The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
Medowie Christian School and Raymond Terrace Public School have been named Grand Champion Koalas in the 2019 Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge. Kreative Koalas is a ground-breaking project-based learning initiative from Picture You in Agriculture, which this year delivered the sustainability message and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into fifteen primary schools from the Hunter Valley and Penrith Regions.
Young people may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. Through Kreative Koalas we are giving them a voice in designing and creating that future. This year students have investigated local issues and worked with the community to give a voice to our Koalas and threatened species, our waterways and our farmers. The students have said ‘Together we can’
Medowie Christian School was awarded the Grand Champion Community Project for Change after collaboration with Hunter Local Land Services to raise the importance of healthy waterways for clean water and sanitation. The students developed six easy-to-follow methods for protecting waterways and made these into a pamphlet, which was distributed to the school community. The students also visited their local Gramhamstown Dam to examine the health of the water through temperature, turbidity, salinity and pH testing and presented their findings at a school assembly. Learn more about the winning project here
Students from Medowie Christian School with Chair of Hunter Local Land Services Lindy Hyam ( right) and teacher Martha Atkins ( left)
Raymond Terrace Public School was awarded Grand Champion Koala for their vibrantly decorated, life-sized fibreglass koala named Mitjigan Guula, which means girl koala in Worimi language. In collaboration with their Aboriginal Girl’s Group they incorporated indigenous designs on their artwork to look at the effects of climate change on koala populations. And, in what has unfortunately proved to be timely, the koala portrays how inaction on climate change can lead to devastating bushfires.
Students from Raymond Terrace Public School with Costa Georgiadis
In other awards Penrith schools Ropes Crossing Public School and Colyton Public School were recognised for their artwork and community project for change respectively.
Four students were acknowledged as eco-warriors. These students were Zoe Bonifacio from Colyton Public School, Keeley Haywood from James Erskine Public School,Tayla Weeks from Medowie Christian School and Josie Hodges from Gresford Public School.
All schools received their awards at a ceremony held at Tocal Agricultural College on Thursday November 28, attended by sponsors and supporters and emceed by celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis.
Photos from the awards day can be found here and a big shout out to our supporting partners empowering young people to solve tomorrows problems today
This fortnight’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the globe!
Last weekend YFC gathered in Sydney to celebrate the achievements of 2019, learn new skills, develop expertise and plan for the year ahead. Let’s jump straight over to YFC Dione Howard for a workshop recap:
Friday through to Monday saw new YFC learn from coach Jenni Metcalfe of Econnect Communications. Jenni worked with YFC to develop interview skills for speaking on camera and working with the media. Coach Josh Farr worked with YFC alumni to develop strategies for managing conflict, time management and the ever-important social media.
YFC Jasmine Whitten and YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe wowed the group on Saturday night with presentations that are sure to inspire their audience into the new year.
Monday saw YFC come together with students from Wee Waa and Lake Cargelligo High Schools who had travelled to Sydney for The Archibull Prize on Tuesday. Simone Tunbridge from ABC’s Heywire program stepped the group through developing and sharing a powerful story.
And the action didn’t stop on Monday as the workshop wrapped up – next it was time for the 10th Annual Archibull Prize Awards. Like a fine wine they keep getting better with age!
Over to YFC Katherine Bain for an Archibull Awards run down:
The 2019 Archibull Prize is definitely one to remember! I was really impressed with where the kids drew their inspiration from for their Archies. They used these inspirations to tell their story of Ag, with all its complexities, really well. When I got to interview them, their passion for the Archies really shined which was so heartening to see. Some of my favorite Archies were Beaudesert’s Milking cow, Hurlstone’s completely felted cow and Lake Cargelligo’s Hydroponic cow. Some of the highlights of the day were Costa Geogiadis’s moving talk and the energy that he brought to the room and Beaudesert’s emotional win as the Grand Champion for 2019!
It was a massive day for everyone involved, but so fulfilling seeing everyone smiling at the end of the day, knowing that months of hard work had paid off.
The Young Farming Champions team would love to thank all of our supporters and sponsors of The Archibull Prize for 2019 – we love working with schools in this program and are proud of what each student learns and achieves when participating in The Archibull Prize!
