Young Farming Champion Katie Barnett has been selected for NSW Government Regional Youth Taskforce

We are super excited to announce Young Farming Champion Katie Barnett has been selected as one of 18 young people for the NSW Government Regional Youth Taskforce. We look forward to sharing with you the big issues that Katie will advocate for

In the meantime you can learn more about the taskforce below

Press Release

New taskforce to advocate for regional youth

Published: 19 Jan 2023

Released by: Minister for Regional Youth

The Regional Youth Taskforce will get a brand-new look with Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin announcing 18 new young leaders from across regional NSW who will advocate for their peers and deliver positive outcomes for young people.

Mr Franklin and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall met with 2 of the new members in Uralla and said the Taskforce will provide policy and operational advice to the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government to advance the needs of young people in the regions.

“This group has been selected from more than 140 applicants, and includes two young people from each of the State’s 9 regions who will meet throughout the year to focus on the NSW Regional Youth Framework pillars: work readiness, wellbeing, connectivity and community,” Mr Franklin said.

“Throughout the year the Taskforce will join me and senior representatives from Government and its agencies to have their say about services, programs and infrastructure that is important to them.

“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government knows there’s no better way to be informed on the issues that matter to young people in regional and rural NSW than to hear them directly from this exceptional group of young people.

“In the role, our 18 new members will hone their skills in driving policy change, advocate for real outcomes for young people, and provide a voice for regional youth within the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government.

Katie Barnett from Kentucky says she’s thrilled to represent rural and regional Australia and, most importantly, her region of New England North West.

“I feel privileged to have this opportunity and am looking forward to my time on the 2023 Regional Youth Taskforce. I’d like to see more opportunities for young people in my community including more employment, better housing and education,” Ms Barnett said.

Fellow Taskforce Member Jack Lyon echoed her sentiments.

“Young people, no matter what walk of life they come from, deserve more opportunities and better outcomes in the future than they have now,” Mr Lyon said.

“I want to see more work ready outcomes, youth empowerment, a stronger sense of community and perhaps a different focus for how to prevent youth mental health problems.”

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall congratulated Katie and Jack on their appointment.

“Kate and Jack will be excellent ambassadors and advocates for the needs of our region and their peers – I wish them every success,” Mr Marshall said.

Mr Franklin thanked the outgoing 2022 Regional Youth Taskforce for their input guiding major NSW Government policy decisions.

“Some of the 2022 Taskforce’s achievements include raising awareness of the need for more mental health support for regional young people, improving messaging to youth about the harms of vaping and inclusion and awareness for LGBTQIA+ young people living in the regions,” Mr Franklin said.

“I congratulate the members of the new 2023 Taskforce and look forward to working with them and hearing their views on how the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government can continue to serve young people across regional NSW.”

Get more information on the Regional Youth Taskforce.

How to deal with difficult people

This post comes to you from Action4Agriculture’s program manager

I have just signed up for a workshop with Amy Gallo,  an international expert in dealing with difficult people

Lets be honest with ourselves we can all be difficult to deal with if some-one touches the wrong buttons at the wrong time.

I manage a capability building program for young people who are “doers” and changemakers

I often find myself fielding calls asking for advice on how to handle people who are resistant to change

The first thing I say is “This is not my area of expertise”

Whilst I have done multiple workshops across the world with world class experts like Amy. Its one thing to learn the theory, its another to put into into practice, another to find safe spaces to practice it and the mega important one finding the role models in the Compassion Curiosity Framework space  that you can surround yourself with, learn from and channel when you need to

What my years of training has allowed me to do is identify the people who do it well and they make my heart sing

I saw an extraordinary example when I watched Series 12 Episode 2 of Call the Midwife recently

This 4 min video collates the scenes that I am referring to. Watch how Sister Julienne role models the Compassionate Curiosity Framework ( hear Kwame Christian talk about the framework here )

1. Acknowledging emotion

2. Getting curious with compassion

3. Engaging in joint problem solving

Reflections on 2022 from our Young Farming Champions Leadership Team

As we venture forth into a new year and put some distance between ourselves and the lockdowns, restrictions and online world of the pandemic, we want to take a moment to reflect on the Young Farming Champions (YFC) program and lessons learnt in 2022. We spoke with four YFC alumni – Jo Newton, Dione Howard, Franny Earp and Emily May – to get their impressions of the year that was. We found that the highlights have been mentoring from a supportive community, while a wish-list includes face-to-face workshops (or conferences) and long-term funding to secure the future of the program.

