Archies’ inspires students to take on big issues in pandemic

 

Spurred on by our world-renowned school program where schools are assigned a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to look at through the lens of agriculture, schools are confronting issues related to farming and beyond 

In a classroom in a conservative area of central NSW, about 420km from Sydney, a group of students are having an honest and frank discussion about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) rights. 

Inspired by Action for Agriculture’s (A4A) The Archibull Prize, which encourages project-based learning and has led to them investigating hunger and climate change, these young people from The Henry Lawson High School in Grenfell are now also confronting wellbeing, through exploring their perspective on youth mental health and other timely issues.

 

“The Archibull Prize is allowing our students to explore their perspective of, and connection to the world, and they strongly connect with the rights of people to express themselves and live openly in a community where they’re accepted by everyone,” says Jillian Reidy.

Jillian is the relieving head teacher in science, agriculture, art and information communication technology (ICT), and a Highly Accomplished Teacher (HAT), from The Henry Lawson High School. 

The school is exploring SDG 3, Good health and Wellbeing, in this year’s ‘Archie’ entry. 

“We’re a very traditional country community, so to have the students discussing LGBTIQ rights and other big social issues, including racism directed towards the Asian population during the COVID outbreak, has been powerful,” says Jillian. 

Watch Jillian present her students’ vision at the 2021 May NSW/ACT Geography Teachers Association Conference

In a year when many programs have come to a halt, The Archibull Prize has continued. The schools involved in it have not only survived but thrived – thanks to their champion teachers who are role models for how to keep students inspired during a pandemic. The schools’ progress is proof that even in the worst of times, we can keep going. 

Through The Archibull Prize, schools select an SDG that is important to them and their region. They then design and deliver a Community Behavior Change project to help their region achieve Australia’s SDG targets  

“We have a lot of students from very high risk poverty areas with families that are struggling and have no work so food can be tight,” says Amy Gill, a HAT and SOLAR program lead with Youth Off the Streets.

A report by the University of Melbourne estimates that over 50,000 young people are missing from the school system at any given time.

The SOLAR Project is an off-campus adjustment, using online platforms, to support students in achieving their educational outcomes used by Youth Off the Streets. 

 “We’re dropping food hampers off once a week to support them, but there’s other challenges within the home. Domestic violence for instance is a huge challenge particularly when everyone’s stuck at home together.”

 To keep students motivated, Youth Off the Streets are using innovative and creative learning methods including one evoking The Circle of Courage, a Native American childhood practice which has the themes of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity at its heart.

“A young person really needs to belong in different aspects of their life.  Many disadvantaged students also feel like they’ve lost the skill of mastery. When learning remotely they feel behind their peers and can lack confidence coming back into the classroom. Our program is helping them cope.”  says Amy. 

 Through programs like The Archibull Prize, students grappling with their identity are also realising that they have a valuable contribution to make. 

 “Young people are really struggling to find their place, especially during the pandemic, but at school they find their purpose through initiatives like The Archibull Prize,” says Amy. 

 The project based learning approach of Youth Off The Streets includes innovative projects such as Speak for the Banyula (an Indigenous word meaning many trees), a geography and science unit, centred around caring for country, sustainability and land management. The Happiest Man on Earth, a history and English module incorporating the arts, involves reading a memoir written by Australian Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku.

“We do a lot of art, and try to drop off home learning packs with hands-on activities because sitting at a computer all day is quite exhausting for young people,” says Amy. 

​​While the Youth Off The Streets are confronting hunger in their daily lives, teachers at Pymble Ladies’ College on Sydney’s North Shore are trying to make it real for their students – again using the ‘Archies’.

 “The girls are so incredible when it comes to research, the students decided to focus on the issue of hunger and food waste in Australia, with more than one-in-five Australians going to bed hungry.

 The Archibull Prize provided an additional avenue to develop student’s passion in this area, building on what we do in geography and more widely around the college such as the boarding community, agriculture studies in the upper and senior school. In geography, it has provided a platform to make an impact at a community level and for them to feel like they’re creating change.” says Ray Howells, who teaches geography and business studies at Pymble Ladies’ College. 