In the Field
Wheat and barley harvest is in full swing at Grains YFC Marlee Langfield’s farm, Wallaringa, Cowra. Marlee, a talented photographer who also runs Marlee Langfield Photography, sent through this photo essay: “We are very thankful for our harvest and hope everyone stays safe this harvest season.”
Out of the Field
Climate YFC and western NSW farmer Anika Molesworth is on the journey of a lifetime with Homeward Bound, heading to Antarctica as part of a collaborative effort towards leadership for #climateaction. Anika is one of 111 women – the largest ever female group to head to Antarctica – from 33 countries, and she has also been chosen to support Al Gore’s Climate Reality leadership organisation, presenting on how she perceives the climate crisis through the lens of her work. We are so incredibly proud of you Anika. Keep the updates coming!
Follow @AnikaMolesworth on Twitter and @anikamolesworth on Instagram to keep up to date.
To celebrate National Agriculture Day, Wool YFC and Senior Biosecurity Officer Lucy Collingridge had a chat with Kristy Reading on ABC New England North West. Take a listen here. In a celebration of our agricultural industry, Lucy spoke about the great progression our agricultural industry has achieved in recent decades, the opportunities available in our agricultural industries – including a large range of jobs, overseas study tours and conferences – and how supportive our industry is. For a young women who comes from a non-agricultural background, Lucy should be incredibly proud of her achievements over recent years, including study tours to Argentina, Uruguay and Canada, the completion of a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture and involvement in many country shows across NSW, and she believes the Young Farming Champion program is a fantastic platform to be able to share her experiences with other young people and show them the opportunities available in the Australian agricultural industry.
Speaking of National Agriculture Day, we’ve announced the winners of our National Ag Day comp, hosted alongside Little Brick Pastoral, Career Harvest and Celistino. Well done to all the entrants and winners! Jump over here to read all about it.
We’re in Outback Mag! Thanks to the marvelous Picture You in Agriculture journalist Mandy McKeesick our YFC program and wonderful wool YFC Samantha Wan are featured in the December/January issue of R.M. Williams Outback Magazine.
“Since inception 10 years ago, the Young Farming Champions program has trained more than 100 people to promote agriculture to young people.
“At Burwood Girls High School in Sydney students are excitedly awaiting a farmer. Many will be imagining an older white male, so when 31-year-old Sam Wan breezes through the door, preconceptions and stereotypes fly straight out the window. Sam is young. She is female. And she is one of them. As a first-generation Chinese-Australian born in the western suburbs of Sydney, Sam’s own stereotypical career path may have been a doctor or lawyer, but she has found her calling as a wool broker in Melbourne, and her enthusiasm for the industry is infectious.”
Read more here. And buy December/January issue of Outback Magazine to read the full story!
University of New England YFC Becca George was in The Land last week, speaking about her involvement with Angus Youth Roundup and dreams for the future. Read the article below:
Well done to YFC Bronwyn Roberts from B R Rural Business who spoke at the Young Beef Producers Forum in Roma, Qld.
Cotton YFC Alexandria Galea was spotted in the new National Ag Day video “The Quiet Farmer” from Rabbit Hop Films:
The Quiet Farmer from Rabbit Hop Films on Vimeo.
Congratulations to YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe who has been announced as a semi finalist in the First National Real Estate Leadership category of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards. We wish you so much luck in the judging Emma and appreciate all the hard work you have put into the Picture You in Agriculture programs throughout 2019 (and before!)
Read this wonderful story in the Lake Cargelligo News which details Emma’s dedication beautifully.
Congratulations also to YVLT Communication Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas who won the Spirit Category of the Weekly Times and Harvey Norman Shine Awards. Bessie and her husband Shannan flew to Melbourne for the intimate awards luncheon with the other category winners at Cruden Farm. They were hosted by Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page and chairman of The Herald and Weekly Times Penny Fowler. Read more here.
Bessie says the experience was an absolute delight and honour.
“Meeting the other finalists and sharing in their stories was very special. These awards really bring to light the incredible things rural women are doing all over Australia, that there is often no other recognition for. I’m so thrilled and proud to be among such a dedicated, courageous and passionate bunch of humans.”
