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:

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

HighlyCommended_16x9_SSP_AgDayComp_Winner 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.

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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.

Bellbird Public School empowering young people to embed the tools and desires to make positive choices for themselves and our planet.

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We asked the teachers at Bellbird Public School why they wanted to participate in Kreative Koalas

They answered

As a staff our main motivation to participate in this opportunity was to provide authentic opportunities for students so they could recognise problems, design solutions and be part of making a positive impact upon their own and everyone else’s future.

We know that children are our future and it is our role as educators to

Each of the initiatives we have undertaken through this project have continued, we are still working on and improving applications to embed them in all our practices and more importantly into the lives of our community members.

 

What was their big idea

Bellbird Public School designed their Term 2 K-6 learning programs around a whole school theme of War on Waste. This underpinned and supported all of the initiatives we undertook as part of our participation in the Kreative Koalas Create a Brighter Future Program.

What Happened

All classes discussed what they felt were the main issues impacting upon the people and environment surrounding Bellbird and three major directions emerged;

  1. the need to reduce the amount of rubbish we as consumers were contributing to the environment
  2. the need to be proactive in improving and sustaining the quality of our immediate environment (Black Creek)
  3. our responsibility as a group to aid people less fortunate than ourselves by utilising existing resources

Once these three challenges were posed, classes and stages began planning ways they could contribute to solving them.

 Initiative 1 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (SDG 12 .5 – Responsible Consumption and Production)

We conducted a whole school rubbish audit. We sorted and weighed the rubbish collected from all bins in our school. We were amazed at many things; how much paper ended up in the rubbish, the amount of packaging and the amount of food being wasted.

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Classes and our school parliament had many discussions about a plan of action. We bought individual coloured bins to sort rubbish, paper recycling and plastic recycling. These were implemented in both eating areas and the teacher’s staffroom. We access the Return and Earn program with our appropriate containers.

Classrooms had recycling bins and small rubbish bins added. Recycling bins are emptied regularly by our Environment Ministers.

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Stage 2 set up worm farms and collect food scraps daily from classrooms and eating areas. These worm farms fertilise our gardens.

Each Wednesday is Waste Free Wednesday. Through this we encourage all families to making both cost effective choices and environmentally sustainable choices about the foods that are purchased and provided for daily consumption at school. It was highly evident from our rubbish audit the high percentage of pre-packaged food that was filling lunchboxes. Our community were offered alternate ideas and suggestions such as buying in bulk and dividing into portion sizes in reusable containers and cooking more nutritious options.

Bellbird 6 Waste Free Wednesday

Outcomes

Awareness amongst students and staff has increased greatly about the amount of unnecessary waste we as consumers perpetuate. As our theme exposed us to information and facts about the Great Southern Garbage Patch, landfill required for extraordinary amounts of discarded clothing, coffee cups, water bottles and a wide range of reusable items, we have made changes to reduce our impact as a school and community. We have reduced the amount of rubbish being brought to school in lunch boxes, better reused resources such as paper that was going into landfill, utilised snippets from our community’s home gardens to create new potted plants to decorate our school but most importantly we have all started making conscious decisions about how our consumer choices impact upon the environment.

Initiative 2 – Improve and sustain health of our local creek and surrounding environment (SDG 15.1 Life on Land)

With the support of Cessnock City Council, Hunter Water and Bug Blitz, Stage 2 have participated in ongoing water testing, bug detecting, plant and animal species identification, weed identification and rubbish removal. Through these educational and awareness building opportunities, students have learnt about how local mines impact upon our waterways and the responsibility they have as residents to maintain their local environment.

 

Outcomes:

Students have claimed responsibility for this part of their environment. Small groups of volunteers spend their lunch play time over at the creek with a teacher ensuring that it is clean, clear of rubbish, and conducting testing that is recorded directly onto an app. and uploaded onto the net. Classes visit as whole groups to undertake more thorough data collection. Our General Assistant keeps the area directly adjacent to our school mown for easy access. It is an enjoyable place to be and a lunch time opportunity students line up to participate in. Pride in and group responsibility for the area have increased.

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Initiative 3: To provide assistance to those in need through utilising existing resources

(SDG 12.3 Responsible Production & Consumption)

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Kindergarten sort a local charity that they could support and found Hunter Hands of Hope. This service provides daily meals and other services to the homeless in our local area. Blanchies Café in Cessnock kindly donated their left over food items that our Kinder classes cooked up into hearty nutritious meals that were delivered to the drop in centre each week by Kinder students with their parents and teachers.

As a school we have participated in terracycling of dental hygiene items, plastic lids to be made into prosthetics and reading glasses to be distributed in third world countries.