Pymble Ladies’ College’s 2021 ‘Archie’ entry will become a future school mascot to spur on action to end hunger as well as addressing climate change.  

 “Programs like the ‘Archies’ have also piqued students’ interest in farming, with many keen to visit country friends during their holidays. It’s also been incredible for me, not being from this country, seeing how important the agriculture industry is here in Australia and how it connects so many families,” he says.

Students are planning to visit a farm in Young which belongs to one of their student’s family once COVID restrictions lift. See Footnote* 

The interviews with our Archibull Prize teachers reinforce what A4A discovered a decade ago when we began surveying young people: that today’s generation are more resilient. 

Our findings are backed up by research from Deloitte. A year after their lives were upended by the global pandemic, nearly half of millennials and gen z’s told the 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey that they were  anxious or stressed either all or most of the time. But there’s a silver lining; COVID has motivated 70 per cent to improve their lives. 

Previous Deloitte reports have found that millennials not only want a different world but want to lead the charge, and that they value experiences, traits that our Archies teachers also say that they are witnessing. 

“Initiatives like The Archibull Prize help develop the “four Cs – critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication, along with self-confidence, skills that the jobs of the future will require.” says Jillian from The Henry Lawson High School. 

In addition, the program drives young people’s sense of willingness and commitment to work together to create a better world.  

“If students can see the importance of their voice and realise how they can communicate their ideas to an audience through visual tools, then we are doing our job in supporting them in becoming a valuable citizen of the future.” 

Footnote

In the future, the opportunity for PLC students to visit and interact with farms like Blantyre Farm and Montrose Dairy and other agricultural-based organisations is an exciting avenue with lots of potential for deeper learning and student interest in the agriculture sector from a career perspective.

 

 

Never underestimate the impact of a teacher who challenges and stretches students

From discussions on Afghanistan to painting the ‘Archies’’ cow while talking about saving our seas, there’s no subject that’s off limits for today’s students led by their champion teachers. Here we meet one of them.  

 

At multicultural Riverstone High School in northwest Sydney, Sana Said, an Australian-born support classroom teacher with a Syrian and Lebanese background, doesn’t walk into the classroom and announce that students will discuss “human rights, slavery and genocide in unknown parts of the world”.

 

“It’s usually organic rather than prepared but that’s better as students are eager to learn about what interests them rather than be forced into something that doesn’t.

Current issues they have discussed include war, immigration, racism, unjust laws and bullying.” says Sana referring to some of the school’s unique initiatives, like their PRIDE Projects. 

 

It’s the same approach that the 33-year-old takes to The Archibull Prize with her students, who opted to investigate Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 – to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” – for this year’s entry.

 

“We’ll have discussions on issues – things that aren’t necessarily part of the core curriculum but will come up,” says Sana,

Adding that she is thankful to Action4Agriculture for providing online resources and regular newsletters to provide the kids some structure with the program.

 

“If you want students to absorb what they are learning, it’s important to give them ownership and immerse them in the experience, and this is what The Archibull Prize offers students. Starting with what the students value and giving them access to real people who are living the issues everyday, it’s giving both parties an opportunity to work on solutions together.”

 

Through the ‘Archies’, students have a platform to take away real knowledge of what is happening around them.

 

“It becomes infectious – when you tell one person something, they’ll tell somebody else and then all of a sudden it’s viral because it’s quite contagious information,” she says.

 

A teacher of 11 years, Sana was born to Muslim parents and grew up in Castle Hill in northwest Sydney. 

 

“Only a few of us had parents who were migrants and I remember all the comments that I got about how I didn’t fit the mould. 

I didn’t run away from people and hide, it just made me realise that I have to push myself a little bit more and make them see me for who I am rather than what I am.” ” says Sana.

 

When she started kindergarten she spoke only Arabic. At five she learnt English and still remembers “the anxiety that she suffered and the difficulty that she had with pronunciation and phonics.

 

“But kids are resilient.”

 

It was an assessment-driven place, where there were textbooks and computer labs but no laptops.

 

Sana was the first in her family to attend university. 