Congratulations to Wool YFC Matt Cumming and his fiance Heidi who got engaged on the weekend. Best wishes to you both!
BESSIE THOMAS has been through nearly two years of dust storms and feed runs, yet every day she finds something good to say about the agriculture industry.
That is a measure of her positive spirit.
Bessie and her husband, Shannan, manage his family’s sheep property, Burragan, near Wilcannia in NSW’s far west.
The young couple and their daughter, Airlie, 3, are living through the thick of drought.
Bessie finds ways to be optimistic, not just for herself and her family.
But also to boost other farmers across the nation who are struggling through the same thing and to educate the wider public about the ongoing dry.
“I could get out of bed every day and share the hardships but, you know, the next day I probably wouldn’t want to get out of bed,” says Bessie, who shares the highs and lows of her life in the wool industry through a blog and Facebook page called Bessie at Burragan.
“By always focusing on the positive, it can bring a spark of joy to someone else on social media and maybe give them hope.”
Bessie is relatively new to the wool industry.
After growing up at Swan Hill and then the Sunshine Coast, she completed a degree in journalism and communication in Queensland.
After marrying Shannan, they jumped at the opportunity to manage Burragan.
“When we moved down it was a fantastic season,” Bessie says.
“The grass in the paddock was so high you could hardly see the road to find the house.”
The 28,000-hectare station is in a vastly different state today, running half the sheep it did back then.
Rain in April and again this month offered some reprieve, and they haven’t had to handfeed since May.
“We only wish we could share it around with everyone who missed out,” Bessie says.
Through the long dry, she has used her communication skills to raise awareness of the realities of drought.
Bessie is an Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion and the group’s volunteer communication creative team leader. The organisation works to close the gap between young people and food producers, and inspire pride in Australian agriculture.
“So, I have gone into schools and spoken to urban audiences about agriculture and growing food and fibre,” Bessie says. “The highlight of volunteering is connecting and collaborating with talented young people, who are considered inspirational leaders of the agricultural industry.”
Bessie Thomas puts her storytelling talent and optimism to use for the good of the agriculture industry.
For that — as well as raising awareness of the drought with a smile — she is a deserving winner of the Shine Award for Spirit.
Representing the Australian dairy industry Queensland’s Beaudesert State High School has been named Grand Champion Archibull in the 2019 Archibull Prize, edging out previous winner Hurlstone Agricultural High School from New South Wales.
Eighteen secondary schools across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria took part in the annual competition held by Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) designed to connect students with agriculture and give farmers a face and voice. The schools are joined by Young Farming Champions as they research their nominated agricultural industry and present their findings in blogs, infographics and multi-media, however the highlight is the creation of an interpretative artwork on a life-sized fibreglass cow, known as the Archie.
Students from Beaudesert State High School celebrate tbeir win with Costa Georgiadis
“We have come to expect quirky and imaginative Archies from Beaudesert and this year was no exception incorporating real bovine bones, braille, a cut-out Herringbone dairy and a robotic milking arm. But more than that Beaudesert has embraced their local dairy community and taken them on their Archibull journey.”
Thanks to a partnership with Subtropical Dairy, Dairy Fields Cooperative and Dover and Son students at Beaudesert delved deep into the challenges and opportunities facing dairy in Australia to create their Archie named Hope. They explored drought, mental health of farmers and a tightening retail market and posed the question: How much do we value our Australian dairy industry? ““If our cow can make an impact and make people understand perhaps farmers can get more help and assistance through these tough times. Milk needs to be treated like the ‘white gold’ that it is and not something that is considered just a ‘staple’ and in everyone’s fridge,” the school said in their artwork statement.
Reserve Grand Champion Archibull was awarded to Hurlstone Agricultural High School who looked at the wool industry in Western NSW. From discussions with their Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth students learnt about African breeds of drought tolerant sheep used in Australia. “From this, we decided to delve further into the rich culture of Africa. Witch doctors, in essence, are members of societies who aid others using magic and medicine. This concept of healing felt extremely appropriate as a message of hope in a tough, overwhelming time,” the students said.
The Archibull awards were presented at a ceremony held at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday 19th November, attended by sponsors and special guests including celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis.