What made you proud about being a YFC in 2022?

Dione: “I am proud of the mentoring relationships that have been developed and continued this year between YFC alumni and new program participants. The support extends beyond the program and its workshops, to mentoring throughout many big life decisions that our YFC are making.”

Jo: “Peer-to-peer mentoring was particularly evident in the preparation of school presentations, with YFC presenting in front of one another and providing advice and support to each other.”

Franny: “The YFC community is a supportive space that allows for mentorship and collaboration. I have experienced this community both in terms of YFC activities such as workshops and school presentations, but I have also experienced the community on a personal level through the new friendships I have formed within the YFC community.”

Emily: “I was proud of the way many YFC stepped up this year and embarked on school presentations as part of the Paddock Pen Pals Program and I was especially proud of the YFC who mentored their fellow YFC.”

 

A big part of YFC is the Innovation Hub (iHub) where YFC get to workshop big ideas. What did this look like in 2022?

Jo: “Having been a YFC since 2013, this year I am most proud of watching newer YFC like Emily and Franny step up and become involved with the iHub and continue their own leadership journeys.”

Dione: “For the iHub, I am proud of the ongoing efforts to deliver Paddock Pen Pals [into schools] and connect with students across Australia. It is the perfect representation of how Action4Agriculture and YFC have adapted during challenging times over the past few years.”

Franny: “Over the year the iHub has experienced many changes including additions to the leadership team and the structure of the hub. I am proud of the way that iHub operates as a ‘flat’ hierarchy ( holacracy), which allows for each member to assume different roles and responsibilities that speak to them and their interests. I believe this ‘flat’ structure will continue to improve the hub’s communication and coordination.”

Emily: “While navigating the change in the iHub structure we were able to host various sessions and support our fellow YFC despite being a very small team of volunteers. This was very fulfilling and rewarding to be a part of.”

 

Image source 

 

It feels like everyone is a bit over online learning after the pandemic. What things could be done differently to improve YFC and the iHub?

Dione: “I would love to see YFC have the opportunity to attend a face-to-face workshop. The life skills and friendships I have made from face-to-face YFC workshops over the years will stay with me forever.”

Jo: “I think we could probably improve the on-boarding process for new iHub members to help them understand how it works.”

Franny: “I also feel that it would be helpful to provide an on-boarding activity to iHub. As a new member this year, a clearer vision of what iHub hopes to achieve and clear action points would lead to significant change.”

Emily: “I believe more regular accountability workshops would be of benefit. This would allow us to understand everyone’s work and stress loads and evaluate people who may either need a bit of a break to unwind or may need a bit more additional support during busy times. It also provides a structured session for a bit of a debrief, which we all need from time to time in a safe environment.”

 

What would you do if you could wave your magic wand for YFC?

Jo: “If I had a magic wand I’d provide long-term stable funding to the YFC program as it truly is one-of-a-kind in its approach to building capacity and supporting the development in agriculture’s current and future leaders.”

Dione: “I would wave my magic wand for ongoing funding for YFC, face-to-face workshops and the travel to get there – how many waves does the wand get? It would also be ideal to have administrative support for Lynne for the YFC – everything from on-boarding to following up RSVPs and presentation preparation.”

Franny: “I would love to see an in-person event. In my ideal world, we would have a conference-like event that went for several days and included both workshops as well as opportunities for YFC members to present their own research/work.”

Emily: “My favourite and the most rewarding part of the whole YFC family is the impact I can have on those around me through sharing my experiences and assisting others to follow their goals. While encouraging people to do this is always difficult, having a system that more heavily encourages the giving back portion may just be the push some people need to get them to step up and experience the sense of fulfilment and the greater appreciation for the work that goes into creating this program.”

 

Final words?

