R.M.Williams Outback Magazine showing young people Who they Can Be in the world of agriculture.

R.M.Williams – the name is a siren call to regional, rural and remote Australia; the company is grounded in the outback; the man was a legend. Twenty-two years ago R.M.Williams OUTBACK magazine was launched with the aim of showcasing the positive stories of those beyond our city limits. OUTBACK has become a celebration of our people and places and is cherished not only by those living in the bush, but by Australians from all walks of life; a vital and living connection bridging the oft-called urban-rural divide.

The ethos of R.M.Williams OUTBACK mirrors that of Picture You in Agriculture. We identify brilliant young agriculturists, equip them with skills and confidence, and send them into the broader world to share their own positive stories. Through The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas these stories reach thousands of students and teachers, their families and their communities.

PYiA believes in the power of partnerships and of shouting-out to those who share our values so we are proud to announce some stories from R.M.Williams OUTBACK now appear on The Archibull Prize website, where teachers and students can easily access real-life examples of careers and sustainable communities.

One of these stories is about Bald Blair Angus, owned and operated by Sam and Kirsty White. If Kirsty’s name seems familiar it is because she has recently hosted one of our Youth Voices Leadership Team’s Leadership is Language sessions. You see, our stories are interconnected.

Best practice agriculture, role models in agriculture and the diversity and breadth of exciting careers in our sector are celebrated by both PYiA and Australia’s premier magazine, R.M.Williams OUTBACK. Telling stories has never felt so good.

Leadership is Language – meet rural women Rebel Black and Kirsty White

At Picture You in Agriculture we are big fans of project based learning and are putting it into action. We work with young people in agriculture and young people in schools supporting them to be partners in their learning through co-leading change with their peers, leaders, students  and teachers. We are supporting them to have the capacity to set goals, reflect and act responsibly to effect change. We are supporting them to take others on a journey that sees leadership is about:

  • acting rather than being acted upon;
  • shaping rather than being shaped; and
  • making responsible decisions and choices rather than accepting those determined by others.

We are piloting this model within our organisation through the Youth Voices Leadership team 

As an example of the creativity and leadership within the team the Youth Voices Leadership Team  sub commitee the Innovation Hub kick-started a new initiative in June with the launch of Leadership is Language

 

In the Leadership is Language webinar series our Young Farming Champions have the opportunity to host a webinar and interview some of the world’s foremost thought leaders on communicating how we can show leadership by the language and communication styles we use. 

Our guests challenge us to change the way we talk as leaders by learning the language of creativity, collaboration and commitment. They  illustrate the powerful intersection of communication and leadership and offer simple steps to transform your thinking, your influence and the lives in your span of care and how we can reinvent our leadership style to meet the evolving demands of the new marketplace.

We are not promising an easier, shorter path to leadership, but we are offering one that leaves everyone feeling capable and confident, empowered, and eager to dive back in the next day

The series opened with YFC Lucy Collingridge sitting down for a chat with Dr Nicole McDonald, a social science researcher using vocational psychology to investigate the future workforce requirements of the Australian cotton industry. Lucy and Nicole discussed the difference between “we need to talk” and “let’s talk”. If you missed out on the live show, you can view a recording here. Nicole followed her presentation with an online webinar for YFCs asking them to take a reflective look at their communication, through both their own lens and through the lens of their audience.

Nicole invited the interactive webinar participants to:

Next up in the series will be Kirsty White interviewing Rebel Black .

Rebel is a successful global business woman operating from her home at Lightning Ridge in Outback NSW. In 2015 she founded THE Rural Woman, an online community for rural woman around the world encouraging them to #thrive, #heal and #evolve. Rebel describes herself as a human agronomist and syntropic entrepreneur.

Kirsty lives and works on a family farm called Bald Blair on the Northern Tablelands of NSW with her husband Sam and two sons Abbott and Arthur. Together their vision is to build a happy and healthy family business, which includes running an angus stud, Kelly’s Cottage farm stay and farm tours.  Kirsty regularly participates in the Ladies in Livestock program run by the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and is a lifetime member of THE Rural Woman. You can read more about Kirsty in this blog post from Lynne Strong.

