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Fourteen new baristas will be ready to serve coffee-lovers across Perth, after they recently completed a Beginners Barista course run by the Australia Arab Association.  

The program, which is supported with $30,000 through the Office of Multicultural Interests' Community Grants Program, aims to help youth from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds break into the competitive hospitality industry. 

The aspiring baristas have honed their skills in the Australia Arab Association​'s pop-up café, which is a regular fixture at local community events. When they've completed the course, participants may transition into employment with local business who have partnered with the program. Forty people have completed the training since it began in 2017. 

Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, Paul P​apalia, presented certificates to Perth's newest coffee makers at a ceremony at the Australia Arab Association centre in ​Thornlie​.  

At the ceremony, Minister Papalia called the Beginners Barista course "a forward-thinking program created by an innovative community group that provides pathways to employment for vulnerable young people from CaLD backgrounds".  

"Most importantly, partnering with local businesses ensures that real opportunities are available." 

Minister Papalia also announced the State Government's support of $40,000 for the Australian Arab Festival to be held in March 2020 ($15,000 from the Office of Multicultural Interests and $25,000 from Lotterywest). 

"This festival will showcase the many Arabic cultures that are a part of our social fabric in Western Australia and allow the wider community to experience the richness and depth of Arab culture," said Minister Papalia.  

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