Baking teacher awarded scholarship at national industry awards

The Australian Society of Baking has named Kangan Institute’s baking teacher Ruwan Colombage the Southern Region winner for the 2021 Regional Scholarship – Arthur E Denison Trophy.

Mr Colombage, who wrote a research paper evaluating baking apprenticeships and challenges today, was presented his trophy at the 2021 Australian Baking Industry National Scholarship Awards last month.

He is one of four regional winners of the Arthur E Denison Trophy, with other regional winners representing Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. Winners will be provided a five day/four night ‘scholarship adventure’ which includes visits to bakeries, production facilities and patisseries.

With 17 years of experience as a baking teacher under his belt, Mr Colombage said he was proud of his latest achievement.

“I feel proud, happy, overwhelmed and delighted,” said Mr Colombage, who discussed a need for higher qualifications in baking and to meet a growing demand for artisan-style bakery goods, such as sourdough, in his research paper.

Kangan Institute teacher Ruwan Colombage with trophy

Kangan Institute Chief Executive Officer Sally Curtain congratulated Mr Colombage on his success, noting that his dedication to student outcomes has ensured the success of many aspiring bakers at the TAFE.

“We are tremendously proud to have Ruwan as part of our Kangan Institute teaching team and we congratulate him on being chosen as the Australian Society of Baking’s 2021 Regional Scholarship recipient for Victoria,” said Ms Curtain.

“As a teacher with a wealth of experience, Ruwan has taught at Kangan Institute for the past six years, supporting the training of more than 300 baking students and apprentices, and enabling them to take the next step in their journey as bakers.

“This award reflects Ruwan’s talent in the art of baking, his unwavering dedication to students and strong support for the future of the baking industry in Victoria.”

For Mr Colombage, his passion for baking and love for teaching has meant a fulfilling career with the best of both worlds.

“Baking is my therapy and I love sharing my knowledge with upcoming bakers and pastry cooks. It’s a such a delight to see the happy faces of my students when they create beautiful bakery products and it’s such a privilege to be part of their journey,” he said.

Mr Colombage’s scholarship is the latest win for Kangan Institute’s baking department which was recently named Victorian Perpetual Training Provider by the Baking Association of Australia during the 2022 Victorian Baking Show. The show, which involved industry and student competitors in a multi-category bake-off, also saw Kangan Institute student Abeer Al Sahwi clinching second place in the gateaux category.

Kangan Institute’s baking courses are delivered at the Broadmeadows campus. To learn more about the baking courses visit Kangan Institute’s website.

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