 

“I’ve never stopped wanting to be a teacher since I started, but I didn’t grow up wanting to become one.   

In my background your ‘career’ is being a housewife and it wasn’t until I went to uni that I was like ‘oh I want to be a teacher, I didn’t realise how good at it I am’ and how important it is for me to achieve my career aspirations.” she says. 

 

She moved around schools in NSW after graduating.

 

In Tamworth in the state’s northeast, Sana taught in two different schools with a high population of Indigenous students.

 

“It is less multicultural up there than other parts of Australia. I was the only Arab there and easily spotted among the crowds.” she says.

 

In her first year of teaching at Riverstone, a co-educational school that “takes pride in their appearance” and puts students’ tables in a circle rather than in lines, it’s a different cultural mix to Tamworth. 

 

“We’ve got Polynesian and Samoan families and we’re slowly getting Indian and some others from Asian backgrounds,” says Sana. 

 

Having been in grade eight during the September 11 attacks, when people “just assumed that all Arabs are terrorists”, she doesn’t shy away from confronting issues like the situation in Afghanistan with her students. 

 

“I’m very grateful that because my father was a lieutenant in the Syrian army, I understand war, and what it’s like for families to migrate to Australia and feel like an outsider.  

I have a lot of students wearing hijabs and kids going ‘why do you wear that, it’s stupid?’ But it’s not stupid to a student and it’s inappropriate that you even think that you can come up to her and tell her that because you obviously don’t have the full picture of the reason why.” ” says Sana.

 

Sana considers it a privilege to teach young people so they will challenge concepts and ideas in the world.

 

“They get to vote when they finish high school,” she says.

 

Riverstone has a number of progressive school initiatives, including their PRIDE Projects, where a teacher creates a topic that they would like to explore, writing out a proposal with a timeline of what they’d like to achieve each week over ten weeks. The scheme involves showcasing a product that you can donate to, for instance a program helping the housing or a clothing or food drive, to raise awareness of social and health issues. Launched in 2019, the projects aim to fuel creativity and wellbeing. They include those in which the students aim to donate secondhand clothes to organisations like The Salvation Army and Vinnies, plant their own vegetables to give to Hawkesbury Community Kitchens, and learn about different Polynesian cultures which they then showcase through performances and food sharing days. 

 

“It’s pushing the boundaries further so that we can educate kids why it’s important to donate, to give blood or save the environment especially in these weird times,” says Sana.

 

 As someone who considers herself being constantly open to challenge, Sana is conscious of seeking out new responsibilities at work.

 

“Times are changing and teachers are having to adapt because students are changing and we’re having to change with them by keeping up to date with new policies, new skills and technologies.  

I’m fortunate enough to work at a school where I have a head teacher who’s very supportive, who’s always saying ‘yes’ to my ideas.” she says.

 

COVID has of course presented its own challenges, with teaching in NSW currently completely online.

 

“It’s really full on, especially when you’re having to see your students through a computer screen and have phone calls with those who need one-on-one attention. It’s a very different learning environment to ensure that no-one is left behind,” says Sana.

 

She adds that during the pandemic teachers have been watching more students be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).   

 

“But programs like The Archibull Prize are helping keep students motivated. These sorts of programs are teaching students about sustainability and natural resources. It’s very vital information, because sometimes students are only seeing what’s on the news and it’s sometimes not accurate or blown out of proportion so they really need to hear it through primary sources, first-hand information, other than just what they’re hearing.”  says Sana, who remembers learning about agriculture in geography at school.

 

Having started teaching special education in 2016, in the future she would like to start a podcast highlighting children with disabilities.

 

Sana aspires to become a leader in education, whether this is through taking on a deputy principal role or another position.

 

“I’d love to be a head teacher because you get a mix of leadership and are still in the classroom connected with kids, building that rapport with kids which is the reason why I got into teaching in the first place.”

 

 

 

Australian Farmers on a Mission to Achieve #NetZeroFarming

With advances in access to information and technology, knowledge isn’t just increasing. It’s increasing at an increasing rate. In 2011, you consumed about five times as much information per day as you would have just a quarter century earlier.

