Shining the spotlight on – Raymond Terrace Public School

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Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future launch at Tocal College in the Hunter

At Picture You in Agriculture we are big fans of the Charles Darwin quote

“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

We believe the key to success is collaboration, building communities of practice of organisations and people who share our vision, where we can engage with others, learn from others, share others success and amplify their voices. Collaboration TXT

In 2019 we will be Shining the Spotlight on our collaborating partners in education.

Leading the charge is Raymond Terrace Public School

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After joining the Picture You in Agriculture family in 2018 through their participation in The Archibull Prize, Raymond Terrace Public School is back.

In 2019 they will be part of the Kreative Koalas experience as they delve into culture and koalas around Port Stephens.

Teacher Bernadette van de Wijgaart will be leading 30 students from the Aboriginal Girls Group (Stages 2 and 3) in the program and is looking forward to once again diving deep into project-based learning.

“As a creative teacher with a visual arts background, I seek opportunities to involve our students in projects which I know will allow them to grow academically but also provide them with skill sets which will assist them in future years and employment. Working collaboratively and investigating issues before developing creative platforms to deliver outcomes is hugely important for our students. The Kreative Koalas project offers the ideal project-based learning platform for our students to develop these strengths.”  Bernadette says.

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Students from Raymond Terrace Public School at Hunter Launch of Kreative Koalas

Raymond Terrace Public School has 400 students, many who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the school has developed cultural groups and programs to meet the needs of these students and their families.

“Port Stephens is the traditional home of the Worimi People. We have strong connections with local elders and the external learning facility known as Murrook Cultural Centre and we were seeking to develop a creative project whose direction/development can be specifically governed by our Aboriginal Girls Group, under the guidance of ‘Aunty Frankie’ and our Aboriginal team.” Bernadette says.

The Kreative Koala project fulfils the needs of this group by allowing them to respond to the sustainable management of the Worimi lands (particularly the expansive coastal stretch of Buribi Beach – Port Stephens, which is under the ownership/management of the Worimi People). Our Aboriginal students are developing their understanding of the relationship, history and custodianship they inherit of their lands and the responsibility to protect and manage the environment.”

As well as connecting to their cultural background students are looking forward to investigating the decline of the koala population in what was once known as the New South Wales koala capital.

 

“Through this program our students will increase their knowledge of the effects that urban changes have had on the natural environment and investigate sustainable outcomes, and they will also make a statement piece to communicate the situation they are inheriting.” Bernadette says.

Raymond Terrace Public School understands the benefits of participating in high-calibre programs such as The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas – external partnerships, life-long learnings, skill sets for the future – and as Bernadette says:

“Knowing that it is supported by Lynne Strong and her team…we simply MUST be a part of this initiative!”

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Mega shoutout to our Kreative Koalas supporting partners Hunter Local Land Services and Holcim Australia – we couldn’t do it without you

Lessons Learnt No 2 – Creating Confidence to Share your Story

One of the cornerstone programs conducted by Picture You in Agriculture is Young Farming Champions, which trains and encourages young agricultural professionals to share positive stories with all stakeholders, whether that is community, industry or government bodies. In our ten years of operation the methods by which this is achieved have been evaluated and refined, as the YFCs have spread their wings to share their stories – from classrooms to the international stage.

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On commencement of the YFC journey participants attend workshops held by some of Australia’s finest communication, marketing and professional development experts including Lead Workshop Facilitator Jenni Metcalfe from Econnect Communication and Greg Mills from GoAhead Business Solutions.

“Some YFCs are very nervous about speaking in front of their peers, school kids or other audiences,” Jenni says, “but once you give them a structure to follow, some tips – reinforced by video analysis – on how they can appear more confident in front of an audience, and some guidance with visual aids they actually start to enjoy presenting. At the end of the day, if you’re enthusiastic about what you do, people can’t help but listen to your story.”

The aim of the workshops is to not only create confident, independent and reflective thinkers but to equip them with skills to tackle difficult subjects and audiences. In the safety of a controlled environment new YFCs are challenged.

