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.
Secondary school students across Australia will be equipped for the future workforce with transferrable skills through an exciting new partnership between Action for Agriculture ( formerly Picture Yourself in Agriculture ) and one of the world’s most foremost leadership training providers.
Dale Carnegie will generously provide the winner of the annual Archibull Prize, an Action for Agriculture flagship program, with a complimentary workshop to gear them up for life beyond the classroom with the skills most valued by employers and ensure that they can adapt to a wide variety of careers.
“Young Australians have experienced drought, flood, fire and now COVID19, but they are also in a prime position to define their futures.
“This collaboration with Dale Carnegie will ensure that these youth, the ones who will be most affected by this uncertainty, are given the skills that are now the most sought after in these changing and challenging times.” says Lynne Strong, founder and national program director of Action for Agriculture.
Jessica Gopalan, marketing manager at Dale Carnegie, says that The Archibull Prize encourages students to build professional networks, expanding their understanding of the world as they learn how those in a vast array of fields contribute towards a sustainable future.
“The partnership between Action for Agriculture and Dale Carnegie will help ensure that students have the transferable skills that will equip them for tomorrow’s workforce
The sheer volume of talent and potential in these youth is outstanding, and we’re honoured to be working alongside Action for Agriculture in their commitment to driving positive change for both the individuals and the ideas that they champion.” she says.
The 90-minute workshop offered by Dale Carnegie, which offer professional training and coaching with their global headquarters based in New York and their Australian office in Sydney, will be offered either online or physically from 2021 onwards.
Dale Carnegie look forward to building a longer term partnership to support Action for Agriculture and its partners in accessing additional training and development opportunities, says Jessica.
Lynne says that the voices of young people are not heard prominently enough in society and in the agricultural sector, even though they have the most to gain and lose.
“The Archibull Prize seeks to enable and empower students to work together to identify and solve problems and take actions that will help them build a better world.
The Archibull Prize’s 21st century learning design empowers teachers to help students master traditional skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic, alongside capability skills, like creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, most valued by employers.” she says.”
The Archibull Prize is an internationally recognised secondary schools program designed to engage students with agriculture and sustainability by challenging them to research a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, design and deliver a community action program and to present their findings in multi-media and artistically on a life-sized fibreglass cow.
Last year’s prize went ahead in a modified format, with students and teachers even rising to the occasion and excelling under challenging conditions during the global pandemic.
In recognition of their efforts the first school to benefit from this partnership will be 2020 Grand Champion School Penrith Valley School
The Archibull Prize, along with Kreative Koalas and Young Farming Champions, Action for Agriculture’s other world-class flagship programs, aim to showcase the diversity of careers and pathway opportunities in the agriculture sector.
We thank all our partners who are investing in the future by empowering young Australians to solve tomorrow’s problems today
One of the guiding principles of Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is to introduce students to the world of work and encourage the uptake of agricultural careers by presenting the industry as an exciting option for a career with purpose.
Together with our supporting partners PYiA delivers the in-school programs Kreative Koalas ( primary students) and The Archibull Prize (secondary students) to ensure career development begins on the first day of school.
This life-long learning journey is further strengthened by the engagement of Young Farming Champions, a cohort of young agricultural professionals who relate easily to students.
Align with the National Career Education Strategy using bottom-up tried and tested innovative localised approaches targeting wants and needs of teachers, students, parents and carers.
Support partnerships to thrive between schools, education and training providers, employers, parents and carers, and the broader community.
Ensure students have transferable skills that equip them for the future of work.
Our surveys and research over the last decade have proven this to be a highly effective model of keeping agriculture careers front of mind, improving agricultural career outcomes, creating educational pathways and catering for the needs of teachers and students and the future workforce and employers.
Kreative Koalas is an action learning program for primary school students that introduces them to the world of work through connection to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. Kreative Koalas embeds sustainability across multiple Key Learning Areas of the school curriculum and encourages students to develop external collaborations with professionals within their community; expanding their understanding of the world of work as they learn how people in different jobs contribute to a sustainable future.
We were lucky to have the opportunity to have a Zoom meeting with farmer and environmentalist Karin Stark, whose family uses renewable energy (solar) to power their cotton and wheat farm. This was an extremely valuable experience, as students were able to develop their knowledge and understanding of how renewable energy can be used in different communities for different purposes.
