Latest Winners Honour Board
Jo Bush (right), North Fitzroy Primary's winning 2010 VSCA Primary Canteen Manager of the Year (Paid), receives her award from Prue of VSCA
2010 VSCA Canteen of the Year Awards
Announced at VSCA's Annual Canteen Rewards Evening, 29 November 2010

Primary Canteen Manager of the Year (Paid)

Award received:



Jo Bush


North Fitzroy Primary School



Canteen open:

5 days per week

Nominated by:

Linda Codognotto, Teacher / School Councillor

"On behalf of the School Council, the Junior School Council, the community and the staff of North Fitzroy Primary School, I would like to nominate our canteen manager Jo Bush as a candidate for the 2010 VSCA Canteen of the Year Awards.

"Jo runs a non-profit canteen at North Fitzroy Primary School. In particular, she has created a strong community network around the work of the canteen and established a close rapport with the students, parent volunteers and staff. Her efforts not only contribute to the cohesiveness and overall high morale of the school community, but also provide our busy working parents with a valuable service: healthy lunches delivered on time and hot, where appropriate, to the children's classrooms.

"Jo is proactive and shows a genuine commitment to the health and well being of the students. She invests many hours of her own time in sourcing healthy, delicious and exciting menu items such as vegetarian pasta dishes, sushi, frozen milk popsicles, yoghurt sticks and fresh seasonal fruit. She has cooked treats for the children herself, made of nutritious and healthy ingredients.

"Jo's weekly 'Tutti Frutti' (fresh fruit) promotion has been particularly successful and beneficial for the whole school student population. She has also enlisted the support of classroom teachers to further promote the importance of healthy eating habits in their classroom programs. Please refer to the photographs and documentation.

"Jo also works closely with the Junior School Council to raise money for disadvantaged students, both nationally and internationally.

"In addition, she leads her volunteers and members of her own family, who donate their time and expertise unstintingly, to organise fundraising and specialty days to keep the canteen viable. While healthy foods are promoted as the daily fare, these events help teach the children that the occasional celebration is also quite alright. Examples of these events include:

  • Easter mystery boxes that contained a hot cross bun, cheese portion, sultanas, baby carrots, small chocolate eggs and a fruit drink
  • Beautiful Mother's and Father's Day breakfasts and gift boxes which she decorated herself, that contained delicacies such as wholemeal berry muffins, love heart chocolates, cereal bars, herbal teas, coffee and fresh juice
  • Italian Carnevale Day lunches that included Hawaiian and Margherita pizzas, Italian nectar pear drinks and gelati
  • Hot chocolate and pyjama day in winter
  • Lunch box treats which contained chicken drumsticks or quiche and strawberries
  • A special Anzac Day box which contained vegemite, salada crackers, Anzac biscuits and cheddar cheese

"Jo voluntarily opens the canteen each year for the annual school fete to raise money for North Fitzroy Primary School. She also supports the staff and enhances morale by contributing to the catering for special occasions such as births, engagements, marriages, milestone birthdays and other significant celebrations.

"Jo is generous of spirit and always acknowledges the support of all of the volunteers who work at the canteen by writing personalised letters and giving them small gifts to show her appreciation at the end of every school year. In return, her rosters of volunteers are always filled with parents happy to give their time to such activities as sandwich making, slicing and freezing fruit and serving over the counter.

"The magnitude of Jo's achievements and lists of her ongoing efforts continues to grow while her commitment and enthusiasm never waver.

"I firmly believe that our canteen manager Jo Bush from North Fitzroy Primary School is an outstanding one, and worthy of recognition for the 2010 VSCA Canteen of the Year Awards."

- Linda Codognotto, Teacher and School Councillor

"We believe that our canteen is one of the most healthy canteens in the state.

"We would also like to nominate our canteen as the healthiest in the state, and Jo Bush for running it.

"Here are some reasons why we believe so and what we think is good about our canteen and Jo.

  1. We don't have any junk food.
  2. As well as fruit we have only little treats that will keep us satisfied but not unhealthy ones.
  3. Jo in our canteen has set up many fundraisers such as Fathers day and Mothers day stalls, hot chocolate/pyjama day, Italian day, etc. Jo uses the money to buy things to help other international causes.
  4. We asked some people for their favourite foods in the canteen and here are some of their answers:
    • One said a Juicy (Juicies are a healthy 100% apple, orange or blackcurrant frozen juice made into a great healthy treat.)
    • Another said meat pie. You may think that's unhealthy but we have light and low fat pies in our canteen. Kids can buy lunches from the canteen so their parents don't have to worry about making lunch and having it being unhealthy.
  5. Jo in our canteen has made categories of what food is good to eat on a regular basis and some foods that you should only eat occasionally.
  6. Our canteen might have stuff that's a teeny weeny bit unhealthy but almost all our food is healthy so the food that's a bit unhealthy is OK to have sometimes.
  7. Since our canteen is a very healthy canteen, it keeps our bodies healthy and our minds healthy for work.
  8. If our canteen doesn't provide food to boost the mind, we won't be able to work at our very best.
  9. Jo provides the kids with a Tutti Frutti Tuesday where she gives the children a variety of fruits.

- Poppy and Ben, Junior School Council Executives

Supporting material:
(Click on underlined items to view)

Jo shows off the fruit salad

A volunteer with fruit salad ready to serve

Fruit salad ready to serve

A volunteer helps at the salad bar



Corn cobs


The canteen menu

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