During their discussion for Leadership is Language Kirsty and Rebel will share insights such as:

  • lifelong learning and leadership development and prioritising your personal growth
  • take every opportunity, even when it scares you
  • great leadership is not a position or authority, it is a mindset
  • your work matters and it has a ripple effect, so nurture and grow yourself as a matter of priority
  • ‘you don’t even have to climb, you just have to stop holding onto the bottom’ A. Hicks – you will lead if you learn how to be fully realised as you

and as a speical treat we are shaing Kirsty and Rebel’s interview with you

Excting times for our Young Farming Champions – what a wonderful opportunity to see and hear from thought leaders, coaches and mentors in our not-to-missed Leadership is Language series. and

Speaking of  inspirational people catch this episode of Wellbeing Wednesday with host Cynthia Mahoney and Louise Thomson and special guest our very own Dr  Jo Newton OAM.

Australian Agriculture beams live into New York City

Through The Archibull Prize we shine a spotlight on the wondrous range of careers available within Australia agriculture. We do this by pairing schools with Young Farming Champions, facilitating career competitions which teach young people how to hone their employability skills and wirte a resume that helps them stand out from the crowd

We also identify others doing great stuff highlighting the diversity of careers in agriculture and the diversity of people chosing those careers.

One of these partners is the Visible Farmer Project, a series of short-films telling the stories of women working in agriculture and promoting the fact that 49% of all food in Australia is produced by women. So successful has this project been that yesterday it was selected to feature at World Webfest Mania, an innovative film festival right in the heart of New York City!

Gisela Kaufmann and Carsten Orlt the dynamic duo behind Visible Farmer 

Check out this Facebook feed to find out more about the live streaming event and the Q&A session.

Our extensive monitoring and evaluation programs tell us it is absolutely pivotal for agriculture to show people who they can be.

We know that when young people first consider the idea of a career in agriculture their thoughts run to farmers, shearers and old blokes with dogs but after participating in The Archibull Prize, where they learn from our partners such as Visible Farmer, they expand this vision to include scientists, agronomists, biosecurity officers and veterinarians.  In fact they learn that in agriculture is the place they want to be.

We are proud to showcase Visible Farmer on the Archie website and in doing so, beleive the message reaches even more young minds in rural and urban Australia.

 

Kylie Schuller – the journey so far which includes a move to America in March 2020!!!!

Kylie Schuller Photo Source RAS of NSW

March 2020. Coronavirus is reaching its tentacles around the world, spreading fear and causing unrest and uncertainty. Does this sound like the time to take on a new role in North America? Heck, yeah! Give Kylie Schuller a challenge and sit back and watch her meet it.

Kylie Schuller is one of our earliest Young Farming Champions, having joined the program seven years ago in 2013.

“The Young Farming Champions program taught me so much about how to communicate and get your messaging right, skills which apply every day in my job,” she says.

With her recent move to Atlanta, Georgia, USA we thought it was an ideal time to catch up with her journey so far and find out what advice she can give to current YFC and the new cohort embarking on the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program.

Kylie grew up on a beef feedlot in rural NSW and her family established a Shorthorn stud in 2001 but she is the first to admit she was not enamoured with agriculture growing up.

“I won’t lie to you, when I was younger living on the farm wasn’t something I was proud of or even enjoyed,” she says. “There was lots of hard work to be done and it seemed to always need to be done when it was 40°C or bucketing down raining. I wish that I could tell you that there was a moment that changed my life, that made me realise how important beef production and agriculture is to our society, but there wasn’t! Somewhere between being obsessed with “Home and Away” in year 7 and travelling across America looking at cows on my “gap” year I found a passion for beef production, second to none!”

Kylie completed a Bachelor of Livestock Science at UNE in 2011 and soon after took a role with domestic foodservice supplier Andrews Meat Industries. Her role was initially involved with administration and support and over the years has grown as the company, too, has grown and expanded. She has been exposed to all aspects of premium beef brand supply chain management and in March accepted a new position with Andrews Meat Industries as their North American Sales Manager. Her role entails introducing high quality Australian Wagyu beef to distributors, chefs and restaurants.


Jacinta Geddes and Kylie Schuller (right) celebrate Andrew Meats winning the Dick Stone Perpetual Trophy in 2014. Photo source . Listen to Kylie on the Country Hour  here 

In today’s world young people may move through many different organisations in the quest for the perfect job but Kylie has remained loyal to the one company and is now seeing a myriad of benefits from this association. What are her key messages?