The Archibull Prize then consolidates this introduction by showing students career pathways to sustainability though the lens of agriculture and asking them to investigate innovative approaches to problem solving in an industry that requires multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills. Throughout The Archibull Prize students develop the transferable 21st century skills that underpin employability for the future.
“Picture You in Agriculture’s school-based programs support the establishment of school-industry partnerships, connecting young people with the world of work in agriculture. Delivered to students K-12, these programs were adapted by teachers to meet the developmental needs of students and used to integrate a range of subject interests and skills into project-based learning activities. Teachers were empowered to collaborate with local community groups, employers, and organisations which meant the program activities provide effective career guidance in ways that are meaningful for students. It is promising, that in a year where teachers reported significant challenges with student’s engagement at school due to COVID-19 restrictions, that both The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas programs successfully contributed to the development of participants 21st century skills and increased interest in careers in agriculture.” Dr Nicole McDonald PhD in Vocational Psychology of Agriculture, BSci. (Hons.) Psychology Program Evaluation
Underpinning the success of both Kreative Koalas and The Archibull Prize are the Young Farming Champions (YFC). Due to their age (often not much older than the students they connect with) YFC become role models. They are memorable, credible, passionate about their industries and they disrupt stereotypical images of what a farmer is.
See how 2020/2021 Australian Young Farmer of the Year, Emma Ayliffe is sharing her journey to be a farmer with students here
Students learning from a YFC realise careers in agriculture can be high-level, STEM-based worlds of opportunity.
Value adding to the one-off engagement events like careers fairs offered by industry, YFC go into schools as part of a 12-week immersion process providing multiple touch points for learning and two way conversations. For these 12 weeks the YFC are basically on speed-dial for teachers and students.
YFC are trained by PYiA to be advocates for agriculture and positive role models for younger generations. Through their training they are given opportunities to practice in safe environments to become confident communicators and trusted voices in the communities in which they work and live. Horizontal development comes from online and in-person workshops where they build their skills and knowledge. Vertical development comes from the multiple opportunities to stretch themselves and interact with thought-leaders and strategists from around the world.
Our YFC represent a range of industries and professions in agriculture.
They firstly learn to lead themselves then, as alumni, they learn to lead others while being supported by mentors from their sponsor organisations or workplace and through the YFC alumni buddy system. This produces young people who understand the importance of listening to understand and are confident sharing their story with students and opening students (teachers, parents and influencers) minds to changing images and perceptions about careers. Our research shows that YFC as role models are the key to opening the door.
Through Kreative Koalas, The Archibull Prize and Young Farming Champions, PYiA is providing leadership and career development action learning opportunities for young people from Prep to early 30s; showcasing the world of work in agriculture and sustainability and providing pathways and skills for the workforce of tomorrow.
A little bit of trivia to show its working
Nationally, the most popular broad field of education (in terms of the number of applications) in 2020 was Health (74,780 applicants or 26.0 per cent of all applicants). This was followed by Society and Culture (69,036 applicants or 24.0 per cent) and Management and Commerce (32,516 applicants or 11.3 per cent).
Fields of education that recorded strongest growth in applications in 2020 were Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies (10.8 per cent), followed by Information Technology (9.8 per cent), Natural and Physical Sciences (3.1 per cent), Society and Culture (2.3 per cent), Education (2.0 per cent), Health (1.7 per cent), Engineering and Related Technologies (1.1 per cent) and Architecture and Building (0.7 per cent Source
At PYiA we believe leaders are made. They are products of their environments, of the people surrounding them, nurturing them, and INVESTING IN THEM.
The world has changed – we are living in a new norm. Today in our Crafting Careers in Agriculture series we are looking at how our education system is adapting to support our young people to be resilient and thrive in the new norm.
Taking a new approach to learning by partnering with tertiary institutions, industry and community is the goal of Richmond Agricultural College’s Centre for Excellence in Agricultural Education. In this edition of our Crafting Careers series we talk with Principal Kris Beazley on how the new model works and how it equips young people for a career in the agricultural industry.