As of 1950, it took about fifty years for knowledge in medicine to double. By 1980, medical knowledge was doubling every seven years, 5 and by 2010, it was doubling in half that time. The accelerating pace of change means that we need to question our beliefs more readily than ever before. Source Adam Grant ‘Think Again”

Australian farmers are excited about the possibility of using the information and technology gains in the agriculture sector in the last 50 years to see if we can progress towards #NetZeroFarming. Agriculture is uniquely placed to be part of the climate solution, as both
an emissions source and a sink. As farmers we have a special responsibility to protect carbon reserves already in our soils
and vegetation. But we must and we can do more.

There is no single answer to this problem. To achieve our aim we will need a range of measures that fall under three broad
headings:
• Improving farming’s productive efficiency;
• Improving land management and changing land use to capture more carbon;
• Boosting renewable energy and the wider bio economy

Journalist Matt Da Silva is deeply interested in the journey our farmers are on and has reached out to our team to help them share their journey and help us explain it in a way that we can all understand

In this first part of a two part series Matt is working on with Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe we get an understanding of the knowledge and tools Emma and her partner Craig are using to progress to #NetZero on their farm

“Our vision involves capitalising on the resources we have in a marginal environment and finding the systems that best suit our landscape to ensure the farm is able to be productive and profitable well into the future.”

Farm Overview:

Business and/or property name: C & E Pastoral, Gleeson’s

Business partners: Emma Ayliffe and partner Craig and his family

Farm size: 1700 acres (688 hectares)

Farm locality/region: Burgooney, Lake Cargelligo (roughly northwest of Wagga Wagga, in the central west of New South Wales, about 550km from Sydney)

Topography: rolling hills, red loam

Rainfall: 360mm per year

Primary outputs: Wool, first cross lambs, grains (mainly wheat but also some oats, barley and canola)

Secondary outputs: If above average rainfall, may plant canola, chickpeas, mungbeans.

The farm is in a low rainfall production area with a tendency to have a “sharp” (i.e. hot and dry) finish to the year. Our growing season rainfall is only around 180mm, and to put that in perspective the average annual rainfall for NSW is 555mm/year and the high production areas of NSW such as Temora in North Eastern Riverina sit closer to 600mm/year.

Opportunity cropping (secondary outputs) depends on amount of moisture in the field, the market (some crops might have a higher price at any given time) as well as the time of year.

We’ve being making decisions around what we can do to improve the health of our soils. In our low rainfall environment ensuring that we have the soil structure to store moisture and support plant growth in the driest of times is critically important.

 Emma Ayliffe and Craig her partner, with dogs Millie and Dexter.

Everything we do is about trying new techniques and tools, based on research, in our environment so that we can always be improving, being better stewards for our environment and ensuring we can feed and clothe the world well into the future.

As a seed, a plant requires water, air, nutrients and heat for germination. Then to be able to maximise growth the plant needs a biologically active soil biota. This includes soil fungi and bacteria, which enables good soil structure and nutrient cycling, leading to optimum plant health. It is the interaction between all of these factors that determines how well plants and crops grow.

We are moving to a minimum till/strategic tillage system that means using knife-point press wheels. Minimum tillage means avoiding anything that causes major soil disturbance, hence the knife-point press wheel system. Strategic tillage is similar but allows for one significant soil disturbance pass no more than one year in eight. This strategy reduces erosion, conserves moisture, and maintains soil structure.

A knife point (see photo below) is narrower than a coulter but does the same job, only without disturbing the soil as much. The press wheel comes in behind the knife point and closes the furrow.

Research tells working the soil one year in eight is fine. It ensures that we are managing issues like compaction while maximising productivity and soil health. Compaction happens not only due to farming equipment but also due to cattle, which are brought into fields to feed on the stubble as well as on lost grain that has fallen on the earth during harvest. And soils are naturally hard setting.

In our environment ground cover is critical as we can never be sure if and when the next rain event is going to occur. Ground cover helps to reduce evaporation and erosion.

The photo below shows a moment during the 2020 harvest.

