Graduate Celebration Stories

A STREAT graduate, youth programs coordinator and Fonda staff are smiling at the camera.

Fonda and STREAT have been in partnership since 2015 with Fonda being STREAT’s first partnered employer. STREAT and Fonda were introduced by Geoff Harris who is the generous donor of STREAT’s Cromwell Cafe site!

Find out more about how we work with Fonda and STREAT graduates, and why Caitlin told us:

“Working at Fonda has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

STREAT’s 8-week intensive Fast-Track to Work program provides on the job work experience and training for young people with barriers to employment. The young people work in STREAT’s real businesses, alongside experienced hospitality staff, serving real customers, or in back-of-house kitchens or bakery. We have a parallel program in horticulture. STREAT’s own in-house Youth Programs Team of allied health professionals provide holistic tailored support to each young person to assist in removing barriers. There are guaranteed job opportunities for graduates to transition into paid employment with STREAT’s partnered employers – and this comes with a further nine-months of support for the young person and their employer. Fonda is STREAT’s longest standing employment partner!

The STREAT and Fonda partnership has a lot to celebrate over the last seven years! 20 trainees have gone on from STREAT to work with Fonda, and one of our trainees made an outstanding six-year hospitality career at Fonda. As we continue our solid collaboration with Fonda, STREAT currently has four trainees going through STREAT’s Paid to Work program within Fonda.

Today we would like to acknowledge and recognise the importance of having a supportive and committed partnered employer like Fonda who are able to provide our trainees with a safe and welcoming work experience, that allows them not only to learn, but also grow, both personally and professionally.

There is no better way to appreciate Fonda’s positive impact on the lives of our trainees than to hear from a graduate of STREAT’s Paid to Work program – Caitlin.

Caitlin came to STREAT’s program in 2021 because she wanted to get a job. Reflecting on the impact of STREAT and her progress during that time Caitlin said she went from, “doing absolutely nothing at home, and now one year later, I am in a job working lots of shifts.”

Caitlin was grateful for the support of STREAT’s Youth Program Team and also Magic (STREAT’s Therapy-Assist dog). “Everyone at STREAT is friendly. Magic is the best. I love everything about Magic,” she said.

STREAT graduate smiling outside of Fonda.

Caitlin was committed to her goal of employment from the start, and so was very keen to do STREAT’s Paid to Work program with Fonda. She was encouraged by STREAT’s in-house Youth Program Transitions Team to build her confidence and communication during the interview skills modules and in regular catch ups. Across nine quick months Caitlin went from shy and reserved, to working many busy bar shifts at Fonda and loving the new environment!

Caitlin’s achievements at STREAT and her subsequent employment with Fonda have resulted in a boost of confidence for Caitlin: “Before I started work, I was so scared to talk to customers, but after two shifts there, I was able to relax, and it helped me, and now I have been told I am very friendly and chatty!” She added: “Working at Fonda has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.” Caitlin noted that she plans to “continue what I am doing now and hope for bigger and better things.”

STREAT and Fonda are so proud of Caitlin’s achievements and look forward to her continued success! Caitlin is just one of the many young people STREAT have worked with over the years, and her story makes us all so happy!

Want to learn more?

Our team are always interested from hearing from young people in Melbourne who are looking to getting real work experience and skills in Hospitality or Horticulture. Simply get in touch by emailing, or you can learn more about our youth programs, and apply through our website.