The recently formed Centre of Excellence is still developing and stretching its educational wings and Kris is excited to be on the frontline of an educational revolution. “The Centre of Excellence is a privileged place to be because we have had the luxury of taking some time to look at our curriculum and ask how we can do it differently, meet syllabus outcomes and ensure authentic, partnered and applied learning opportunities for our students,” she says. “In addition to our stand-alone AgSTEM high school we have the capacity to work with schools from Kindergarten to Year 12 across the state in delivering AgSTEM, sustainability and careers education, and teacher professional learning.”
The Centre has five pillars of learning: agriculture, STEM, sustainability, Aboriginal Knowledges and career-transition. “Everything we do aligns to those components,” Kris says. “We want our young people to have the confidence and agency to use their capabilities, not only for career purposes but as change agents in community and society. We talk about our young people being social entrepreneurs in everything they do, and that is very important to us.”
Using a transdisciplinary rather than siloed approach to the curriculum the Centre of Excellence is underpinned by partnered learning, which is reflected in its location on Western Sydney University’s (WSU) Hawkesbury campus. But the partnering does not end with tertiary institutions. Instead partnerships with industry and community are actively encouraged. Students work on design thinking projects with members of society as diverse as astronauts, local permaculture community organisations and industry at a local and national level. “In all elements of our programs we have developed partnered learning opportunities for our students beyond the school,” Kris says.
Another aspect of the Centre is its ability to deliver programs into schools across the state, with a focus on agriculture and sustainability, on topics such as protected cropping and food production, the importance of bees and river health. As with the fulltime campus delivery, partnering is critical. “We give young people a real world problem and ask them to be part of a real world solution,” Kris says. “These programs give kids the power to go and stand side by side with people in industry and community.”
Hackathons are another innovative way the Centre educates. During hackathons students and teachers work to develop solutions to real world problems and create new future possibilities. In their recent series of Hackathons with Cotton Australia, Woolmark/Wool Innovation, Adobe and tertiary institutions students explored the future possibilities of sustainable fibre in Australia, considering issues such as the supply chain, circularity, impacts on rural communities, cities and consumers. The Centre also delivers Hackathons linked to Bees and Pollinators, sustainable fashion, water management and other contemporary issues. A hackathon was a contributing factor in Penrith Valley Learning School’s winning entry in the 2020 Archibull Prize. “They did a full day hackathon with us where all students engaged in deep learning and critical thinking. All students in the group contributed to a collective design solution through developing their ideas, intense feedback, prototyping and testing; we thought about what they valued and gave them the research, communication and critical thinking skills to take their project to reality. Watching a group of young people stand up and have agency and voice was extremely powerful.”
Empowering young people to find and use their voice is the cornerstone to this revolution in agricultural education. With voice and agency students will not only become the changemakers of tomorrow, but will start this journey in their primary and secondary years today. They will be confident to ask the right questions and network with experts in industry, policy making, research and the community. In doing so they are confident consumers, wise decision makers and more importantly have a greater understanding of the opportunities available to them in the Australian Agriculture and STEM industries. Australian agriculture will be stronger because of it.
In a year when the world was thrown into disarray and the notion of work and education tipped on its head, Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is thrilled to announce that not only did the 2020 Archibull Prize go ahead in a modified format, but that all students and teachers rose to the occasion and excelled under challenging conditions.
The Archibull Prize is an internationally recognised program in secondary schools designed to engage students with agriculture and sustainability by challenging them to research an area of food and fibre production and to present their findings in multi-media and artistically on a life-sized fibreglass cow.
The 2020 Grand Champion Archibull was awarded to Penrith Valley Learning Centre, (PVLC) for their exceptional Archie that incorporated a working hydroponic system.
PVLC is an SSP school that provides specialist and intensive support in a dedicated setting for students with moderate to high learning and support needs.
“Penrith Valley has 49 students who fall into a range of behavioural and emotionally disturbed categories so not only did they get artist’s therapy from painting but they also got practical knowledge on a hydroponic system. We have kids who don’t get along but would tolerate each other just to get access to the Archie, which was an amazing result. We wanted the Archie to be not just a beautiful object but to have a functional purpose for our kids and leave a permanent reminder in the school. We now have a hydroponic system that can grow life and sustain future generations. It was a lovely legacy for our senior kids to create something they knew would transfer to the juniors.” Ceramics and Visual Arts teacher Tara Wagner says
The Archibull Prize judge Wendy Taylor, from Red Blue Architecture, concurs with Tara’s comments.