Jo: “To me the community of YFC alumni continues to be a place of shared values and source of inspiration and I hope that the community of YFC can continue to support, nurture and champion one another.”

Dione: “The YFC network is a family where we can learn, grow, and learn some more. We have the opportunity to practice difficult conversations and overcome challenges that instill us with skills for life. The community of practice that has been created over the years is something to be immensely proud of, which includes tried and tested ways that we know work well for young people.”

Franny: “In my eyes, I see YFC as a community network and as a training program. I believe that the network is future-proofed because we have some strong and loyal YFC alumni who are passionate about keeping the conversation alive and work closely with new YFC to help them feel supported.”

Emily: “For me the YFC alumni network is a community of likeminded individuals who share in each other’s wins and learn from each other’s losses. It is a community we can all call upon for support, assistance and guidance but also a community that enriches and inspires others in both the agricultural and wider world to look to us as role models.”

Shining the spotlight on Tarrawanna Public School and the power of the Living Classroom Concept

 

Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future has wrapped up for another year with students from multiple schools exploring the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) and taking their peers, their families and their communities on a sustainability journey. One such school is Tarrawanna Public School.

“Tarrawanna Public School (TPS) has been building a culture of sustainability over the past three years. When our principal, Bronwyn Jeffree, started at TPS, she recognised the gaps in sustainability learning and introduced ‘The Living Classroom’ project run by Aaron Sorenson at Elemental Permaculture. Aaron is amazing at what he does and has been instrumental in encouraging sustainability at TPS.” assistant principal Kelly Judd says.

The Living Classroom provided foundations and focus for the school’s sustainability journey.

“The Living Classroom is a permaculture classroom where students establish and maintain different systems,” Aaron says, examples of which include a 4-seasons vegetable garden, composting, biodiversity and themed gardens such as tropical food forests where pawpaw and banana now bear fruit.

The Living Classroom demonstrates care of country. We are informed by the legacy of Indigenous people and are setting up frameworks to work with traditional land owners. At Tarrawanna it is, most importantly, a reconciliation garden,” Aaron continues.

The Living Classrooms are designed by Aaron Sorenson and Dan Deighton of Elemental Permaculture 

Sustainability at Tarrawanna comes from kids teaching kids. As older students (known as Environmental Leadership Ambassadors) progress through The Living Classroom project, they impart their knowledge and understanding to the younger children so that all students from K-6 have some form of sustainability participation. That may be food-scrap collection for the compost, weeding, mulching or harvesting.

“What we hear from our students is they will correct each other if something is placed the in the wrong bin.  They understand the value of the food scraps and how important it is to the garden and the ecosystems,” Kelly says.

The message also reaches families and communities.

“Our experience shows sustainability conversations go home. We’ve had parents ask if they can come in for our Living Classroom lessons (joining their children in a lesson). In these instances, the child becomes the teacher, as students excitedly share ideas about sustainability and the things they can improve around the home to be more sustainable. Families report they have planted vegetable gardens, have chicken coups and are composting,” Kelly says.

TPS furthered their sustainability journey in 2022 when they participated in Kreative Koalas, which inspired them to connect with Wollongong City Council to jointly create a Tiny Forest for the preservation of local wildlife.

“The project has encouraged wildlife back into the area and the students and community monitor the types of animals returning,” Kelly says.

Combining the Tiny Forest, which provides food for native animals, and permaculture gardens, which provide food for students and the community, led TPS to study SDG 2: Zero Hunger for their Kreative Koalas project.

The artwork on their koala Mr T B Kind (short for ‘to be kind’) depicts the animals seen in the permaculture garden and in the Tiny Forest including native bees, kookaburras, the black cockatoo and the iconic Tarrawanna water dragons. These mosaic animals, on Mr T B Kind, are made from re-purposed broken tiles that were discovered as garden beds were created.

“Our Kreative Koala has our community talking. He is the icon in our garden and the children take great delight in sharing the story of why a decorated koala now lives in our school,” Kelly says.

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Rounding out the Kreative Koalas project was an open day held at the school with invitations to parents and community members to visit classrooms and see firsthand the sustainability learning that is happening at Tarrawanna Public School.

