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Anzac biscuit bake-off raises much-needed funds for Aurora Disability Services

Woman holding a basket of Anzac biscuits in bags
Angelique Payne says baking the biscuits helps generate income and also offers training to clients.

ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus

Baking Anzac biscuits is an annual tradition for many Australians.

At Aurora Disability Services, they also use the annual bake-off to raise much-needed funds.

When the door opens to the Mill Lane building in Glenorchy, the smell of baked rolled oats and sweet golden syrup is almost too overwhelming.

People with hairnets and aprons in a small and busy kitchen
The kitchen at Aurora Disability Services produces thousands of Anzac biscuits.

ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus

"Because we're a charity organisation ... we need to generate income and the Anzac bake has been a favourite," Angelique Payne, executive officer of Aurora Disability Services, said.

The organisation provides training for people with intellectual disabilities, helping them gain work and life skills.

So baking tens of thousands of biscuits is not just about generating income, the production process is also used as a training exercise.

Man with a hairnet and gloves rolling biscuit mixture
Rolling the biscuits by hand takes coordination and some counting skills so the trays are not overfilled.

ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus

It starts with a history lesson at orientation day, exploring the meaning of Anzac Day and the history of the biscuits.

Then the big bake-off begins.

With help from volunteers and staff, the organisation's clients measure out the ingredients, mix, roll, decorate and bag the biscuits.

Blue bowls of Anzac biscuits next to sheets of paper with numbered circles on them
Counting to 10 can be hard for Aurora Disability's clients, but special sheets can help them get the numbers right.

ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus

Each process is an opportunity to practise various skills, such as writing the date on the biscuit label.

"A lot of people have difficulties holding pens correctly or doing numbers," Ms Payne said.

"So we have practice sheets, so people practise the dates and then they write them on to the bags.

Woman threading a gumnut on a ribbon
Gumnuts are collected, dried and drilled and then carefully threaded onto ribbon to decorate each bag of biscuits.

ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus

Clients move between the different stations during the weeks of baking, from cutting and weighing the butter to threading gumnuts on ribbons to decorate the bags.

The bags of finished Anzac biscuits are sent out to businesses and offices to sell, or are sold at Aurora Disability's Car Yard Café in Derwent Park and Old Chapel Tearooms in Glenorchy.