“I look for intelligent design with layers of meaning. Penrith’s entry is brilliant, intelligent, incredibly beautiful, engaging and really well done. It is a functional piece; a piece with purpose,” she says.
Other award winners in the 2020 Archibull Prize were:
Chevalier College in the Southern Highlands who won the Carmel Mills Memorial Award for Learning with Impact.
“The students and I thoroughly enjoyed the Archibull experience. As a teacher I found it a very valuable learning experience that enabled us to do project based learning and got the students to learn/ think in other ways in the complex COVID environment. I was inspired by the fact that the students investigative and critical thinking skills were very much extended by the nature of the task, something they weren’t used to in a conventional classroom. The students gained so much new knowledge about complex agricultural issues, without realising they were learning whilst being creative. A fabulous experience and result from an agriculture teacher’s perspective.” Verity Gett Agriculture teacher
Innisfail State College in Queensland has won the Allan Eagle Memorial Award for Community Engagement
Archibull Prize lead teachers, Adrienne Shaw and Janet Lane, are very proud of what their students have achieved and are excited by partnerships they have built with their local council, industry and business.
“I am confident we have built sustainable partnerships beyond the school, benefiting our students by making real life authentic links with people working in the agriculture sector. A local agronomy business has invited students to participate in local field trials. Cassowary Coast Council is providing ongoing support to open students’ eyes to the diversity of regional agricultural careers on offer, recently funding an excursion for year 12 students to visit the Jungle Creek Aquaculture facility ” Janet Lane says
Leonay Public School and Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School won the Partnered Learning Award for collaboration between primary and secondary schools.
PYiA director Lynne Strong was full of praise for the participating schools.
“Because of the pandemic schools couldn’t go on excursions, host Young Farming Champions or local experts and they found alternative ways of exploring agriculture and this has led to an increased connection with their communities. For example the students at Chevalier, who are surrounded by dairy cows, participated in Cows Create Careers and University of New England’s Voyager Discovery program “Soil Your Undies” to get diverse perspectives.
This new respect for local agricultural industries has led to the school building a close relationship with a local dairy farmer and are embedding a dairy farm case-study in the Year Ten curriculum. It’s been a wonderful outcome for the local region. It was an extraordinary complex year and I salute all participants – there is no more important role than investing in the future of our young people and opening their eyes to the diversity of ways you have can a career that has real world impact in the agriculture sector.”
Students from Chevalier share their investigations into Regenerative Agriculture practices and fake news
The Grand Champion Archibull in 2020 was designed and painted by students at Penrith Valley Learning Centre. Pictured are students, Electra and Kandis with Lead Teacher Tara Wagner
A herd of colourful cows will make appearances on Sydney streets in 2021 as Picture You in Agriculture’s acclaimed Archibull Prize once again inspires secondary students to imagine and create a better future. The Archibull Prize is an innovative project-based learning initiative connecting students to food and fibre production within the sustainability conversation.
As part of the program schools are tasked with identifying a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal important to them and their region, exploring its challenges and opportunities. They will then design, deliver and report on their Community Action Project, create a digital learning journal and put their findings on their fibreglass cow in the form of art a case study report and an artwork on a life-size fibre glass cow featuring their future-focused solution for their area of investigation. The students will be assigned a Young Farming Champion and encouraged to identify tertiary, business and government organisations with whom they can partner in their quest to take ownership of the challenge and share their findings and recommendations.
Lynne Strong is the program director.
“This year all of our schools are located in Sydney, in clusters, which is a targeted approach to minimize our footprint and ensure teachers can take advantage of the professional learning opportunities we deliver,” she said. “We are excited to have a diverse range of schools including private and state schools, schools with low socio-economic status and schools where 97% of students are first-generation Australian with English as their second language. The Archibull Prize is proud to provide equal opportunity learning to all students, regardless of circumstance.”
Winners of the 2020 competition and Grand Champion Archibull school Penrith Valley Learning Centre will be joined in 2021 by Pymble Ladies College, James Ruse Agricultural High School, Eden College – Youth Off The Streets, Merrylands High School, The Scots College, Centre of Excellence in Ag Ed _Richmond Ag College, Mary MacKillop Catholic College and Riverstone High School.
