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Cookery student in a kitchen

Walter Joseph Navarro

Former Commercial Cookery Student

Walter Joseph Navarro from the Philippines has completed a Certificate III Commercial Cookery.


What are the main differences between your home city and Darwin?
The difference between my home city which is Cagayan de Oro, Philippines and Darwin is that Darwin is too quiet. I grew up in a small city down south of the Philippines, it’s small but it’s very busy.

Have you ever lived away from home before your study in Darwin?
No this is my first time living away from home.

What did you miss most from home during your study?
Food, way of life like playing basketball and quality time with my family.

What activities did you do outside of school?
Play basketball and computer games.

Why did you choose to study in Darwin?
I chose to study in Darwin since I have a family here. My sister’s been living here for almost 5 years.

What friends have you made since moving to Darwin?
I made lots of friends from different countries like Spain, Canada, America and more.

What is your favourite thing about living in Darwin?
It’s very peaceful, crowded and it has the same weather back home.

Did you have any hospitality work experience before starting with ICAE? If yes, how has the curriculum at ICAE helped expand on this?
​Yes, I used to work in a restaurant as a front staff back in the Philippines. The course helped me broaden my knowledge in the hospitality industry.

Did you work while you were studying at ICAE?
Yes I worked as Front and Kitchen Staff at Hogs Breath in Casuarina. It is located in a shopping centre here in Darwin.

What is the most interesting and enjoyable part of working in the hospitality industry?
The most enjoyable part of working in the hospitality industry is its culture; we often work as a team which is more like working with friends and learning about their different cultures.

What was your favourite part of the course?
Practical assessments, like cooking different dishes and learning different kitchen skills.

What advice would you give future students?
My advice is to be patient, always be on time and have fun.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people would know?
Most people think that I’m not approachable but if you get to know me I am very  friendly person and can have a good conversation over a good beer.