“It says something about the YFCs that one of the most requested training sessions is the one that is designed to be the most uncomfortable. It is awesome to work with a group of young people who are always looking to step up to new challenges,” Greg says. “The ‘Dealing with Difficult Questions’ session is designed to put YFCs in a very uncomfortable and unrelenting situation where they are challenged to answer some of the most difficult questions of agriculture in a high-pressure environment. It gives them the opportunity to practice their communication skills while getting candid feedback on their performance and they gain the confidence to handle any of the real-life situations they may encounter.”

Lucy Collingridge was one YFC to take on Greg’s session in a mock interview with The Land journalist Alex Druce.

“Due to the topic being a highly contentious and emotional issue in regional NSW, I was initially nervous about my replies to Alex’s questions,” Lucy says. “However, I remember as the interview went on and I became more comfortable with using my own experiences to answer questions, I became more confident in myself. In the end, I really enjoyed the interview and being challenged on the topic, as well as being given the opportunity to share my experiences.”

Completion of the workshops leads to YFCs entering schools with The Archibull Prize to put their new skills to the test for the first time as they stand in front of students and teachers. And from here the opportunities are endless. YFCs go on to speak at industry conferences, to the media, to give TEDx presentations, to engage with the public at agricultural shows, to speak eloquently to politicians and to put their hands up for any chance to share their messages.

Lucy now conducts media interviews in her job with NSW Local Land Services and knows the training she has received has given her the skills to tackle contentious issues with confidence.

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PhD student at Murdoch University in Perth and YFC, Calum Watt is another who credits the training with helping his career. As a barley researcher Calum is regularly called upon to present his findings to industry conferences.

“I feel confident speaking generally,” he says, “and I feel practice is a critical part in getting it right and reducing nerves. The YFC workshops have helped me articulate my thoughts far better than before.”

Perhaps the best example of how YFC creates confidence to share comes from Jo Newton who has spoken at national and international events and who recently discussed her career journey in her first podcast with Josh Farr on The Campus Experience. In the 40 minute interview Jo discussed her involvement with Enactus, while studying at the University of New England, and with Young Farming Champions and told of her journey from a nervous presenter with palm cards to today’s confident alumni who walks about the stage without any notes.

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As always, Jo paid tribute to the YFC program in the podcast.

“It’s a pretty special experience getting to work alongside these tireless, passionate, dedicated young people where we have common values and shared passion,” she said. “I feel like every day I open up my emails and see another fantastic achievement of one of our team and it fills me with so much pride to see these other young change-makers standing up for what they believe in and going out and making a difference.”

Josh identified the top quotes from Jo’s interview as

Saying thank you isn’t enough for the opportunities you can have as a young person.

In Australia less than 1 in 3 leadership positions are held by women. In agriculture its less than 1 in 7 leadership positions held by women.

I got real world project management experience hosting an event for 300 people & bringing 20 companies to Armidale. These practical real-world skills help you stand out when you’re looking for a grad job. 

We’re a group of students. We’ve discovered that we don’t really know what we’re going to be next year & we’d like to change that. This is what we’re going to do. 

I said yes to any opportunity to get up in front of people. The nerves are still there & now I see them as a good thing. A colleague said, “The butterflies are a good thing, because it means I care & if I ever get up in front of people to speak & I don’t have that’s when I’ll worry because it means I’ve stopped caring.” 

If you equip a whole team & bring the whole team on the journey you are paying it forward by giving other young people access to opportunity & they pay it forward again & you have this amazing ripple effect.

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Do you want to have the confidence to share your agricultural story?

Applications for the 2019 YFC program are now open. Find out more here 

Application Closing Date 4th April 2019

Contact Program Director Lynne Strong E: lynnestrong@pyia.com.au for an expression of interest form

 

Careers in Agriculture – offer real world skills to solve real world problems and an opportunity to have a positive impact on the world

2019 celebrates 10 years of The Archibull Prize.  The foundation strength of the program is the rigor with which we monitor and evaluate and tweak it. Creating a culture where review and evaluation are seen as critical steps to gather evidence for agriculture to make informed decisions and allocate resources smartly for community engagement activities is at the heart of everything we do.