In addition three regional schools – The Henry Lawson High School in Grenfell, Lake Illawarra High School in Wollongong and Beaudesert High School in Queensland – will re-join the program after being deferred last year due to COVID.
Schools considering engaging The Archibull Prize as part of their curriculum in 2022 are encouraged to come together to create clusters, in order to enhance their selection in this highly sought after program.
Check out some of our extraordinary past artwork finalists
Achieving best outcomes for farmers, consumers and the planet requires building deep and lasting relationships with everyone from paddock to plate. Young people may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future and they are the perfect place to start
In recent evaluation surveys it has been shown 80% of participating schools align their Archibull project to the curriculum and use it for assessment tasks. A further 20% of participating schools align their Archibull project with pillars of their strategic plan for student growth, to build capacity of school leaders, to extend gifted and talented students and to engage with their community and businesses.
“Our school plan links directly to partnered learning and transdisciplinary learning with an alignment to AgSTEM, sustainability, Aboriginal Knowledges and AgSTEM careers education. This program is a perfect fit,” Kris says.
The Archibull Prize will be embedded into the school’s curriculum and used as part of the assessment process.
“The program will be aligned to our transdisciplinary course: Applied Learning. The Year 7 focus in this course in Semester One will be Water and the World with a focus on peri urban water use. In Semester Two the focus will be Biotechnology. The Archie program will be integrated into our design thinking pedagogy. We will not only capture elements in our formative assessment, we will also utilise the program to facilitate student’s completion of our Capability framework for Year 7.”
Our world today is full of increasingly complex global issues like rising inequality, climate change, sustainability of resources and a rapidly changing economy, just to name a few. If we are to reverse the damage that has been done, and ensure a sustainable future for future generations, we need to act now.
For over a decade The Archibull Prize and our Young Farming Champions have been engaging teachers and students with Australian farmers and agriculture; providing the next generation with trusted voices and building long-lasting effective partnerships.
In 2021 this model is being extended to raise environmental awareness through the lens of agriculture by incorporating the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDG). It is a win-win model that will secure the best outcomes for farmers, consumers and the planet.
In 2021 The Archibull Prize will mirror the highly successful Kreative Koalas program with a strong focus on supporting and motivating young people to be aware of the impact of their choices, empowered to make informed decisions and inspired to act to create the future they want to see. By participating in The Archibull Prize students will look at SDGs through the lens of agriculture and work with farmers to see how their local community can meet Australia’s commitment to the Global Goals.
Work by international and Australian voices has identified eight goals as priorities for agriculture. These are:
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 14: Life Below Water
SDG 15: Life on Land
Another three goals have been identified as aligned to the benefit of Australia’s rural sector. These are:
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Utilising the theme “Connect, Collaborate, Communicate” schools participating in the 2021 Archibull Prize will be tasked with tackling one of these SDGs by working with farmers to break down global problems into realistic and achievable actions on a local level in their schools and communities.
The Archibull Prize is a perfect partnership to bring together the wants and needs of students with the wants and needs of the Global Goals and get the best outcomes for farmers, consumers and the planet.
Find out how The Archibull Prize is designed and delivered to meet the wants and needs of schools, teachers and students here
Expressions of Interest to participate are now open here
“When societies around the world were straining under the pressure young Australians were designing a future that will benefit farmers, consumers, and the planet for generations to come”
Agriculture is a sector that attracts substantial public attention. It is pivotal that the sector and everyone working in the sector can build and maintain relationships with a range of people, who often have diverse interests in what the sector does.
The building and maintaining of community relationships is crucial for the long-term future of food security. To deliver solutions that benefit the farmer, the consumer, and the planet for generations to come it is pivotal the agriculture sector takes collective action to create and deliver community engagement opportunities that encourage mutual trust and respect.
Building deep and lasting relationships between consumers and producers is at the heart of everything we do at Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA). PYiA aims to promote a positive image of Australian agriculture, encourage the uptake of agricultural careers and foster two -way conversations within the community.
To facilitate this PYiA identifies and trains emerging leaders (Young Farming Champions) in the agriculture sector to deliver our in school programs, The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas. A key strength of our in school programs is encouraging schools to identify and connect with trusted expertise in their local communities.