“We are very proud of our sustainability efforts and how it has connected our community,” Kelly says.

Congratulations to everyone at Tarrawanna Public School for being a leading light on how sustainability, through programs such as The Living Classroom and Kreative Koalas, can become embedded in the community.

 

 

Robertson Public School making sustainability sustainable and preparing their students for the Green Jobs of the Future .

Students from Robertson Public School with teacher John Crompton and Costa Georgiadis at the Kreative Koalas Awards and Celebration ceremony on December 1st 2022 at Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens

“Young people increasingly see the green credentials of businesses and industries as a key factor influencing their  career choices.”

Kreative Koalas, with generous support from the St Vincent de Paul Society, sees many forms of sustainability and environmental commitment in primary schools. At Robertson Public School they believe in making sustainability sustainable.

“We promote environmental protection and education at Robertson Public School in a couple of ways. We work with the Robertson Environmental Protection Society, to preserve remnant rainforest on our extensive grounds (10 acres), which has inspired us to establish a Tiny Forest.

We are part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden initiative and we have a potting shed and raised garden beds to grow vegetables that go back into our canteen. We have introduced a beehive into the school and will be adding another next year to encourage native bees into the school grounds and to further promote sustainability.

We have a Sustainable Schools grant to establish a glasshouse where we can raise vegetable and native plant seedlings. We are going to create a Farm Gate and sell vegetable seedlings, surplus produce and honey to our local community and whatever money we raise from that goes back into our sustainability practices and in particular into building our Tiny Forest.

But most importantly, we want to make sure our sustainability is sustainable and is something that we can carry forward through a number of years.” principal Gordon Parrish says.

Gordon realises that to do this requires not only the support of students but also their parents and the wider community. Parents and grandparents come into the school to work in the gardens alongside their children and to share their own knowledge. The school is part of the Share Our Space program that encourages community members to use the school grounds during holidays and after school hours, and the students connect with local businesses with a similar sustainability mindset.

Moonacres is a local café that also has an ethical farm out of town that supplies to restaurants in the area. Our Stage 3 kids will be visiting the farm four times next year to look at crop rotation in different seasons, and then we are going to try and mirror that back at school,” Gordon says.

 

While Robertson Public School currently reports to parents on activities such as recycling, 2023 will see the students take a bigger responsibility in sharing the sustainability message with the community. They plan to create instructional videos on school activities such as building native bee hotels and vegetable gardens and post these to social media.

In 2022 the sustainability message was informed by participation in Kreative Koalas where students raised awareness of all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The SDG were painted on their koala named Koala T, a reference to the number of times the word ‘quality’ appears in the goals (quality education, gender equality, reduced inequalities). Koala T will become part of the Tiny Forest once planting is completed but for now she sits in the school’s bush medicine garden.

“I think the koala will take centre stage on all our sustainability programs and be a good strong reminder of the practices we are aiming for within our school and community. The kids are the driving force behind our projects and the koala will be the symbol of that,” Gordon says.

https://youtu.be/PFQoOiLHSHM

With all the Christmas rush over and the New Year beginning, why not take some time and have a walk around the Kreative Koalas on display in the Birchgrove at the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens

Announcing the Action4Agriculture Grand Champion Koalas and Archies

 

The Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens in Bowral came alive with cows and koalas on December 1st as Action4Agriculture crowned the winners of  The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas.

 

Celebrating resilience and grit, the awards ceremony was a testament to teachers and students who explored ways to show leadership, inspire hope, strengthen their communities, and design a bright future despite the challenges of the pandemic years

 

Special guest Costa Georgiadis was on hand to crown the champion schools who were:

  • 2020 Grand Champion Archibull – Penrith Valley School from western Sydney

  • 2022 Grand Champion Archibull – the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education from western Sydney

  • 2020 Grand Champion Kreative Koala – St Brigid’s Primary School from Raymond Terrace

  • 2022 Grand Champion Kreative Koala – Tarrawanna Public School from Wollongong

All schools were tasked with examining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, designing, and delivering a community action project, creating a movement to embed sustainability thinking and actions in our way of life

 

The students presented their learnings through art on either their fibreglass cow (secondary schools) or koala (primary schools).