Thanks Matt for sharing Emma and Craig’s journey to #NetZeroFarming. Read how Matt blogged Emma’s story here

Like farmers we can all be part of the solution. The cost of food waste to the Australian economy is estimated to be around $20 billion each year. Australian consumers throw away around 3.1 million tonnes of food—that’s close to 17,000 grounded 747 jumbo jets.

The impact of food waste also includes the energy, fuel and water used to grow food that may not be used. When food waste is sent to landfill, it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

To help address this important issue, the Australian Government committed in 2016 to develop a National Food Waste Strategy to establish a framework to support actions that work towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030. This ambitious goal aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 for sustainable consumption and production patterns

Join the movement and Fight Food Waste 

#TogetherWeCan #NetZeroFarming

Keep your “Eyes” on St Catherine’s Catholic School

Students at St Catherines at Singleton celebrate the arrival of their Archie 

COVID-19 has dominated the way we work in 2020, creating challenges and uncertainty; but with it has also come opportunities for new entrants to our in-school programs The Archibull Prize (TAP) and Kreative Koalas (KK).

TAP and KK are operating under a new model this year, which encourages communities of practice across primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, business and government. One school taking on the challenge for the first time is St Catherine’s Catholic College at Singleton, under the guidance of agriculture teacher Joanna Towers.

“One good thing about this crisis [coronavirus lockdown] is I have had time to study at home and listen to a range of webinars in my own time. It has opened up a whole new world for me – soil health, regenerative agriculture, carbon in soils. At the moment I am into dung beetles and it’s become my goal to get them back to the school farm.” Joanna says

The 35 hectare school farm has previously had all but 4 hectares leased to a third party but this year the lease will revert in entirety to the school.

“How we will manage that land has given me the impetus to put new learnings into place,” Joanna says.

In a normal year the students of St Catherine’s would have pigs and cattle ready for the Sydney Royal Easter Show and its cancellation brought great disappointment to the school.

“I wanted something different and something the students could look forward to.  I had always been aware of The Archibull Prize and always looked at the final products with amazement, but I thought the project was too big. Now we have an art teacher on board to provide creative genius and a new direction for the school farm, and are participating in both The Archies and Kreative Koalas!” Joanna says

St Catherine’s tasted success with PYiA when they joined the Careers Competition in 2019 where one of their students, Hallee Tanzer, won the Years 7 to 10 section. Joanna found this competition, and the resume writing competition that is part of The Archibull Prize , to be a great asset for her students.

“Glencore [mining company] is a major employer in Singleton and recently they advertised 40 positions and got 1800 applicants. The Cultivate your Dream Career Competition will give  the students skills in resume writing to make that important first impression. For example, it’s all very well to say to an employer you are a team player but it’s the concrete evidence of those skills that is important. Students may not realise the skills they learn in school are transferable to the workplace and this competition helped them make that connection.” Joanna says

St Catherine’s will be joined on their 2020 Archibull Prize and their  Kreative Koalas journey by Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes, himself a promoter of sustainable and ethical agriculture, and we look forward to watching their vision for a new school farm evolve.

 

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 and Carsten

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.

Careers In Agriculture

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.

 

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.

Our Vision

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

Why Yacker_
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.

Available Now

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

PYIA Join US (2)

 

Proud to be shining the light on Heywire ensuring talented young people have equal opportunity

Picture You in Agriculture’s (PYiA) mission is to put young people in agriculture at the centre of the learning and doing experience and provide genuines opportunities for their voices to be heard and cinsidered. We support others who share our values to to achieve our joint goals. In November 2019 school students from Lake Cargelligo Central School and Wee Waa High School travelled to Sydney as part of The Archibull Prize. Along with attending the awards ceremony and visiting Western Sydney University, the students joined Young Farming Champions (YFC) in a Heywire workshop.

Like our YFC program ABC’s Heywire is a conduit for young people in rural and remote Australia to share and promote their stories and, for the second year running, YFC Meg Rice represented us at the Heywire Gala Dinner.

Heywire puts young Australians at the centre of the conversations that shape their communities and the ABC has been running the program, in partnership with the Australian Government, since 1998.