Asking them to take on our deep-dive, time-demanding, project-based learning programs and engage with diverse groups of people beyond the classroom seemed an impossible task.
Yet, rise to the task they did and it became abundantly clear to us that spreading the good word about Australian agriculture is not about one-day workshops or employer-sponsored conferences, but rather is dependent on the strong relationships we forge over the longer term.
Our Archibull and Kreative Koalas schools, too, came to value these partnerships and everywhere we turned we found examples of students, teachers, community, government and industry working together for a common goal of promoting prosperity while protecting the planet.
This collective action for collective impact model creates a community of people with collective intelligence.
It requires visionaries and champions within those organisations who are willing to experiment to find the most effective models.
In this post we are introducing you to some of the visionaries and champions who are supporting agriculture to build lifelong community relationships.
Local Land Services is a NSW Government land management agency delivering quality services to rural and regional landholders. Their visions and ethics align with those of PYiA and over the years we have formed a formidable partnership. In 2020 staff from LLS offices across the state worked closely with our Kreative Koalas schools.
Hunter LLS school engagement Officer Jane Lloyd-Jones was on the front line of this partnership. Building on her successful partnership with Medowie Christian School in 2019 Jane worked with Dungog Public School to raise awareness of the endangered red goshawk, and with St Brigid’s Primary School who adopted the endangered Hunter River Turtle as their mascot (and donated $300 to the Australian Reptile Park to aid its preservation). Exeter Public School and Chevalier College also benefited from visits from LLS representatives.
Pauline Dunne and Freddy Herrera from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) worked alongside Jane and the LLS, delivering presentations into schools in the Hunter to talk about biodiversity and conservation. Pauline recognised the value of this collaboration with LLS:
“Jane’s role as the Local Land Services schools education officer makes the process seamless for all of us. She was able to coordinate all the relationships between the educators and the Hunter Local Land Services and DPIE and Aussie Ark and there was a combined willingness to share networks and contacts.”
Hunter LLS and the DPIE was also invaluable in providing funding to support workshops designed specifically to meet the needs of teachers and students participating in both The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas. These workshops were facilitated by a dynamic group of leaders including Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education principal Kris Beasley, changeologist Les Robinson, science communicator Jenni Metcalfe, 21st century learning expert Josh Farr and John Holloway from the Murray Darling Basin Authority Education team.
NGOs can also play a pivotal role in raising awareness about the pivotal role farmers play in nourishing our country. OzHarvest’s FEAST, a food education program for primary students, married perfectly with Kreative Koalas and several schools chose to complete both in 2020. Annangrove Public School studied SGG 2: Zero Hunger with Kreative Koalas using their re-invigorated school garden and lessons learnt in FEAST to support the local Windsor Community Kitchen.
“We donate eggs and vegetables every fortnight to Windsor Community Kitchen and have decided that we will sponsor Windsor Community Kitchen and donate money to help them pay their rent, as well as donate food.”
Other schools participating in FEAST in conjunction with Kreative Koalas were Medowie Christian School, Primbee Public School and St Brigid’s St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School with the community being a major beneficiary of student fundraising and food growing efforts.
Indigenous influences were prominent in The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas. The Australian curriculum encourages teachers to create a culture where indigenous stories and language are fostered. More and more teachers are seeing Kreative Koalas and The Archibull Prize as ideal vehicles to foster indigenous knowledge. Many schools invited local Elders to present to students, indigenous designs were incorporated on artworks (such as the stunning rainbow serpent from Raymond Terrace Public School) and both cows and koalas supported names in local indigenous language.
“We used iridescent rainbow tiles with organic shapes to piece together a large Rainbow Serpent, to circle the design. We used no paint and created a design which literally reflects (due to the mirrored tiles) our ideas and exploration of Aboriginal stylised design and bushfire theme. Our koala will form the centrepiece of our new Aboriginal cultural garden at Raymond Terrace Public School.”
Calling on the knowledge of local heroes such as Indigenous Elders was a key part of relationships built during 2020. NSW Southern Highland schools Exeter Public and Chevalier College, who had been impacted by the 2019/2020 summer bushfires, connected with local fire brigades and used Kreative Koalas and The Archibull Prize as healing mechanisms.
