Young Entrepreneur Award - June 2019 Quarter

Sam Athan, 24 years old, is the Manager of the Esther Café on Haynes Street in Kalamunda and the winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award for the June quarter.

Sam has been running the Esther Café since it opened in Kalamunda in September 2018. Before that, she managed the café at its previous location in South Perth for over a year.


The Esther Café and the Esther Recycle Boutique, which operate from the same premises, are two very special social enterprises run through The Esther Foundation which sees 100% of profits go back into the Foundation. Esther is Australia's largest health, development, leadership and award-winning programme for young women of its kind.


Sam says her favourite thing about managing the Esther Café is the challenge of working with other girls on the program to train them to work in the café. “It is a lot of work in training other girls on the Esther program. Each girl is different and whilst it is probably the hardest part of my role, it is also the most rewarding. There is a real sense of purpose behind it – it is not just a job about money.”


The heart of the Esther Café and Esther Boutique is to empower at-risk young women to pursue a life of dignity by providing training, life-skills, and opportunity. To offer a platform where they are able to be a positive role model and contributor in their community.


Sam has been a resident at the Esther Foundation for over 2 ½ years. She graduated earlier this year in February 2019 after fulfilling all of the program requirements. Sam is originally from Queensland but moved to Albany when her dad sadly passed away. There she experienced severe grief and mental health issues which left her in the care of the mental health system. Fortunately, Sam transferred from Albany Hospital straight to the Esther facility, and began her journey to recovery.


Sam says she has had a great experience working within the Kalamunda community. “Kalamunda has an amazing community. I have no family so the family feel here in Kalamunda is very important to me and the other girls.” Sam has also noticed differences between Kalamunda and other communities in Perth. “In South Perth, only certain groups of people knew us – the café was sheltered and hidden away without the Esther branding. It is completely different here in Kalamunda. It completely blew my mind after we moved to Kalamunda that we have been consistently supported and that the support hasn’t worn down over time.


Well done to Sam for all of her hard work and dedication to the Esther Café – her passion for the role shines through and is infectious! If you haven’t paid a visit to the Esther Café and the Recycle Boutique yet, please do so and be a part of a positive permanent change for at-risk and disadvantaged young women through the transformative power of social enterprise.


Contact Information

Kalamunda Chamber of Commerce,
50 Railway Road Kalamunda
Tues+Wed 9am-4pm
Thurs 9am-12pm
(08) 9257 3508
After hours:
+61 (0) 487 431 361


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