 

Special awards presented on the day were:

  • The Carmel Mills Memorial Award for Learning with Impact – Chevalier College from the Southern Highlands (The Archibull Prize) and Scot’s All Saints College from Bathurst (Kreative Koalas)
  • The Alan Eagle Watershed Moment Award – Hill Top Public School for reporting sustainability alongside core curriculum subjects on student report cards

Action4Agriculture is grateful for the support of Corteva Agriscience, NSW Government, St Vincent de Paul, Austral Fisheries, Wingecarribee Shire Council and Southern Highland Botanic Gardens which allows The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas to be delivered into schools.

These programs empower our students to look at our world differently, explore sustainability and environmental issues that affect our planet and design local solutions to global challenges.

 

Please contact Lynne Strong for photos from the event M: 0407 740 446 IE: lynnestrong@action4ag.com.au

 

 

 

 

The Living Classroom Project – more than just a school garden

Kreative Koalas 2022 has once again introduced us to a cohort of exciting, future-focused young people in primary schools with vivid imaginations and a drive to create a better and brighter world. It has also introduced us to The Living Classroom Project, an outdoor classroom where students build permaculture systems and become leaders as Garden Ambassadors.

The Living Classroom is the brainchild of Aaron Sorensen and Daniel Deighton from Elemental Permaculture, who together have over forty years of experience in making the Illawarra region a better place to live. Daniel is a specialist in environmental restoration and a landscape architect, who has previously been involved with the transformation of Tom Thumb Lagoon at Port Kembla. Aaron has a background in education and art and a life-long appreciation of the power of permaculture to make positive change.

“We both shared a vision to create a life-long learning pathway for young people and respond to what was happening in the Illawarra with the environmental, social, cultural and spiritual impact of industry and the port. We found permaculture a positive movement that we could use as a tool to engage communities in a conversation and initiate projects,” Aaron says.

The first school Aaron and Daniel worked with was Cringila Public School.

“BlueScope wanted to invest money in a school that was directly impacted by industry and Cringila was on the site of an artificial coal seam fire, which was created by slag and coal wash that could not be processed by existing technology, We built a garden using permaculture ethics, which are care of earth, care of people and fair share and from there created a program for the children to maintain the garden and become leaders, or Garden Ambassadors, for students coming after them.” Aaron says.

Cringila Public School Living Classroom 

The Living Classroom Project took flight.

When a Living Classroom is established in a school it becomes much more than just a garden; it becomes a living environment with systems that balance food production, biodiversity and sustainable natural resource management, while also a social environment where children and the school community can come together to share and learn new skills. Projects include:

  • Soil building
  • Composting
  • No-dig gardening
  • Green Manure
  • Chop and Drop (with woodchips to inoculate fungi)
  • Food gardens
  • Animal systems such as chickens and bees
  • Wildlife corridors
  • Aquatic systems
  • Outdoor kitchens, and
  • Spaces for people to gather

Daniel now works with schools across the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane following his relocation to Queensland. Aaron continues to work with schools in the Illawarra including Tarrawanna Public School who participated in Kreative Koalas this year.

“Teaching and learning are so enriched through The Living Classroom Project.  Aaron has been leading the way on permaculture gardening for 3 years at Tarrawanna Public School.  The lessons develop student understanding not only of permaculture, but also of science, mathematics, history, geography and art.  The program runs with our S2 students, but what we find is so many students want to continue with their learning in the following years, they want to come back as mentors and leaders [Garden Ambassadors] to the younger students. Aaron makes an unbelievable connection with the students; his passion ignites and engages the eagerness in the children to want to continue their learning of sustainability,” Kelly Judd, Tarrawanna assistant principal, says.

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Garden Beds at Tarrawanna Public School

Food produced in Living Classrooms is prepared for school consumption or taken home to families and communities, which has encouraged backyard gardens, one visible and practical impact of the project. David Lamb, director of Education Leadership, Wollongong Network with the NSW Department of Education sees other impacts.