“This writing [on their koala] allowed the children to express their feelings and emotions about the bushfires as it affected them and then focus on the positive aspect of the bush coming back alive. Kreative Koalas certainly has been a wonderfully informative and healing project to be a part of.”
In Kreative Koalas St Joseph’s School at Grenfell tapped into a wealth of local knowledge as they studied water sustainability. Weddin Landcare officer Melanie Cooper, John Holloway from the Murray Darling Basin Authority, Sally Russell from Lake Cowal Conservation Centre and “our local plumber” from Conron Stockrete all supported the students in their learning journey.
Similarly, in The Archibull Prize Innisfail State College in north Queensland, studying the health of their local catchment, called on a range of local experts. These included Innisfail Elder Alf Joyce (Uncle Alf), banana farmer Mark Nucifora, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Elders Innisfail and extension offices from Canegrowers.
“As an artwork, the Archibull has allowed students to engage with their region and the real-world issues they face within their futures. It has been an incredibly positive experience for all the students involved from the incursions and presentation sessions. More importantly, the painting of the cow has been a great experience for the students to connect, be creative together, communicate their ideas and support each other throughout this creative process. They have loved it and are very proud of their efforts.”
Looking back at the achievements of our 2020 Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas schools it is easy to forget that all their projects were constructed under the duress of a global pandemic. When societies around the world were straining under the pressure our young people were looking forward to the future. They were investigating, and actioning, United Nations Development Goals, using PYiA programs to heal, researching new ways to sustainably and regeneratively farm and, most importantly, making connections and forming relationships that will guide them into the bright future they deserve. Even in a pandemic we can take inspiration from our youth.
With “flexibility” being our key word for the beginning of the new decade thanks to our 2020 partners, teachers and students we are better placed for the challenge that will, no doubt, come in 2021.
Many of our 2020 schools participating in The Archibull Prize chose to investigate agriculture in their own back yards by looking at historical and current methods of farming and researching new ways to a sustainable and regenerative future. This is what they found:
Innisfail State College in northern Queensland created Guyji (the traditional Mamu word for “determined to do a certain thing”) to illustrate the story of their rivers of home – the South and North Johnston Rivers.
Year 9 art and agriculture students engaged with their region and explored issues that will determine their future, as they followed each river down either side of their Archie. The rivers of the Innisfail catchment wind through rainforest and banana plantations, dairy cows and tropical fruits, and show not only negative practices such as excessive fertiliser use and illegal dumping but regenerative agriculture and increasing biodiversity – two paths, one future .
“At the back end of the cow the two river systems meet and this is where our school is located in Innisfail. The river is depicted flowing out to the Great Barrier Reef with all that it captures from within the Cassowary Coast catchment. The Great Barrier Reef represents both the positive (with its survival) symbolised with the presence of turtles and the opposite side being depicted bleached and lifeless.”
Chevalier College in the NSW Southern Highlands also explored regenerative agriculture on their Archie named Sustaina-BULL, which was a particularly relevant topic considering much of their local area had been impacted by the bushfires of the 2019/2020 summer.
Sustaina-BULL has a map of major centres in Southern Highlands, a black side (representing Black Angus cows) showing the effects of climate change including bushfire and drought, a green side (representing Holstein Freisan cows) showing sustainable farming practices and healthy eco-systems and an udder covered with fake news headlines to address misconceptions about agriculture. It also has interactive QR codes leading to a video produced by the students.
The artwork is a combination of abstract painting, collage and 3D elements such as burnt sticks in the fire, paper pulp to give dimension to the hills of the highlands landscape and felting textural animals.
“The father and son on the rear end demonstrate the future of farming, with the interpretation being the father leading the son towards a sustainable future of farming providing food, clothing, and resources for the future population of Australia and the world.”
At St Catherine’s Catholic College in Singleton there is an Archie with a tree poking out of it. This is Regen-a-bull – the environmentally friendly Archie from the Year 7 agriculture students.
Healthy soils form the basis of Regen-a-bull and support the tree, made from the branch of a storm-damaged tree on the school grounds. Circles are used extensively to represent the cyclical nature of regenerative agriculture. There is also a wooden magpie (in tribute to the school’s resident dive-bombing menace), ryegrass seeds and a cow pat!
