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

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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  nuturing 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.

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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

Friends in Need Friends in Deed

Expressions of Interest open for new look Archibull Prize

News Flash - New model TAP

After a decade of connecting students and teachers to agriculture the acclaimed Archibull Prize will undergo a metamorphosis in 2020 as it evolves to help young people and agriculture meet the complex challenges of the 21st century.

In collaboration with Kris Beazley – Principal, Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education, Richmond Agricultural College, and Lorraine Chaffer from Geography Teachers Association of NSW/ACT the new vision will see the development of deep and lasting communities of practice between primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, business and government.

The Archibull Prize:

Using creativity to inspire and foster connections and conversations                             between farmers and the community

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The new model sees secondary schools tasked with identifying a local agricultural area of investigation and exploring its challenges and opportunities. 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.

Secondary schools will also be encouraged to build a partnership with their feeder primary schools for the Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge with the opportunity for the secondary school to offer student mentoring, facilitation and specialist support.

Kreative Koalas:

Using creativity to connect and inspire young people and the community to work together to act on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on a local level

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Based on the concept of ‘communities of practice’ these partnered learning opportunities between primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will enhance the transition of students through their education journey and provide post-school opportunities through other partnerships with industry and government.

The new model is tailored to support schools to encourage teacher and student collaboration using cross curricula learning.  In addition, it will incorporate the development of intergenerational knowledge and skills transfer while continuing to be an exemplary example of student-driven project-based learning.

Extra support will be available for students in rural and regional NSW through our new partnership with the STEM Industry School program

The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas provide young people with future focused learning linked to real world issues at both a society and agricultural industry level and fosters the top four skills 21st century employers want: collaborative team players, creative thinking, critical analysis and problem solving and influential communication.

Picture You in Agriculture will be piloting the new model in 2020 in schools in NSW and QLD working with 12 secondary schools who will partner with a total of 20 primary schools.

What teachers are saying about the program

Learn more about The Archibull Prize here

Learn more about Kreative Koalas here 

For further information email the program manager Lynne Strong 

 

Emma Ayliffe paying it forward for Tulli Young Farmers

“If you want to keep leading, you need to keep growing, and few things stretch a leader like leading growing leaders.” John Maxwell 

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Rural Entrepreneur and finalist in the 2020 Channel 7 NSW Young Leader of the Year Emma Ayliffe is paying it forward supporting young farmers to be the best business and environmental managers they can be

At Picture you in Agriculture we know and support the research that follows the 70-20-10 rule research that shows how people get good at their jobs (and love what they do).

  1. 70% of what people know and what they know how to do, came experientially. They learned on the job.
  2. 20%, somebody showed them, a coach or a mentor.
  3. 10% they got in classroom, formal education, higher education, training programs at work or at eternally

YFC Impact Talent Development

Young Farming Champion and acting chair of the Youth Voices Leadership Team,Emma Ayliffe acknowledges the support and guidance she has received in her career as an agronomist and farmer. Now she is paying that support forward with the establishment of the Tulli Young Famer’s Group.

“The group is for young farmers (and farmers young at heart),” Emma says, “and it aims to bring together younger people from around Tullibigeal to discuss what is happening on farm and to act as a conduit for information. As a fledging farmer I have a lot to learn and as an agronomist I feel I have knowledge to share.”

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Emma created the group, now 58 members strong, via Facebook, spoke to a few young growers and enticed them to the pub for a chat. With $10,000 funding through the NSW Government’s Young Farmer Business Program, the new group held their first workshop, themed “The Business of Farming: From the Ground Up” on February 3.

“At the workshop we had a number of presenters including Tom Nicholas from Healthy Soils Australia, Tristan Stevenson and Hamish Ross (StevTech and Hutcheon and Pearce) talking around new spraying technology and Geoff Minchin talking about pasture management and investment,” Emma says. “And we also had Young Farming Champion Dan Fox who was a real superstar.”

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Dan is very grateful to benefit from having access to three generations of mentors and inspiration

“The ideas of soil health and regenerative agriculture  – and the benefits of that system – are becoming more popular around the world and I shared our experience with what we are doing on our farm, what has been working for us and what we’ve learnt on our journey,” Dan says of his presentation. “As farmers we can become isolated and so a group like Tulli Young Farmers is a very valuable thing for getting people together, making sure your mates and neighbours are all right and sharing stories. And it’s especially good to see the next generation excited by agriculture.”