  • Invest in Lifelong Learning: “I find that the more I learn, the more I have to learn. I think this is important to consider in every aspect of life, but particularly when it comes to profession. You will always benefit from a new perspective.”
  • Give Back: “If there are organisations and opportunities from who you have benefited then a great way to support them is by giving back. I am very grateful for many of the opportunities I have been given over the years and aim to support those organisations with my time and energy wherever possible to ensure that the next generation gets the same opportunities.”
  • Be Customer Focussed: “For me relationships are everything. I find that the best way to achieve anything is through long term engagement and genuinely caring about the different stakeholders of your operation. In sales it’s really important to build that connection, but I think it is just as important to have those relationships across the entire supply chain so we are all engaged and working for the common goal.”
  • Value Networks: “The world becomes a much smaller place when we connect with people. Whether that be in person or online, I think, especially now, people want genuine connection and building up our networks and how we engage with them is a big benefit to us all.”
  • Loyalty: “Some people are so eager to climb the ladder, get the next achievement or accomplishment that they end up jumping around between positions and never really dig into a role. I think if you find a company that fits your mission and values, then you should stick it out, because yes opportunities take time to develop, but there is a lot to be learned in the process.”

Kylie recently shared these key messages and learnings with the UNE Agriculture Industry Connect podcast series, and spoke about the challenges of being in America one week before lockdown.

Her role with Andrews Meat also involves the screening of applicants for some roles and she looks for people with multiple interests and dedication to the agricultural industry, whether that be by attending conferences, listening to webinars or participating in programs such as Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders.

“There is so much information available that there is no excuse not to be engaging with industry and we want someone who goes beyond clocking in and clocking out.”

With that in mind what advice would Kylie give to our new cohort of Young Farming Champions?

“Be open minded – taking in the experiences and perspective of the people around you is so valuable and an incredible opportunity,” she says. “And use it – actually get out there and do the work. It’s all well and good to talk about something in the room, but it is getting out and doing the work of connecting with people about their food and fibre that is the most rewarding.”

 

 

 

Celebrating Partnerships with Jane Lloyd-Jones from Hunter Local Land Services

At Picture You in Agriculture we identify emerging leaders in the agriculture sector who want to share their story and pride in the sector they have chosen for their career journey far and wide.

We provide them access to a cohort of experts who give them  communication and presentation skills training and consumer insights

The key to all training success is applying what you learn.  What a powerful experience it is for them to facilitate our  inschool programs The  Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas that have collectively reached 400 schools and 300,000 students in the last 10 years.

This innovative and impactful program model also surrounds them and the teachers and students with intergenerational community expertise

During the last few years (and continuing during 2020’s challenging times) the Kreative Koalas program has been blessed to work with organisations who support each other and the people we work with to be part of life changing opportunities for their communities. An organisation that shares this ethos is Hunter Local Land Services and driving our partnerhsip with them and the Kreative Koalas schools is school engagement officer Jane Lloyd-Jones. Jane has made many visits to schools, coordinated excursions and starred in videos and today we sit down to discover how Jane came into this role.

Jane Lloyd Jones with students at Kreative Koalas Awards

“My appreciation for the environment started at a young age when I spent many weekends going for walks through the local bushland with my family. This love for the environment led me to complete a Bachelor of Science majoring in Resource and Environmental Management at Macquarie University.”  Jane says.

Upon graduating Jane went to work with Sydney Water where she was involved with the preparation of Reviews of Environmental Factors and Environmental Impact Statements. It was also where she got her first taste for working with schools when she developed presentations for young students about saving water.

“This was really my favourite part of my role, as I was out in the community interacting with school students and I really felt like I was making a difference,” she says.

With a fire for working with young people and the community lit, Jane moved onto Gosford Council. In this role she was responsible for the writing and implementation of the Stormwater Quality Management Plan.

“Implementation of this plan included many very successful community education and engagement programs, including starting up the Waterwatch program in the Gosford area,” she says.

Jane continued to build and consolidate her experience in community engagement when she worked as Coastcare Facilitator for the Mid North Region, assisting local groups to gain grant funding for coastal environmental rehabilitation projects. Then is was time to start a family.

At PYiA we realise and value the importance of finding a work-life balance. It is not all about career but being able to be flexible in our professional lives. As YFC Bessie Thomas once told us: “I can have it all but I might not be able to have it all at the same time!” So, Jane took a break to raise her children and when the time was right she returned to the career pathway she had cultivated.

