About Us

As a membership based organisation, the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops fully understands the needs of convenors, P&C members and business managers and we know that its an ever continuing challenge to manage a school tuckshop. The tuckshop plays a very important role in the school community. QAST understands the hard work that is needed to meet the demands of running a school foodservice and fulfilling this role. Tuckshops have changed so much over the years and, as the industry's Association in Queensland, QAST has embraced these changes to make sure we can always offer the best support and up-to-date information available. QAST members benefit from the wealth of experience of its management committee and quality services delivered by industry professionals. Canteen Managers on the management committee provide invaluable first-hand insight into current issues, and assist in understanding and managing such issues. Staff who deliver services to our members have expertise in tuckshop management, food technology, nutrition and working with parent groups and other key stakeholders within communities. Each year typically over 650 schools choose to join as a member, representing the majority of tuckshops operating in Queensland.

The Queensland Association of School Tuckshops is a not for profit community organisation dedicated to the promotion and support of Queensland tuckshops in their endeavours to offer nutritious, hygienic and economically viable food services. QAST is recognised as the lead support agency for tuckshops by managers and convenors across the state along with government departments, food industry and other support services working with schools. Operating as an incorporated association since 1996, the Association is also registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ABN 48219 893 165) and is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO Code 31798).

QAST services

QAST provides a professional, responsive and proactive membership organisation with strong alliances with government, industry and like-minded organisations. Everyday QAST is busy with;

  • Answering questions and offering advice
  • Writing articles and fact sheets
  • Attending meetings to promote QAST and advocate for all school food services
  • Developing and reviewing new resources
  • Selling useful tuckshop merchandise
  • Maintaining informative websites
  • Facilitating networking and sharing ideas among tuckshops
  • Presenting workshops and training to a variety of groups
  • Carrying out special research projects about food services in schools

Opportunities to be involved with QAST

QAST welcomes everyone's involvement in the organisation. Consider;

  • Joining QAST
  • Taking up a position on the QAST Management Committee
  • Becoming a corporate sponsor or advertise to members
  • Submitting an article or idea for the QAST Talking Tuckshops eNewsletter
  • Attending a QAST Convention or Tuckshop Network Meeting
  • Volunteering for a QAST research project

Funding and sponsors

QAST receives a large portion of its funding from membership fees. In addition QAST receives assistance from the Queensland Government's Department of Health and Department of Education and Training to deliver support services for the Smart Choices initiative. QAST also has a successful history of winning grants to carry out other special projects and welcomes interest from corporate sponsors and advertisers.

History of QAST

The idea to form an association in Queensland came from a number of individuals and groups, including tuckshop workers and health/education organisations. Highlights over the years include;

Year Event
1996 QAST becomes an incorporated Association.
1997 QAST co-hosts the Inaugural Total Tuckshop Conference in Brisbane in conjunction with the Australian Nutrition Foundation's Annual Trade Fair.
1997 Regional Tours commenced and continued until 2000.
1998 Survey completed of all Queensland Tuckshops.
1998 QAST hosts the inaugural Queensland Tuckshop Convenor of the Year Awards.
1999 Food Safety in Tuckshops Project.
2000 QAST Business Plan developed with assistance of Gaming Machine Benefit Fund.
2001 Queensland School Breakfast Project funded by the Department of Health and Ageing.
2002 Inaugural Townsville Trade Fair.
2002 Food Safety Summit.
2003 QAST Trade Directory launched with support of Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
2003 Queensland School Breakfast Project- Parents funded by Queensland Health and Golden Casket.
2004 Fresh Ideas For Fundraising Project funded by Health Promotion Queensland and One Harvest.
2005 QAST is a lead agency assisting tuckshops to implement Smart Choices receiving funding from Education Queensland and Queensland Health to deliver additional services.
2005 New QAST website launched.
2006 Smart Choices Regional Presentations delivered in partnership with QCPCA.
2006 QAST publishes first issue of the Talking Tuckshops magazine.
2008 QAST publishes Over the Counter: A Collection of Recipes Ideal for Canteens funded by the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
2008 Survey of Queensland Tuckshops completed funded by the BUPA Health Foundation. Read more
2008 Swimmingly Good Food Project funded by a Queensland Community Partnership Grant.
2009 QAST becomes a Registered Training Organisation and launches its Food Safety Supervisor Course training over 500 convenors in its first year.
2010 Emenu tool developed and launched providing a free online menu design tool funded by Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
2010 QAST introduces major new service for members- the Menu Health Check providing an annual report on menu performance in relation to Guidelines.
2010 Good Food for Good Sports funded by a Queensland Community Partnership Grant.
2010 QAST joins the online community with Facebook.
2010 EcoFriendly Food website launched in partnership with Brisbane South Community Nutrition Unit.
2011 Talking Tuckshops eNewsletter launched, replacing the print version entirely by end of 2013.
2011 QAST reopens and operates Samford State School Tuckshop to trial new strategies and online ordering systems.
2011 Inaugral Tuckshop Day announced by Education Minister to celebrate contributions of volunteers and convenors.
2013 Uniform website launched.
2013 QAST endorsed as a Health Promotion Charity with DGR status.
2013 Tuckshop Networks Program established to encourage sharing of ideas among convenors across the state with funding from the Department of Education, Training and Employment. 14 regional networks formed meeting quarterly.
2013 QAST Tuckshop and Uniform Shop Convention replaces Expo
2014 QAST establishes YouTube channel QTuckshops with video equipment and production funded by the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
2014 Tuckshop Finance Workshop
2014 eMenu (version 2) launched with funding from the Department of Education, Training and Employment.
2015 New QAST website goes live featuring Members Only access to Tuckshop Toolbox, eMenu integration, online consultancy bookings and the new QASTShop.
2015 Menu Management Course developed and delivered across Queensland supported by a Bursary program funded by Department of Education and Training.
2015 Team Tuckshop Program provides one on one support to 50 school tuckshops with funding provided by the Department of Education and Training.
2015 QAST celebrates 20 years. On 2nd December 1995 QAST had its inaugral meeting at Villanova College.
2016 Volunteer Management Course launched in response to member feedback.
2016 Tuckshop TuneUp on site consultancy service is launched in response to member requests.
2016 QAST remains the only agency assisting tuckshops to implement Smart Choices receiving funding from Department of Health to maintain an annual regional network meeting, to develop resources for eMenu and maintain Smart Choices communications to schools. Department of Education and Training fund a Smart Choices Industry Forum and development of a support program to assist schools with implementing changes to the Smart Choices Ready Reckoner announced early in the year.
2016 Smart Choices Nutrition Advisory Service initiated to respond to enquiries and liaise with food industry.