Tulli Young Farmers will hold their second workshop – “The Business of Farming: Books, Bankrolls and Bestowals” on March 16, which will take a look at the “office” side of farming, and are planning a bus tour later in the year.

“My aims for the group are to keep everyone talking,” Emma says. “My ideal is an open and engaged farming community that is extremely supportive of each other and the next generation. It is great to be able to offer a non-judgemental and supportive group that can help to enable all growers in our region to be successful.”

You can view Dan Fox’s presentation here

Shoutout to our supporting partners for helping us to empower young people to solve tomorrows problems today

Sponsors

 

 

The Archibull Prize giving rural students the opportunity to get a taste of the diversity of tertiary education pathways

The Picture You in Agriculture team is committed to equal opportunity leading to equal outcomes.  As part of this committment we support students in rural and urban students  to have hands on opportunities to get a taste of diversity of careers on offer in the agriculture sector.

In November 2019 with the support of the principal of the newly announced Richmond Agricultural College – Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education rural students from Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School who participated in The Archibull Prize visited Western Sydney University .

Students and teachers from Lake Cargelligo Central School (L) and Wee Waa High School (R) with their Archies

The visit to Western Sydney University was a highlight in a year of deep and diverse learning experiences for these students as part of  The Archibull Prize. This innovative and fun program engages secondary school students in agricultural and environmental awareness through art, design, creativity and teamwork. It is known for its vibrant life-sized fibreglass cows (the Archies), which can be seen anywhere from the offices of politicians to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. In November each year The Archibull Prize concludes with a presentation and awards day. This is what is generally known about The Archibull Prize.

What is not so well known is the capacity of the program to bring together urban and rural communities in a collaborative manner. This year students from Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School, in northern and western NSW respectively, packed up their Archies and drove to Sydney for the awards ceremony.

“It was certainly a different experience transporting the Archie in the horse float that is usually designated to transporting the schools show steers to various shows around the country,” laughs Wee Waa teacher Verity Gett.

Hosting the rural students, in the unfamiliar urban environment, were fellow Archibull participants from Hurlstone Agricultural High School.

“Hurlstone Agricultural High School was excited to be able to host both schools and Western Sydney University (WSU) partners were very supportive of the visit and facilitated a tour for the students and staff.” Kris Beazley Principal of recently announced Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education    

And so the visit became more than The Archibull Prize. Students also had the opportunity to attend an ABC Heywire workshop, meet celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis and to make a special presentation at the awards ceremony.

The Heywire workshop and interaction with Young Farming Champions was another highlight.

“The students really enjoyed working with the Young Farming Champions in the workshop from ABC and came up with some interesting stories. They are now considering entering their own story in the Heywire Storytelling competition.” Lake Cargelligo teacher Tara-Jane Ireland

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Students and Young Farming Champions came together for a story tellling workshop with  ABC Heywire

Emma Ayliffe was the Young Farming Champion working with Lake Cargelligo Central School as they studied the Australian grains industry through The Archibull Prize and she welcomed the opportunity to strengthen her association with the students in Sydney.

“It was wonderful listening to their experiences at the Heywire workshop and watching their stories develop. And it was great to see friendships develop between Lake Cargelligo and Wee Waa students as they realised their similarities and connections. I hope to continue my relationship with them beyond the Archies.” Emma Ayliffe Young Farming Champion

Following the Heywire workshop students travelled to Western Sydney University

“At the WSU Farm and precinct students had the opportunity to understand the interaction in the peri-urban landscape between urban development and agricultural production. They were also able to see all elements of the university’s water management systems in action.”

“The students were then treated to a visit to the University’s world class glass house facility, to witness several scientific plant experiments including the growing of different cultivars of eggplant and pollination with native bees.” Kris Beazley Principal Richmond Agricultural College – Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education

At the university students were able to explore the campus and ask questions regarding tertiary studies, learning that these days there are multiple pathways to university or TAFE entrance beyond the traditional ATAR scores.

For many of the students it was their first trip to Sydney and traffic, public transport, the boarding house and the sheer number of people proved eye-opening.