To celebrate ten years of highly insightful data the Picture You in Agriculture team will be sharing their lessons learnt via conference presentations, blogs, posters, infographics, animations …….. All the ways the wonderful world of communication has to offer people who live in the 21st Century

LESSONS LEARNT – ONE

OPENING YOUNG EYES TO CAREERS IN AGRICULTURE

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Opening young people’s minds to the diversity of careers in agriculture that offer an opportunity to provide  practical real world skills to solve real world problems and have a positive impact on the world is a key objective of The Archibull Prize and the Young Farming Champions programs

Research shows the traditional source of inspiration for careers is family, friends, television celebrities and high profile sports people . Research also shows children leaving primary school have closed their minds to up to 70% of careers. Our challenge has been how to open their minds to be curious about the world of work and tap into  what motivates young people .

Research shows young people highly value careers where they can make a difference The Archibull Prize entry survey question reinforces this desire

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In their January 2018 report Drawing the Future UK charity Education and Employers explored the career aspirations of primary school children from around the world: “Early intervention can be a very cost effective, targeted way of raising children’s aspirations and broadening their horizons,” the report says. “The evidence suggests that giving children the chance to meet volunteers from the world helps them to see the meaning and relevance of the subjects they are studying at school. Embedding experiences of the real-world in learning and the school curriculum can lead to increased motivation resulting in increased educational attainment.”

The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas programs employ these strategies by assigning each school a Young Farming Champion (YFC), a young agricultural professional who is perceived as speaking from a vantage point of real authority as they earn a wage and grow a career within the industry.

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We have found the YFCs also play a key role in providing young people with role models and tackling stereotyping around gender and ethnicity, which opens their eyes to possibilities not previously considered.

We have also learnt that offering a careers competition, in conjunction with The Archibull Prize, is a positive way to extend our reach and engage students not directly involved with the program. Our annual National AgDay Careers Competition asks students to identify their strengths and interests, choose a career in agriculture and research the educational pathway to that career. In 2018 over 30 entries were received for the competition from primary and secondary schools in urban, rural and distance education environments, and 22 unique careers were identified.

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Elders wool broker and AWI YFC Samantha Wan is an example of the calibre of young professionals working with school students to encourage careers in agriculture.

Sam mentored students at Picnic Point High School in 2018 with The Archibull Prize and teacher Lisa Gourlay was particularly impressed.

“Sam arrived with three suitcases full of her own clothes that were made from 100% wool including shoes and jackets. She came with loom and finger knitting and pom poms. She came with a ball of energy and was so genuinely passionate about sharing her career and this project. She really was an inspiration.

When we looked at what jobs were available in the sheep industry we were very narrow minded thinking of the farm and the sheep. Then we meet Sam who is beautiful and young, from Blacktown, who is now working across rural Australia and internationally.”  Lisa says.

The Archibull Prize use of entry and exit surveys of students and teachers allow us to monitor the impact our Young Farming Champions are having on the students they are building relationships with.

Within these surveys word clouds are used to collate responses. The following word clouds illustrate the change in agricultural career definition from the beginning to the end of the program.

Identifying the issue 

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The Archibull Prize entry surveys show students struggle to name a career in agriculture and only identify farming related activities

Identifying the messenger and what success looks like 

Exit survey

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The Archibull Prize exit surveys year on year highlight the impact our Young Farming Champions are having on the students 

Teachers value The Archibull Prize for its capacity to provide students with the real world skills to be ready for the jobs of the future.

Join the team of teachers and students who are part of the solution. Expressions of interest for the 2019 Archibull Prize are now open and can be made by contacting Art4Agriculture National Director Lynne Strong at lynnestrong@art4agriculture.com.au

#YouthinAg #StrongTogether #YouthVoices19