“The number one impact is engagement; it makes kids want to go to school. Kids that may be disengaged in the normal classroom become champions in the Living Classroom because learning has meaning for them and it is real. It also encourages cross-cultural respect as kids work together in the garden and it taps into caring for the earth and caring for people, which develops compassion and empathy. It is a wonderful, wonderful project,” he says.

The ethos of Kreative Koalas is to enable young people to design a bright future, particularly in the face of challenges such as COVID and climate change. The Living Classroom Project lives by similar aspirations.

“Something as small as composting waste or growing food is about taking the power back. It gives kids hope and an opportunity to be in control and I truly believe young people, who become creative learners through engagement with nature, have the capabilities to lead us to where we need to go,” Aaron concludes.

https://youtu.be/HTcVhf610SQ

Action4Agriculture founder Lynne Strong joined Aaron and teacher Mrs Harris at Fairy Meadow Demonstration School to see what a day in the garden looks and feels like for the students

The Living Classroom has been sponsored by BlueScope Steel for 18 years and there are currently 24 schools in the Illawarra region in various stages and sizes with full Living Classrooms at Five Islands Secondary College (year 12 HSC subject in permaculture), Warrawong High School, Cringila Public, Port Kembla Public, Tarrawanna Public, Fairy Meadow Public, St Pats at Port Kembla, Illawarra Sports High and Warrawong Public.

Watch Five Islands secondary College showcased on Gardening Australia here 

Permaculture expert and educator Aaron Sorenson shares The Living Classroom design model 

 

 

 

#Action4Agriculture #KreativeKoalas #LivingClassrooms #YouthVoices

 

 

Young Farming Champions Muster November 2022

 

 

 

Headline Act

“If you believe in your heart that you need to do something, and you know in your heart its right… and especially when you’re in a position to make the change, you can’t back away from it.” Alison Mirams 

This is one of the favourite quotes of Action4Agriculture director Lynne Strong who has spent decades championing young people and watching as they shine and make a difference to the world around them. This belief was mirrored recently at the 2022 NSW Sustainability Awards (also known as the Banksia Awards), announced in October, where both Young Farming Champions and students from our school programs were celebrated. Take a look at some of the winners:

Minister’s Young Climate Champion: Winner – Kreative Koalas participant St Brigid’s Primary School; finalist – Kreative Koalas and The Archibull Prize participant Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education.

NSW Communications for Impact Award: Finalist – Action4Agriculture/Kreative Koalas

NSW Youth as Our Changemakers Award: Joint Winners – Young Farming Champions Anika Molesworth and Josh Gilbert.

What a night! Read more about Lynne’s thoughts on the awards and young people as changemakers here.

 

The Team

The NSW Sustainability Awards prove our YFC and our school programs have impact and 2023 will bring more opportunities to fly the agricultural flag with the launch of two new programs: Action4Youth and Young Environmental Champions. Both programs will allow YFC to engage the next generation in agricultural conversations and agricultural career pathways. Stay tuned!

 

In the Field

From paddocks (and oceans) in Australia and across the world, to wool-selling centres and city-based jobs providing help for the hungry, our Young Farming Champions prove there is plethora of career opportunities beyond (and behind) the farm gate.

One YFC making the most of his agricultural pathway is Sam O’Rafferty who works with Summit Ag in southern NSW, where rain and flooding have impacted the production area and planting season for cotton. Despite the challenges Sam reports that cotton seedlings are established and the crop is powering along. Thanks for the update, Sam.

Francesca Earp’s agricultural field is in Laos, where she recently returned after a two-year hiatus due to COVID. “I was in Laos for three weeks meeting with organisations working on female empowerment, and planning fieldwork for next year’s PhD data collection. I also attended the wedding of one of my colleagues Bouakeo and his wife Koung.”

Providing food is not just a land-based activity as Bryan Van Wyk, our fishing YFC and operations manager for Austral Fisheries, reports from northern waters:

“We have just finished our 2022 tiger prawn season in the Northern Prawn Fishery. 52 vessels fished waters west of Darwin (NT) through to Weipa (QLD) for the past three months catching a variety of different prawn species. At the top of the list sits tiger prawns which are one of the largest and most sought after wild caught prawns in the world. It has not been an easy year for fishers. We have faced many challenges in tough economic climates, which you can listen more about here in an interview with the ABC (6 mins in).”