“They were fascinated by the facilities at the Hurlstone Agricultural High School campus, particularly the kitchen and dining facilities which are bigger than our Food Technology room,” Tara-Jane says.

Finally it was time for the awards ceremony and the day was opened with an Acknowledgement of Country by Lake Cargelligo student Brooke Kirby.

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Lake Cargelligo student Brooke Kirby opened The Archibull Prize Awards Ceremomy with an Acknowledgement of Country .

“Brooke was very nervous,” Tara-Jane says, “but proud to represent her school and culture at such a big event.”

For their Archibull project Lake Cargelligo Central School was highly commended for their infographic while Wee Waa High School was highly commended for their Archie Artwork.

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“The awards ceremony was a great event, with so much excitement in the room and so much inspiration for the future of agriculture and farming, despite challenges like climate change and drought,” Verity says. “It was very exciting for our students to meet and speak to Costa and we are looking forward to skyping him one day from our school farm and maybe getting him out here to visit. Overall it was a great opportunity for our small rural school to be involved in such a program and we are very proud to have received highly commended (or second place!) in the artwork section for our Archie ‘Chronibull’.”

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Both Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School are grateful for the Sydney experience and in particular the hospitality from Hurlstone Agricultural High School and Western Sydney University .

This story first appeared in The Land 

Shoutout to our supporting partners empowering young people to solve tomorrow’s problems today

Sponsors 

Hear more from teachers and students at Wee Waa and Lake Cargelligo on their Archibull Prize experience

  1. Wee Waa High School share their Archibull Prize experience

2. Wee Waa teachers and students share how the program bought teachers and students and the community together to build drought resilience

3. Lake Cargelligo Central School teacher Tara-Jane Ireland shares the breadth of experiences The Archibull Prize offers

 

4. Students from Lake Cargelligo Central School share their deep learnings with the art judge Wendy Taylor

 

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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Oxley Park Public School using their kitchen garden to help students take control of their nutritional needs

This week, as part of our series shining a spotlight on our amazing school partners, we celebrate Oxley Park Public School who participated in the inaugural Penrith Lakes Environmental Education Centre  Kitchen Gardens program and hosted its celebration event.

The program aims to develop student educational and life skills. Eleven schools are participating and students spend one hour a week in the garden and one hour a week in the kitchen. Branimir Lazendic is principal of The Penrith Lakes Environmental Education Centre.

“I’m always looking out for inquiry-based, real-world projects for kids to do and with Kitchen Gardens the students are involved with growing their own produce, harvesting it, preparing it and sharing it. Kitchen Gardens allows students to work collaboratively as part of a group, to think critically and creatively, to contribute effectively to society and to look after their own well-being. Without well-being you can’t have learning in the first place.” Branimir Lazendic principal of The Penrith Lakes Environmental Education Centre.

Cassandra Lindsay is a teacher at Oxley Public School and has developed the fully functional garden, which provides a range of fresh organic produce to students and local families.

Teacher Cassandra Lindsay talks about the Kitchen Garden Program at Oxely Public School

Cassandra also runs the Garden Club five days per week at lunchtime where all students who are interested can learn the skills of growing and caring of fruits and vegetables.

“My passion for school gardens began long before I actually became a teacher.  As a child I would spend time with my grandparents helping them tend to their backyard vegetable garden and in high school I took agriculture as an elective and spent all of my lunchtimes in the ag plot.  When I started teaching at Oxley Park Public School it was evident many of our students had not had the opportunity to grow food, or even had any understanding of the process it takes to actually have vegetables on the dinner table. Enabling students to produce food in an organic low cost manner is empowering as a teacher.  Every day I can give a child an opportunity to experience growing of food, gives every child another chance to a healthier future.”

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Wow, with that passion we can’t wait to see what Oxley Park Public School will bring to their Kreative Koalas project, especially with Cassandra at the helm. She has already instigated environmental changes in the school with initiatives such as nude food days, improving paper recycling and recycling plastic bottles, and believes Kreative Koalas will further fuel the school and community’s war on waste.

“Our vision is to create a plastic free canteen and school environment. I want to empower our students to have a voice to make a change, be the voice of their community and spread awareness amongst the school community.  This project is also an opportunity for our students to make real changes and share their story through a mix of artwork and digital media.”

Oxley Park Public School will definitely be a school to keep an eye on in this year’s Kreative Koalas.

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