“The annual Heywire cycle begins with a storytelling competition – open to people aged 16-22, living in regional or rural Australia. Heywire encourages young people to tell stories about their life outside the major cities in text, photo, video or audio format and every ABC regional station selects a winning Heywire Competition entry to represent their part of Australia. The young winners work with ABC staff to produce their story to be featured on ABC Radio and abc.net.au. Heywire stories are renowned for their honesty and for giving us a window on the lives of young people in regional Australia.” says Meg

Regional competition winners attend the Heywire Summit in Canberra where they undertake leadership workshops and meet with members of parliament, government departments and community leaders. The ‘Heywirers’ work together in teams to develop ideas aimed at improving the lives of young people in regional Australia and present their ideas to a panel at Parliament House. The Summit culminates in the Gala Dinner.

“Attending the dinner is a wonderful opportunity to learn about what young people are passionate about, their trials and triumphs and what has made them into the inspiring young leaders they are today,” Meg says.

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose spoke at the Gala Dinner

ABC Heywire at Parliament House, Canberra on 9/12/13th February 2020. PHOTO: MARK GRAHAM

“Stories have been told in Australia from time immemorial. From the Dreamtime to today, they reflect and shape our culture and identity, they allow us to survive and prosper, they bind our communities together, they attempt to explain the world around us, they express our pain and our joy…Thank you Heywirers for sharing the stories of your life in regional and rural Australia. What we have seen and heard tonight and read and watched on the Heywire site are moving, inspiring, informative stories told from the heart.”

“Ita also spoke about people from the bush being renowned for being stoic and just getting on with the job but how in noisy times like these you sometimes have to grab the microphone when you see the opportunity,” Meg says.

“I think this highlights the synergies between Heywire and YFC. It demonstrates the power of story-telling and the importance of rural and regional Australia.” Meg Rice

37 Heywire winners were chosen from across Australia, describing their worlds from anything to adjusting to a new country to the healing power of the bush. Two stories, in particular, touched Meg. Renae Kretschmer, from Wirrabara, SA described the grief and pain of losing her mother to a heart attack at age 60.

“Mum once asked me “what inspires you?” At the time I probably said some noncommittal comment, but really it was her. My strong, capable mother inspired me in all she did….It took losing Mum to make me realise how special family and a country community is. How they help pull you through your absolute darkest days.”

Tim Martin spoke proudly about being from a fourth generation farming family and the battles against a long drought:

“But I know that if we can stick together we can face any challenge thrown at us. Because as a family we are full of love and laughter — whether it be sharing a story around the dinner table and having a good laugh, or watching one of our favourite TV shows together. I want to follow in Dad’s footsteps and keep the farming legacy going in our family, because I love being the son of a farmer. Maybe one day I’ll be a farmer myself and I’ll keep the farm in the family for a fifth generation.”

ABC Heywire at Parliament House, Canberra on 9/12/13th February 2020. PHOTO: MARK GRAHAM

Tim Martin  and Renae Kretschmer 

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2020 ABC Heywire competition.

 

United Nations Leaders and Teen Stars Invite Young People to Reimagine the World. 

We are very excited to be supporting The World’s Largest Lesson to promote the World’s Largest Lesson Live,

Save the date: 16th June

Why are they holding this event and why young people should get involved?

The world is facing enormous challenges right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown so many of our lives up in the air while many people continue to experience overwhelming inequality and injustice.

That’s why we’ve partnered with UNICEF to produce World’s Largest Lesson Live,

This 35 minute educational show for teenagers features United Nations leaders including Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the UN. They are joined by teen stars Millie Bobby Brown and Sofia Carson as well as students from across the world. It premieres on YouTube at 11am EST/4pm UK/1AM AEST Sydney on the 16th June and will be available on demand afterwards (French and Spanish subtitles).

We’re asking young people everywhere to help reimagine our societies so they are more fair, just and inclusive for everyone.

Can you ask your students and their families to watch the show and spread the word throughout your networks?  Then use these supporting resources to get everyone talking about the questions it raises:

  • What do we all want education to be like?
  • How can we create a world where everyone is healthy?
  • How can young people help shape what happens next?

Sign up here to be sent a reminder and look out for our social media campaign launching on Wednesday 10th June.