“We have used materials that were sourced locally or on our own school farm. We have tried to minimise impact on environment, including minimising waste, to create our Archie. Regen-A-Bull” is a timely symbol of the importance of looking after the soil if we are to mitigate climate change, improve resilience to drought, and produce healthy food for our population.”
Penrith Valley School in western Sydney took the concept of regenerative agriculture one step further by turning their Archie, Ain’t No Bull, into a working hydroponic system, decorated with themes from their Indigenous students.
The hydroponic system collects water at the Archie’s head, distributes it to the living plants on Ain’t No Bull, can store excess water, and drains used water through the udder. A porthole allows a 360o viewing of the internal assembly and functional capacity of the system. A thermometer and rain gauge allow for the measurement of weather changes over time.
“Ain’t No Bull is a unique sculpture, which has integrated the concepts of a sustainable agriculture future in the Nepean/Hawkesbury Valley. The working model of a basic hydroponic system in the Archie is a unique and interactive feature that is designed to present the concepts of a sustainable agricultural process to the broader community.”
2020 was an extreme year of challenges for our Archibull Prize participants as schools scrambled to modify the curriculum to online and remote learning during the pandemic. To incorporate the deep-dive of The Archibull Prize to this situation showed tenacity and commitment of a higher level and we applaud each and every school that completed their Archies.
The Archibull Prize operated under new model in 2020, one that encouraged partnerships with other schools and the community and asked schools to choose an agricultural issue close to their hearts. Several of our schools chose to compare natural fibres such as wool to synthetics in the world of fashion and to examine how Australian agriculture contributes to the world’s food security. Let’s meet some of our 2020 Archies.
Susie Sustain-a-bull is the name of the ‘puzzling’ Archie created by Queensland’s Kilcoy State High as they explored world food security.
“Food security is a puzzle, as the world produces enough food for all but there are still individuals and communities who are without sufficient food.”
The puzzle theme is on full display on Susie with jigsaw pieces representing both challenges and solutions to food security. The Year 10 agricultural students were shocked to learn 1 in 5 Australians go to bed hungry and wanted to use their artwork to engage people in discussions about this topic, particularly as it is generally unspoken in the media or amongst people who never go hungry. To this end, one of the prominent puzzle pieces is labelled “You”.
“This represents every person as it is considered everyone’s responsibility to do their bit to help all achieve, obtain and maintain food security; even if just in a small way. This piece hopefully gets people to think about what they can do to help solve the problem.”
Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School in western Sydney partnered with local feeder school Leonay Primary School to produce their Archie named Piece by Piece to Peace. The students from Stages 3, 4, 5 and 6 sought to understand why synthetic materials are the backbone of fast fashion, rather than organic alternatives.
They expressed their findings in finger painting on a split personality cow they turned into a front loading washing machine to highlight the damage microfibres from synthetics create in our oceans.
“One side shows the dirty world that we have created, always using, always consuming, always throwing away. The things we use are often poisonous to us and our earth, and no matter what we do, no matter how many times we manipulate the synthetic product into something new, it remains a synthetic monster that hurts nature. The other side expresses wonder, beauty and the calm wave towards rest and contentment. No synthetics. No darkness! ”
The standout blue wave on Piece by Piece to Peace is inspired by the artwork The Great Wave by Hokusai and was used by the students to illustrate the massive changes needed to create a more sustainable world of clothing and fashion.
Launceston Church Grammar School in Tasmania also looked at fast fashion, comparing a range of popular disposable clothing items to the biodegradable and long-lasting properties of wool. The result was their Archie named Woolba.
Year 9 geography students took a deep dive into the world of wool – visiting local farms, chatting to wool-brokers and engaging with our wool Young Farming Champions. The ugg-boot wearing Woolba has a 3D diorama along her spine showing off the process of wool production and an in-built screen, which displays the school’s digital learning from The Archibull Prize.
“Through our in-class investigation of the fashion and textiles industry, our scientific investigation of safety of fabrics, and our interactive learning with genuine and passionate members of the wool industry, it became overwhelmingly certain that wool is the best material for clothing, and that we need to foster a transition to slower fashion, where people choose fewer items made in fair conditions.”