Awards video.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
Last updated
13 May 2019