“I decided to return to work and I started the part time role of Waterwatch assistant at the Hunter Central Rivers CMA,” she says. “This role has developed and broadened over the years, particularly when the CMA became LLS and our business outcomes broadened.

As school engagement officer, I really enjoy interacting with and helping school students to learn in a fun, engaging way.  I enjoy the close working relationship I have with a number of our partners, including local and state government, Landcare and not for profit organisations such as Picture You in Agriculture.”

In 2019 Jane and Hunter Local Land Services worked closely with Medowie Christian School in Kreative Koalas to develop a project around clean water and sanitation. This led the school to being named Grand Champion Community Project for Change. Catch a video of Jane and Medowie teacher Martha Atkins here.

It is partnerships like this that make PYiA’s in-school programs so successful and ensures that vital community good messages are shared far and wide

We  look forward to many more years working with Jane and Hunter Local Land Services to build resilient communities in productive and healthy landscapes..

 

 

 

Keeping it in the (NSW Farmers) Family – Turning up can take you a lot of places

The Howard family carrying on a proud advocacy tradition 

Here at Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) we believe in fostering partnerships with others who share our values to promote Australian Agriculture. Many of our Young Farming Champions alumniare proud advocates who readily volunteer to amplify the voices of these organisations.  A perfect example is NSW Farmers which in it’s various incarnations has supported the agricultural industry in NSW since the 1800s, advocating for rural industries and country people in times of both peace and war.

Dione Howard is a veterinarian with Local Land Services in Wagga Wagga and has been a Young Farming Champion since 2015. She is particularly interested in agricultural policy development and was the inaugural WoolProducers Youth Ambassador, which saw her attend WoolProducers board meetings.

“I had very little experience with policy prior to the Youth Ambassador role. It has opened up a whole new world in the agricultural space and I feel that I now have a much clearer idea of how decisions are made that affect farmers and people like myself as a veterinarian.” say Dione

Dione is now a graduation of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, is on the PYiA board and is the Vice-Chair for the Youth Voices Leadership Team. She is also  Secretary/Treasurer for her local NSW Farmer’s branch, following in the footsteps of her father Graeme who was a branch and district chairman for 15 years from the late 1980s.

Graham Howard and Dione share a love of sheep and advocacy 

“My family has always shown me what being part of a community is about, whether it is volunteering for local sporting clubs, P&C committees or being a member of the local show society.  When we’d take Dad to the plane to head to Sydney for the NSW Farmers annual conference I had an understanding, even from an early age, that he was off to help make decisions that were for the benefit of farmers. We’d stand there at the airport in our flannelette pyjamas and dressing gowns in the middle of July waving him off to the big smoke. It takes a lot to leave the family and the farm. It was a family ritual that left a last impression. ”

In his years with NSW Farmers Graeme was involved with the big issues of the day, namely water rights, native vegetation management and Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD).

“It’s important for farmers to have a voice and seat of power about the issues that affect them and they look to NSW Farmers to address these concerns. Being a part of NSW Farmers also allowed me to understand a range of issues beyond my own industry, to build networks and to see the key players in the agri-political arena in action.” Graham says

Graeme’s grandfather was involved with early farming advocacy organisations in the 1950s and 60s, which has instilled a legacy in Dione and her siblings.

“I’ve always told them the world is run by those who turn up, and to take advantage of any opportunity. Turning up can take you a lot of places.” says Graham

Dione sees her role with NSW Farmers as the next step in her own advocacy journey, being a voice for primary producers and the rural communities they live and work in.

“I felt that becoming a member of my local NSW Young Farmers branch is a way to give back to my local community. Rural and regional Australia has been hit with drought, bushfires and now COVID-19, and Eastern Riverina (where our Young Farmer branch extends) has unfortunately felt the force of each. In the ‘old’ days (aka pre COVID) the face to face branch meetings provided a forum for young motivated agriculturalists to catch up over a beverage and discuss issues they face. We might not be meeting face to face at the moment, but we are tackling the challenges of late head-on. This includes making the most of being ‘tech natives’, providing virtual support to agriculturalists in our region through online meetings – as well as making sure valued positions in our community (eg Farm Counsellors) are here to stay.”