As part of her successful career as a wool broker Samantha Wan attended AWI’s Wool Broker Forum held in Sydney recently.

“It was highly informative with insightful guest speakers covering global business intelligence, consumer research, education and more, and also an excellent opportunity to network with others in the same area of the supply chain and have open dialogue on current issues.”

A shout-out to George Lehmann from AWI who has been supporting Sam and other Wool YFC by providing access to a range of guest speakers including Bridget Peachey (sheep health and welfare), Miles Barritt (traceability), Mark Scott (Woolmark certification) and Geoff Linden (genetics and animal welfare.) AWI also runs a wool podcast called The Yarn, which recently featured YFC Katherine Bain. Listen here.

Congratulations to Tayla Field who has started a new job with Foodbank Australia as a national program manager for agriculture.

“Foodbank is a non-for-profit business that sources a range of products including food and non-food items such as personal hygiene products for charities. In my new role I will be looking after the agricultural programs that source fresh food at Foodbank including working with growers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. The role will cover fresh products including meat, dairy, eggs and fresh produce, while also touching on logistics/transport and packaging. I am looking forward to building on my current skills and developing a new network within a range of agricultural industries.”

 

Out of the Field

Congratulations are in order for Katherine Bain who has channelled her love of sheep and agricultural shows to be named the runner-up in the Victorian Rural Ambassador Awards. As part of the competition Katherine spent three days at the Royal Melbourne Show in September where she not only participated in competition interviews, but gained behind-the-scenes insights into how a royal show is orchestrated. Highlights included the commentator’s box (“very impressive”), presenting ribbons to the finest Burmese Mountain Dogs (“a new but very enjoyable experience”), the show’s ‘Big Brother’ room (“where they keep an eye on everything!”) and participating in the Young Farmer Challenge. Well done, Katherine. I think you have inspired us all to have a shot at the Rural Ambassador Awards!

Staying with shows and Lucy Collingridge was recognised for her commitment to the agricultural show movement when she was awarded life membership of the Cootamundra Show Society at their 2022 Show. Lucy began her agricultural journey on a farm in Condobolin, however it was the Cootamundra Show that expanded her love and education about all things ag; from running the ute competition before she could legally drive herself, to competing in the junior judging events to now overseeing the fleece junior judging Group 9 final, and managing the website and social media for the show society from nine hours away. Lucy has been hands on wherever the Cootamundra Show Society has needed her for many years.

Lucy is pictured with her Mum, Sharon, and the Cootamundra Show President Geoff Larsen.

How can we re-imagine solutions to food security, and support SDG 2: Zero Hunger? This was the question Dylan Male took to high school students across Australia and Indonesia as a guest speaker at Asialink’s ‘Asia Education Foundation’ in early November.

“Eradicating hunger and malnutrition is one of the great challenges shared by our global community. Climate change, an increasing population, increasing farm input costs, land degradation, biodiversity loss and conflict are just some of the key colliding challenges adding pressure to our food systems. Positively, agricultural scientists are working with farmers around the world to optimise food production and support a world of #ZeroHunger,” Dylan says. “It was great to be a part of a program that is supporting young people to develop their own solutions and action orientated ideas, which will help contribute towards a world of Zero Hunger into the future.”

 

Prime Cuts

Congratulations to Anika Molesworth, who not only was joint winner of the NSW Youth as Our Changemakers Award, but has been named as Australian Geographic’s Conservationist of the Year.

Want to hear Anika talk about electric cars in the Outback? Check out this Central Station podcast.

 

 

Personal Highlights

Jess Fearnley had a lovely surprise during her holidays. Her partner Christopher Pattison proposed to her on the shores of Lake Macquarie and she said yes! Congratulations Jess; we wish you both a lifetime of happiness.

