2019 Kreative Koalas Design a Bright Future Challenge Winners announced

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 

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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.

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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

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Young Farming Champion Bessie Thomas wins Shine Award

Another big day for the Young Farming Champions team with Wool Young Farming Champion Bessie Thomas winning the Spirit category of the Weekly Times/Harvey Norman Shine Awards

Bessie Spirit Winner

Extract from story in today’s Weekly Times

BESSIE’S BRIGHT SIDE

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.

READ MORE:

The Archibull Prize 2019 Winners announced

Beaudesert Statw High School with Costa

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.

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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.

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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

Sponsors

 

Announcing the winners of National AGDay Careers Competition

To coincide with National Ag Day on November 21 Picture You in Agriculture is pleased to announce the winners of our  school-based careers competition – Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture.

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.

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Highly Commended in Years 7 to 10 was Hugh Burton

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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.

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Winner of the Senior School section was Sophia Hayden of Hurlstone Agricultural High School.

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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.

Young Farming Champion Bessie Thomas is a finalist in the 2019 Shine Awards

Young Farming Champion Bessie Thomas has been announced as a finalist in the 2019 Shine Awards. Sponsored by Harvey Norman and The Weekly Times, the Shine Awards recognise and celebrate the women of rural Australia.

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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.

Shine on Bessie.

#YouthVoices19 #YouthinAg

Our Young Farming Champions honoured as Hidden Treasures

 

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.

Our PYiA director Lynne Strong was an inaugural honour roll inductee in 2010. In 2017 Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield joined her

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.

Mentoring and Volunteering help Young Farming Champions star at 2019 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference

Jasmine Whitten soils speech at Landcare

YFC Jasmine Whitten presenting at NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference

Bouncing across the stage, full of energy and animation, Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten delivered the ‘best-in-show’ presentation at the 2019 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference held in Broken Hill from 22-24 October. Jasmine was one of two Young Farming Champions who shone brightly at the gathering. The other was Erika Heffer who was bestowed the Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award.

Earlier in year Jasmine, who attended the conference on a scholarship provided by Intrepid Landcare in partnership with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust, had co-designed an educational program for primary schools through Western Landcare at Cobar called “Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms”. This formed the basis of her presentation at the conference where she illustrated it had inspired young people to take up the Landcare challenge. “I described a healthy farm then shared the belief that the future doesn’t belong to me and it doesn’t belong to you (the audience),” she says. “It belongs to the next generation coming through and who better to teach them then farmers who care for a whopping 61% of this country and work with the soil day in day out.”

“To be acknowledged as the best presentation is the biggest boost,” Jasmine says. “It makes me realise all of my hard work has paid off.” See a video of Jasmine’s in action at Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day here

Erika, too, was rewarded for her work as a young leader in the Landcare arena. The Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award recognises someone aged between 15 and 35 years who is committed to community engagement.

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Erika Heffer accepting the Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award

“My greatest passion as a Landcarer is to bring people together to deliver real outcomes for the groups they belong to and the local community, Receiving this award is like meeting up with someone to talk about an idea or seeing people show up to a meeting or a workshop – I feel a sense of accomplishment for this first step, as well as excitement for what can come of it. I believe Landcare opens the door, but it’s the community that steps up to the challenge.” said Erika

Both Jasmine and Erika value the time and support of mentors as their careers blossom.

“I have sought out mentors and likeminded people both to help me grow and to achieve projects that couldn’t be achieved without collaboration and I would like to thank Neil Bull (Ricegrowers Association of Australia), John Fowler (Murray Local Land Services), Edwina Hayes (Regional Development Australia Murray), Lynne Strong (Picture you in Agriculture), and Senator Perin Davey for being great mentors and friends.” said Erika

The power of volunteering is also important to the two girls.

“My journey has involved practicing at schools, being a YFC and saying YES to any opportunity,”  said Jasmine

“I have loved raising awareness for agriculture, Landcare and the joy of volunteering, whether volunteering for my faith, an Agricultural Show, a Landcare Group, or even the Deni Ute Muster. The best part is that I am not alone, I am surrounded by passionate volunteers and that’s what makes my community a great place to live.” said Erika

Shoutout to our supporting partners working together to empower young people to solve tomorrow’s problems today

2019 Partners