ARCHIES ATTEND CHEESE AND DAIRY AWARDS NIGHT

Our Archies are showstoppers and they take any chance they get to amplify the voices of young people in agriculture.

So you can imagine they jumped at the chance to have a night and mix with the champions of great cheese and dairy

The Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Archies from the 2019 Archibull Prizewere special guests at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Cheese and Dairy Awards night held at the Sydney Showgrounds on February 24.

“Being an agricultural based event, I sought to make sure this aspect was not lost in the glitz and glamour of the final theming on the night,” RAS Coordinator for Dairy Produce and Fine Food Chloe Conder says. “I wanted to celebrate the winning products of the 2020 Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show, but also pay tribute to where these products originate and how they came to be available for consumers to purchase. I selected the colourful wool cow to fit in with my “forest” theme of the night, and the dairy farm cow for obvious reasons being the Cheese & Dairy Show!”

Winning the coveted title of Champion Cheese of Show was Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese’s Riverine Blue. Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese has been a multiple recipient of this award over the last decade, proving they understand the palette of their consumers.

“Winning the Sydney Royal Champion Cheese is a great honour and proves to us we are doing something right,” owner and cheesemaker Barry Charlton says. “We have such a dedicated staff, great quality milk and to win this award also helps us to keep growing as a business. It’s quite overwhelming but at the end of the day it really does come down to our wonderful staff.”

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Cheese and dairy competitions have been an important part of the RAS for over 150 years, celebrating products including cheese, milk, butter, dairy dessert, gelato and ice cream created from bovine milk as well as sheep, goat, camel and buffalo milk. This year the prestigious competition attracted 799 entries with 117 awarded gold medals. 180 people attended the presentation night.

“The cows were placed on either side of the entry inside the venue, so were on display for all attendees to see as they entered the event,” Chloe says. “They were very well received on the night, with many attendees taking the time to inspect the intricate work and design with some even posing for photos.”

See the full list of cheese and dairy winners here, and add them to your shopping list – you won’t be disappointed.

Shining the spotlight on Lake Cargelligo Central School a little school doing big things

Continuing our series of shaing stories about the schools we work with going above and beyond today we shine the spotlight on Lake Cargelligo Central School. 

The cost of freight is a serious limiting factor to how far and wide we can take The Archibull Prize. This year two school communities in rural NSW came together to fund their local schools participation in the program. One of these is Lake Cargelligo Central School which has a strong focus on agricultural education

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With the cost of freight being a limiting factor the Lake Cargelligo community came together to fund the transport of Archie to their local school

Pigs and grains are the focus of two projects students from Years 9 and 10 at Lake Cargelligo Central School are undertaking this year to increase their emphasis on agricultural education. Pigs will be the feature of a paddock to plate project while the students will study the grain industry in The Archibull Prize.

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One of the first thing the secondary students did was introduce Archie to the kinders

“Our school is located in regional/remote NSW and the majority of our students have some connection to agriculture through their family,” agriculture teacher Tara-Jane Ireland says. “We run an agriculture show team that focuses on all enterprises we can access (chooks, sheep and cattle) and we source animals from local breeders to build connections with the community.”

In the paddock to plate project students will raise, show and process two pigs (Peppa and George) and then combine with food technology students to create menus for the table. Read more about Peppa, George and the rest of the team here.

Like The Archibull Prize, the pig paddock to plate event is an example of project-based learning. “Project-based learning has become an integral part of our teaching practices at LCCS to enhance the engagement of our students,” Tara-Jane says. “In 7/8 all our classes complete learning through PBL and teachers are now expanding this to 9/10. This allows our students to develop essential life skills like leadership, communication and problem solving.”

Twenty students will participate in The Archibull Prize. They are looking forward to not only connecting with students from other Archibull schools, but with a local artist and their Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe, who they are hoping can assist them develop career goals and aspirations.

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“Our aim is to focus on holistic approaches to agriculture while having fun,” Tara-Jane says, “and to help students lead healthy lifestyles by producing their food sustainably now and in the future.”

#ArchieAction #YouthinAg #YouthVoices19