#creatingabetterworldtogether #YouthVoices #YoungFarmingChampions #Action4Agriculture

Action4Youth supporting disengaged young people to explore, connect and thrive in careers in agriculture

A new program to be delivered by Action4Agriculture (A4A) in 2023 will reimagine the way young people see and access career pathways in agriculture. Supported by the National Careers Institute, ACTION4YOUTH, will engage with youth aged 15-24 years, either identified as disengaged, Indigenous or migrant, to explore a career in agriculture and/or fisheries, connect them to business and industry and, give them opportunities to undertake work experience in agriculture and fisheries.

The project will deliver across three phases:

  • EXPLORE: A series of careers awareness activities, with supported self-reflection on motivators, barriers, aptitude and interest across three key commodities: dairy, wool and fishing.
  • CONNECT: Participants connect with businesses and Young Farming Champions, to discuss career opportunities and learn what it is to be part of the agricultural/fisheries workforce.
  • SUPPORT: Training for job and life skills, and personal growth, will support youth to engage with a farm business/fishing enterprise. Students who complete the program will have the opportunity to  undertake work experience to support them to gain practical and life skills for commencing a career in agriculture/fisheries.The initial phase of the project, EXPLORE, will connect young people, including from BackTrack, with career exploration professionals to increase awareness of career pathways within dairy, wool and fisheries. Using a combination of video, apps, workshops, personalised counselling sessions and direct connection to individuals working in the sector, young people will explore their own motivations and interests and look across all aspects of agriculture/fisheries production, including jobs of today and the future.

Even before its official launch ACTION4YOUTH has been gaining the attention of international stakeholders, including from Chris Webb, careers consultant for England’s University of Huddersfield and host of the #WeAreCareers Show, who writes:

“For me, this is a brilliant way to empower young people with career management skills and support them and their parents/carers to navigate an increasingly chaotic world, as well as mitigate the sense of ‘information overload’ that we so often hear as careers professionals.”

ACTION4YOUTH will partner with BECOME Education to deliver 21st century careers advise and pathway creation, and to fill the void where schools do not have careers advisors.

“Research shows that young people have a narrow idea of the world of work. They can hold simplistic or outdated ideas of careers. Agriculture is a prime example of a dynamic, changing and diverse field that is open to students of all backgrounds and interests. Agriculture can offer engaging careers for those with specialty knowledge from engineering to agribusiness, plant and animal systems, logistics, ecology, production processes and technology – to name only a few,” Liv Pennie, CEO and Founder of BECOME Education says.

 

ACTION4YOUTH’S key business connections and trusted industry partners are Australian Wool Innovation, Dairy Australia and Austral Fisheries.

 

Expressions of interest are now open here  for schools with professional development for teachers to be available in November and December prior to commencement of the program in 2023.

 

 

For more information watch this video from Action4Agriculture director Lynne Strong or contact Lynne directly at lynnestrong@action4ag.com.au

 

Catching Up With Ngunnawal – One of our 2019 Kreative Koalas

 

What happens to the magnificent koalas once the Kreative Koalas Challenge wraps for a year? Well, Ngunnawal, the koala from Bob’s Farm Public School, which participated in the program in 2019, has made his home at the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, and today he starts his journey as our newest correspondent.

 

Hello everybody!

 

I hear you’ve been thinkin’ about me and asked for an update… I’ve never had a pen pal before but I’m going to do my best to give you regular updates on what’s going on in my life!

 

For those of you who don’t remember me, I’m Ngunnawal, the Kreative Koala designed by the passionate environmental warriors (the students) of Bob’s Farm Primary School.

 

I’m writing to you all today from my home at the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary. It’s such a great place to live.

 

I spend my days in the Koala Centre, welcoming all the keen koala lovers who come and visit the Sanctuary. Visitors love to take photos with me and I’ve become really great friends with the humans who work here too! I get to be a product tester, trying on all the new merchandise that is sold in the retail store.

 

My favourite item is the beanie. But I’m not sure how I should wear the beanie… Should I have one on each ear or just plop one on the middle of my head? I’d love to know what you all think!

 

I’ll send another update when I’ve got more exciting news to share! In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to do, come visit me, I promise you’ll have a koala-ty time!

 

See you soon…