Outcomes:

This initiative was very well received by both the charity and the people who gratefully received these meals.  Both the Kinder students and their parents benefitted from this opportunity to support those in our community who are in need of a helping hand. It too provided a waste reduction of valuable food from the business. Instilling the mindset that we can all help others has been a wonderful trait to nurture.

The collection of the other items was well supported and continues.

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What Did they Notice Along the Way?

*All students K-6 have had the opportunity to be involved.

*Knowledge of environmental facts has increased.

*Desire to devise plans to take action for change have developed.

*Students have included their parents and family members in their learning journey.

*Everybody has made some impact upon positive choices for a sustainable environment both at school and home.

*All of the initiatives we have implemented continue to develop and enhance our students’ lives and those of our community.

Wow – awesome Bellbird Public School

#SDG2 SDG4 #SDG12 #SDG13 #SDG15

KK Sponsors

 

ANNOUNCING OUR 2019 NATIONAL AGDAY CAREERS COMPETITION

Imagine your dream career in agriculture !!!!!!

In conjunction with Sydney Science Park we are launching our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition to coincide with National Agriculture Day on November 21. The competition encourages students in Years 5-12 to envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture.

Aimee Snowden from Little Brick Pastoral has created ten STEM agricultural photographs showcasing LEGO® minifigures to represent science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The careers are an agribusiness banker, an agriculture teacher, an agronomist, a biosecurity officer, an engineer, a geneticist, a GIS specialist, a mechanic, a scientist and a stock and station agent.

Lego Characters

Students may choose one of Aimee’s characters on which to base their entry or alternatively may build and photograph their own LEGO® character. They are then asked to identify their interests and the subjects they excel at, research pathways they might take to achieve their agricultural career dream and to write a day-in-the-life story on their chosen career.

Entries will take the form of an infographic and a $2000 prize pool is on offer.

FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW HERE  

For Teachers

The Where Might a Career in Agriculture Take You unit of inquiry has been created for students and teachers participating in The Archibull Prize.    It  can easily be adapted by teachers to meet the brief of the National AGDay Careers Competition. If your school would like to hear from a Young Farming Champion please contact us here 

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices #STEMCareers

Competition Details

Greg Mills and Angela Colliver win 2019 Meat Industry Trainer of the Year Award

Picture You in Agriculture is a family thing and there are many people who support us and what we do. Two of the wonderful people who we consider part of our family are Greg Mills and Angela Colliver who work in partnership as FutureGen Education. On Wednesday, March 27 they were recognised for their innovative training programs in meat processing plants across New South Wales.

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Greg Mills and Angela Colliver 

Held at the Gold Coast, the MINTRAC National Training Conference celebrates those providing education and training services to meat processors. The 2019 Meat Industry Initiative Award was presented to Angela Colliver Consulting Services for the programs Greg and Angela have developed to introduce school teachers to the industry.

“The award is a recognition of what can be achieved when content is well matched to the curriculum and teachers are given access to industry facilities and industry experts,” Greg says.

The program involves engaging teachers in a suite of Technology Mandatory training days, which have been held at high schools, meat processors and training organisations including Canley Vale High School, James Ruse Agricultural High School, TEYS Australia, Gundagai Meat Processors, JBS Australia and RuralBiz Training.

Each training day was accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and attending teachers were accredited with six hours of professional learning. Plant tours were facilitated and these introduced teachers to a range of processing operations including biosecurity risks, ethical handling of animals, use of robotics and packaging.

The training initiative attracted 173 teachers who teach Technology Mandatory, Food Studies or Agricultural Studies in Years 7-8 in schools and their feedback has been very positive:

  • “I will be encouraging teachers I know to implement plant tours and these educational resources into their programs as our schools need to provide educational learning that is relevant to the employment opportunities for this region in the future”.
  • “As I was taken through the abattoirs this experience will improve the way in which I explain the processing in the Beef Product Study.”
  • “This was the most wonderful PD I’ve ever attended. I was able to bring resources home and implement them immediately into comprehensive programs provided by the course presenter on the day.”

The training initiative has been re-registered with NESA for 2019.

Paddock to Plate Essentials

Check out Greg and Angela’s award winning Careers and School Resources here 

Congratulations Angela and Greg.

Vote for your favourite Archie – Pick the People’s Choice winner for the Archibull Prize 2018

Its that time of year again where we break all records and the community votes for their favourite Archie.

The Archibull Prize 2018 People’s Choice Award is now open for voting by you

Your favourites need your support

Its time to rally your family, your friends, your enemies, your communities, the world to vote for your favourite Archie for People’s Choice

Reach out via school newsletters, word of mouth, social media, TV and print media – the world is so connected, so many opportunities

VOTE NOW

Please click on the Archie to see a larger view

Voting closes 5 pm ( Sydney Australia time ) Monday 12th November 2018

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