Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative Given “We Are Queensland” Grant

In an announcement made earlier this month, the Queensland state government’s “We Are Queensland program has recognised the Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative (NCEC) as one of the lucky recipients of their grant for projects that will connect the Nundah community.


“We Are Queensland”

We Are Queensland” is a small grants program funding projects that are foreseen to encourage social cohesion. Queensland formed this grant program to celebrate the diversity and individuality of every people living in Queensland through community-led projects that will bring together the local communities.

The grant is open to different organisations who are undertaking programs that will build family linkages to a broader Queensland community and will support community-based activities that will build bonds between people with different backgrounds.


NCEC connects the community.

NCEC received a grant amounting to $19,727 to fund their new program, “Picnics in the Park”. More than just free picnics that will be organised across North East Brisbane, the project will also encourage the community to connect and to learn about their advocacy.

Dating back in 1998, NCEC was formed to provide sustainable employment and training opportunities for people with mental conditions, learning difficulties, and intellectual disabilities. The organisation brings another “hope” and another “chance” for these people to move forward and live their lives “beyond” their limiting conditions.

As a non-profit organisation, NCEC was named as Australia’s best small social enterprise in 2015 and was a finalist in the years 2014 and 2016. They are currently training more than 20 people to have a meaningful work opportunities with the help of their two initiatives — Espresso Train Cafe & Catering and NCEC Parks & Maintenance.


Espresso Train Cafe & Catering

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Espresso Train Cafe & Catering located at Station Street is serving their “superb” brewed Aromas Premium Organic Beans, together with their menu that is made from scratch. The cafe is not owned by anyone; instead, the staff are NCEC members and “trainees” that are working to make the initiative more economically, environmentally, and, of course, socially sustainable. They are not receiving an ongoing funding, so the whole operation of the cafe relies on their sales and the dedication of their members.

“We don’t employ people to make coffee; we make coffee so we can employ people.” — Espresso Train Cafe & Catering

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The cafe also “suspends” coffees. What is a suspended coffee? It’s a movement that originated in Naples, Italy. A customer buys two coffees — one for him and another one being held in “suspension” until someone less fortunate comes to claim it. They may be homeless, people with mental illness who struggle, or asylum seekers. The cafe has been practicing this movement since 2013.


NCEC Parks & Property Maintenance

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Parks & Property Maintenance is also a NCEC initiative. NCEC “maintains” public parks, not just in Nundah, but also in other parts of Brisbane through the help of the NCEC Parks crew. They are dedicated to preserving and maintaining parks and other places where families and the whole community connect and create bond.

Visit the NCEC website for further details about their projects that will help the disadvantaged workers and the rest of the community.