We applaud the Howard family for their contribution to agricultural policy development and their commitment to NSW Farmers and we look forward to watching Dione’s career flourish as she follows her father’s advice to grab any opportunity.

 

Investing in young people has an extraordinary multiplier effect – Welcome to Yacker

As the founder of Picture You in Agriculture with a life long goal of seeing young people thrive in business and life this week has been highly rewarding.

Young people can find themselves in life threatening situations overnight. Having the strength, courage and confidence to move forward optimistically is more probable if they are surrounded by a tribe of people lifting them up.  Kudos to Dr Jo Newton OAM who has faced so much and given so much back in her short life.

Another Young Farming Champion dedicated to supporting people in rural and regional Australia to thrive is our YVLT Chair Emma Ayliffe who has an extraodinary capacity to identify and fill unmet needs for farmers everywhere. Today we are excited to share with you Emma’s latest offering. Join us in downloading YACKER  a new app created by Emma and her business partner Heath McWhirter to encourages conversations, not keyboard wars

The concept allows farmers to bypass the often impersonal world of social media and texting and connect to others in the sector via the good old fashioned telephone – at a time that suits them.

Developed by Emma and Heath from Summit Ag in Griffith, Yacker is an app that allows farmers to utilise their free time, ask questions and chat to those in the know.

“There’s nothing worse than calling people at inconvenient times and playing phone tag, or relying on texting, which doesn’t always suit farmers.

We know often one of our clients has knowledge that would benefit another, and we’ve developed Yacker to establish that connection. With Yacker you can communicate over the phone to people that you know in your network or search the Yacker community for a topic of discussion and reach out to someone new.”
Joining Yacker is as simple as downloading the free app onto either an iPhone or Android phone, setting up a profile, asking a question and setting your status as “Free for a Yack.” Time spent in the tractor or on the road can now be spent catching up and connecting with your agricultural community, getting answers to your questions or even organising a farm tour as part of your next holiday.
Yacker is all about identifying when people have free time for a chat, It uses visual cues such as online functionality to indicate when people have time for a meaningful conversation, a flagging function that allows you to be notified when people come online, and a discussion point you can use to generate conversation with other users you may not know so well or ask a question of your wider community.” says Emma and Heath


Yacker was released on June 8 and is attracting a growing number of subscribers including Scott Leslie, a grazier and farmer from “Gulthul Station” at Euston NSW. “Yacker allows me to connect with people when I know they are free to talk. I’m often driving long distances and it’s good to be able to talk with others doing the same,” he says. “Yacker has also helped me connect with another grower in Carrathool and discuss my question of how to bury barely and store it in the ground for tight seasons.”

Download Yacker today for free and start creating conversations.

The Picture You in Agriculture team want to thank Yacker’s supporting partners for investing in capacity building for people in rural and regional Australia.

Contact: Summit Ag

Emma Ayliffe M: 0458 307 347  E: emma.ayliffe@summitag.com.au

Heath McWhirter M: 0428 386 393 E: heath.mcwhirter@summitag.com.au

Yacker website

 

Emma Ayliffe and Marlee Langfield show the value of Place-Based Leadership skills for rural Australia

As part of our series showcasing champions in government, not for profits and the private sector doing great stuff we will be sharing stories about rural entrepreneurs, community champions and young people walking the talk as role models.

The research shows for young people in rural, regional and remote Australia to navigate change and take advantage of agricultural and STEM career pathways in their region they have to see “what and who they can be”.

Today we are showcasing two of our Young Farming Champions who epitomise place based leadership at the highest level and are using what they have learnt on their journey to multiply other leaders in their region.

First Hilux out of the shed is Emma Ayliffe followed by  cropping farmer Marlee Langfield is spending plenty of time on her tractor in the next few weeks.

Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) believes in giving voice to young leaders in rural Australia. It does this by equipping them with skills to communicate their stories, in positive terms, to varied audiences, and by providing a safe place to practice what they have learnt. We call these people our Young Farming Champions (YFC).

YFC understand that in order to create stronger communities in regional, rural and remote Australia place-based leadership is key. Leaders working in their own regions, with their own people, are highly motivated with a strong desire to capitalise on future economic opportunities.

Here we shine the spotlight on two of our successful place-based leaders: Emma Ayliffe and Marlee Langfield.

