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Townsville tuckshop’s tasty treats come out on top

A Townsville school tuckshop has taken out first place in the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops’ 2021 Recipe of the Year competition.

The panel of judges simply could not look past Currajong State School Tuckshop Convener, Deanne O’Neill’s 10-minute Garlic Chicken Wrap, awarding it the coveted title.

The team at Currajong State School are proud of their Smart Choices compliant menu and their 5-apple rating from QAST and are active entrants in the yearly recipe contest.

Deanne has been heading up the school’s tuckshop for 14 years and is always coming up with new ideas for tasty, but healthy treats for the close to 600 students who attend the school.

“With tuckshop getting busier and busier, along with a lack of volunteers, we wanted to come up with something that is quick, easy, simple to make, and delicious,” Deanne said.

“We also wanted to create something that was easy for kids to handle and for staff to eat while on playground duty. Minimal packaging was another important factor.

“I’ve been entering the Recipe of the Year competition for a few years but never thought I had a chance of winning. I’m surprised and thrilled that I won. It’s a lovely honour.”

The competition, which is supported by Health and Wellbeing Queensland as part of their ongoing Healthier Tuckshops program, is delivered by the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops (QAST) and attracts entrants from school tuckshops across Queensland.

“The Recipe of the Year competition celebrates the wonderful recipes members have trialled and succeeded with throughout the year,” QAST Executive Services Manager, Chris Ogden said.

“This competition shows how resourceful and innovative tuckshop convenors are, often with less-than-ideal kitchens to create in.

“Our judges were highly impressed with the simplicity, aesthetic appeal and yummy taste of this year’s winning entry and were delighted that the title went to a regional state school.”

Deanne and her team were recognised on Queensland Tuckshop Day on Friday, 5 November with local Division 8 Councillor, Maurie Soars in attendance.

About Deanne

Deanne has been heading up the Currajong State School Tuckshop for the last 14 years, after initially volunteering for 12 months prior to taking on the permanent position.

“The convenor job kind of fell into my lap, but I have loved every minute of it,” Deanne said.

“The community feel of the school and of course the kids, make coming into work every day a joy.

“I’m also very blessed to have a fabulous P&C Association and a supportive team around me.”

As a bonus, one of Deanne’s grandchildren attends the school and often pops into the school tuckshop to visit Nanna.

“Every week by grandson Lincoln pops in to decorate a special lunch bag for our school groundsman, Tony, who then displays the artwork proudly on his office wall,” Deanne explained.

“It’s become a bit of a talking piece with staff around the school who visit each week to see his latest creation.”

It’s moments like these that make Deanne’s role as Tuckshop convenor a rewarding and fulfilling one.

Recipe of the Year is proudly supported by Health and Wellbeing Queensland, a statutory authority established by the State Government to improve accessibility to health and wellbeing programs for Queensland communities, First Nations, and children and schools.

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