The Archibull Prize Awards event photos can be found here
Watch the Archibull Prize Awards Events highlights here
Mega shout out to our 2019 Archibull Prize supporting partners empowering young people to solve tomorrow’s problems today
In partnership with Career Harvest, Little Brick Pastoral and Celestino the competition encouraged students from Years 5 to 12 to envision their own career in agriculture, create a LEGO figurine and write a day-in-the-life profile.
Winners of the primary school section were Austin Ball from Trangie Central School and Matilda Sullivan of St Francis of Assis Primary School Wodonga.
Highly Commended in Years 7 to 10 was Hugh Burton
Winners of the Years 7 to 10 section were Hallee Tanzer of Saint Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton and Madison Kleinschmidt of Finley High School.
Winner of the Senior School section was Sophia Hayden of Hurlstone Agricultural High School.
Linking their passions and talents to agriculture the students defined careers as diverse as stockyard architect and farm manager, to horse maternity nurse and international development officer.
“Research tells us that young people going from primary school to high school have closed their minds to 70% of the careers that are available in agriculture,” Aimee Snowden from Little Brick Pastoral said, “and our teachers are being asked to prepare students for the jobs of the future that haven’t been invented yet. It has never been more important for agriculture to have a presence in schools and to help open young people’s eyes to the huge array of exciting and innovative careers that our sector offers – jobs that are literally helping to feed and clothe the world.”
Competition winners wehre announced The Archibull Prize ceremony held at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday November 19.
There are six categories in the Shine Awards: Belief, Courage, Dedication, Grace, Passion and Spirit and Bessie joins fellow finalists – entrepreneur Amanda Griffiths from Long Pocket in QLD and shearer Janine Midgley from Bullsbrook in WA – in the Spirit category, which is for those who the sheer power of personality shines through.
“What a thrill to be honoured alongside Amanda and Janine,” Bessie says. “I could easily name hundreds of women who could take my place as a finalist in the Spirit Category and they are the ones who keep my spirits up! So thank you to all the people in my life, family, friends, and beyond, who fill my cup, push me up hill, let me chuck my toys, make good things happen, check in on me and pick me back up again. I am so lucky to have the best possible people enter my orbit.”
The winner of each category will receive a $2500 voucher from Harvey Norman, and the overall winner will receive a $5000 voucher. Look for the announcement of the winners in the Shine Magazine in The Weekly Times on the newsstands November 20.
Each year the NSW Department of Primary Industries celebrates women volunteers in the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll. Over 900 women have been recognised for their contribution to community since the Honour Roll began in 2010. They have volunteered for sporting groups, for health, for heritage or for environmental conservation. They have given their time to industry, to social justice, to emergency services and to wherever there is need.
In 2019 four of our Young Farming Champions have been added to this illustrious list: Emma Ayliffe, Lucy Collingridge, Dione Howard and Bessie Thomas.
Emma volunteers her time with the Local Cotton Growers Association, Tulli Young Farmers and PYiA programs Young Farming Champions and the Youth Voices Leadership Team. In winter she also donates her time to her local netball club. By paying forward the support and encouragement she has received over the years, Emma hopes to give similar opportunities to the next generation.
Lucy was introduced to agricultural shows while at high school and now, apart from her commitments with PYiA, volunteers everywhere from her local Cootamundra Show to the Sydney Royal. Lucy believes volunteering is a chance to help her community and industry grow and enjoys the rewarding feeling of working with amazing, like-minded people with a common goal – and having fun while doing it.
Representing the wool industry, Dione volunteers with PYiA, WoolProducers and as a mentor in CSU’s Veterinary Science Alumni Network. She does this to ensure the community has an appreciation of where their food and fibre comes from and she believes young people in agriculture have wonderful stories to share and wants to help them tell these stories, make a change and leave their own mark on the world.
Bessie volunteers as the Communication Coordinator for the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT), which is the youth-led voice of PYiA. As Communication Coordinator she works with over 100 Young Farming Champions to collate their activities and events. Bessie believes we all have an ethical and social responsibility to live by actions that leave communities, people and the world feeling valued, appreciated, supported and better off than we found them.
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” MARJORIE MOORE
Read about all this year’s remarkable women here in the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.