As often the youngest person sitting on boards and committees Emma has come a long way from her childhood tailing wild merinos on stations west of Port Augusta. Today she is a respected agronomist, business owner, farmer and community leader.

Emma Ayliffe cofounder of Summit Ag, entrepreneur and board member

Emma joined the YFC program in 2015 and has been an active member ever since, rising to the position of Chair of the Youth Voices Leadership Team (for YFC alumni) in 2020. In these short five years Emma began her working life as a cotton agronomist on the lakebeds south of Menindee, was head-hunted by Elders to fill a combined research, development and agronomy role, and in 2018 co-founded agricultural consultancy Summit Ag.

Along the way she has been a committed community and industry leader with roles including:

Emma has presented at various industry events including the 2019 Summer Grains Conference and the 2019 PYiA Professional Learning Weekend.

In 2020 Emma was named a finalist in the NSW Young Achiever Awards in recognition of her leadership in rural Australia.

Marlee Langfield Photographer Catherine Forge Source Museum of Victoria

As CEO of Cowra agribusiness Wallaringa Trust, farmer and grain grower Marlee is a steward of the land and a leader in her community. Her family have been farming around Cowra for five generations, three of which have been on Wallaringa.

Marlee joined the YFC program in 2016 and in 2020 took on the position of Social Media Co-coordinator, a natural progression for a young woman already holding leadership positions within her local community including:

In 2019 Marlee’s farming journey was highlighted in the Invisible Farmer project and in 2020 she is furthering her leadership journey as part of the Grain Growers Limited Social Leadership Program. Once graduated Marlee is set to become part of the #grains100 alumni -a group of 100 influential and powerful voices that can communicate critical subjects beyond the farm gate.

“I believe communities need creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. Transition of leadership from one generation to another is inevitable and if we, as young people, want to breathe life into our communities and see them continue from strength to strength we need to come to the table and be active participants.”

Marlee and Emma both believe one of the important facets of leadership is mentorship of the next generation, and in this they welcome Jess Fearnley to the role of Cultivate Intern with the Youth Voices Leadership Team..

Jess Fearnley Cultivate Growing Young Leaders program participant and Australian Women in Agriculture Youth Committee member

Jess is one of our current participants in the Cultivate Growing Young Leaders program  with expressions of interest now open. Successful applicants will receive a two-year package of support including media training, networking and mentorship opportunities to help them share their stories with the nation and graduate as Young Farming Champions.

Jess, who began her YFC journey in 2019, is already displaying leadership potential being on the Australian Women in Agriculture Youth Committee. PYiA looks forward to giving voice to yet another place-based leader in rural Australia.

 

 

Using agriculture as a lens and working with champions and clusters to provide educational equity for young Australians

Everyone benefits when we work together to get best outcomes for students in rural Australia. Western Sydney University hosted students from Wee Waa and Lake Cargelligo for a taste of uni experience 

This post will be part of a series sharing the partnerships Picture You in Agriculture is nurturing to support community champions and organisations who are working together to provide young people with world class learning opportunities through the lens of agriculture.

At Picture You in Agriculture our goal is to support government, not for profits and the private sector and the champions in those sectors doing great stuff to get more great stuff done

The research tells us if Australia invests it time, people, money and expertise in the right places some great stuff can be done.

We have uncovered extraordinary reseach!!!

Did you know for example

  • Australia could add more than $50B to its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by improving educational outcomes for students in regional, rural and remote areas of the country. Source 
  • Place based leadership will create stronger regions. For regions to capitalise on future economic opportunities and build resilience to climatic events identifying and developing local leaders and champions now is critical. Source 
  • Young agriculturalists and young consumers share many common concerns and hopes for the food system they are inheriting, and a strong desire to be involved in securing its future. Young people may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future, yet too often their voices are not heard. Providing them with leadership skills, the opportunity to work together and supporting them to creatively problem solve and communicate their solutions will empower them to solve tomorrows problems today and have their voices heard.
  • The power of rural entrepreneurs, community champions and young people walking the talk as role models. For young people to navigate change and take advantage of agricultural and STEM career pathways in their region they have to see “what and who they can be”. Source 

In our post today we showcase the committment of Kris Beazley – Principal of the Centre of Agricutlural Excellence at Western Sydney University Richmond Campus to achieve educational equity for young people in Western Sydney and rural NSW.

Firstly some background.

In December 2008 the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians defined two goals:

  1. Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence, and
  2. All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.

By design the Australian Curriculum provides a foundation to deliver on Goal 2

Achieving Goal 1, is much more challenging and Australia is yet to overcome the enormous challenge of providing quality education to those outside urban centres . This is equally relevant to students in lower socio-economic areas.

Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) has the capacity and experience to support all agencies delivering equity to Australian schooling, whether those agencies be educational, government, non-profits, industry or community. But to do this we need partnerships with champions.

Kris Beazley, Principal of the Centre of Agricultural Excellence at Western Sydney University Richmond Campus, is one such champion. With a passion for project-based and place-based learning Kris recognised PYiA ticked all the Australian curriculum boxes and was eager to incorporate it into her teachings.

This collaboration between Kris and PYiA took flight in 2019 when, under Kris’s recommendation, the Colyton Learning Community, a collection of schools from lower socio-economic areas in western Sydney, participated in the Kreative Koalas program. PYiA believes clustering models such as this are one of the most important ways in which educational equity can be achieved by minimising time and effort required to roll out a program, while maximising expertise and resources.

As well as the Colyton Learning Community, a cluster of schools in the Hunter Valley/Port Stephens area also participated in Kreative Koalas, following on from the launch of the program in 2018 with schools from the Young/Goulburn region of NSW.

The cluster model has also been successfully used with The Archibull Prize in both urban and rural environments. In 2018 four schools from north-western NSW combined as Moree Small Schools to study the wool industry, while five schools under the banner of Little Bay Community of Schools in southern Sydney worked with mentors from neighbouring Matraville Sports High School. And what a successful partnership it proved to be. Read about it here

In 2019 the partnership between Kris Beazley and PYiA took another leap forward when students from Lake Cargelligo Central School and Wee Waa High School in western NSW, participating in The Archibull Prize, were given exclusive access to Western Sydney University where they discussed various pathways to tertiary education.

In 2020, in collaboration with Kris and Lorraine Chaffer from Geography Teachers Association of NSW/ACT a new vision for The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas will see the development of deep and lasting communities of practice between primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, business and government.

PYiA believes fervently in both goals set by the Melbourne Declaration and is excited to have the capacity, and partnerships with champions, to deliver them and to support others to also achieve educational equity.

In the meantime we found that we were Friends in Need and Kris and the Western Syndey University Team were Friends in Deed. Mega Grateful for our friends

Anika Molesworth says COVID-19 is a big challenge for farmers, but it also encourages us to share ideas and work together for a better and more resilient future.

sdr

Is distance a barrier to #ClimateActionNow Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth??

No way!!!!

If you think a global pandemic is too overwhelming to do something – Anika says think again!

Anika zoomed from her farm in Broken Hill to Pakistan last night, on the topic “How COVID-19 is impacting agriculture and rural communities, and what needs to be done.”

In Anika’s own words ……

To a large and diverse virtual classroom, we spoke about how COVID-19 impacts on both the lives and livelihoods of farmers and people living in rural communities.

My key points were:
• COVID-19 poses a particularly serious threat to farmers who live remotely and do not have easy access to doctors and healthcare.
• The disease is a vulnerability amplifier for poorer farmers, older farmers, those who have limited labour resources and few market options.
• Disruption to food availability and affordability can lead to reduced food options in some regions and therefore poorer diets and malnutrition.
• Transport restrictions can impede access to markets, and challenges in logistics can be particularly obstructive for fresh food that is highly perishable, which may result in increased food loss and waste.
• Increased costs of farm inputs, like livestock feed, fertiliser, water, contract labour and machinery, may result in lower net returns.
• The reduction in tourism to rural areas has flow-on financial impacts to local farmers and local businesses (e.g. restaurants, shops, hotels).
• Improving hygiene and working conditions for farmers is critical to prevent the spread of disease, as well as improving information channels and access to healthcare.
• Improving the standard of living for farmers through education, income diversification, market access, food transport and storage practices, will help them to become more resilient to future crises.

There was great conversation with lots of excellent questions and comments.

I learnt a lot and thank Humera Hania for inviting me to virtually visit Pakistan to be part of this event.

COVID-19 is a big challenge for farmers, but it also encourages us to share ideas and work together for a better and more resilient future.

Visit Anika’s website to learn more how she is putting her passion project into action

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