Archibull Prize draws new patronage from the arts community

Our special guest of honour at the Archibull Prize Awards and Exhibition Day was Sara Leonardi- McGrath.

Sara McGrath 3

Sara McGrath and Young Farming Champion Richie Quigley announcing  the Archibull Prize 2012 Winner

Sara McGrath 2

and the winner is …. James Ruse Agricultural High School

Sarah had some exciting news for the schools in the audience and we are ecstatic to announce that eight of our 2012 Archibulls will go on exhibition at MCLEMOI GALLERY, Sara Leonardi-McGrath’s contemporary art gallery, in Sydney next month.

Sarah Mc BV

Sara with some of the team from Tuggerah Lakes Secondary School, Berkeley Vale Campus whose cow will be on display her gallery from Jan 15 to 25th 2013

I was first contacted by Sara on twitter just after the launch of the Australian Year of the Farmer. We had coffee and it was clear she was a great admirer of women in the farming sector and was keen to promote Australian farmers in a hands on way.


Sara is keen to promote Australian farmers using her unique talents and Art4Agriculture couldn’t be happier

It is also highly evident that Sara was passionate about the development and education of next gen and enabling young people to reach their full potential. Excitingly for me and the team, Sara felt Art4Agriculture offered her a unique opportunity to deliver her vision for the promotion of our farmers and development of youth using her area of speciality the arts sector.

At that time Sara was spending every spare moment searching inner city real estate for the prefect place to open her art gallery and in June this year she opened MCLEMOI GALLERY at 45 Chippen Street, Chippendale.


MCLEMOI GALLERY – a unique space to exhibit the “Archibulls” 

The gallery is known for representing Australian and international, established and emerging contemporary artists; and it certainly is a unique space to exhibit the “Archibulls.”

Sara has been in contact all year and is a huge supporter of the program and is always interested in our progress and the students’ artworks. We are thrilled she has invited the Archibulls to MCLEMOI.  Sara is a great believer that educating our children is the most important role we have as a society. “While MCLEMOI’s main focus is on exhibiting Australian and international contemporary art, we are also committed to creating a sense of community and learning. We choose to support initiatives that focus on education, specifically in the arts. Providing an opportunity for these students to have their works exhibited in a commercial gallery, introduces them to professional artistic practices and hopefully instils in them a stronger interest and knowledge with art and culture” Sara said  

Sara considers the fact that their artworks explore agricultural concepts builds an even more compelling reason to showcase their works. “Children need to be better informed when choosing what to eat as well as understanding where our food comes from.  This is a vital  first step in making informed choices. If we at MCLEMOI are able to encourage even one child to look further into the arts, if even by exploring other artists we work with; then we believe we have achieved our goal of fostering a generation of people who will also have a love and appreciation for the arts. This may only be achieved through exposure and creating an opportunity to be involved in the arts through galleries, whether it be commercially or not” Sara said  

Hopefully the students will have an opportunity to explore the Museum of Contemporary Art and the White Rabbit, which are only stone throws away from MCLEMOI, while they are in Sydney .

We thank Sara for agreeing to host the Archibulls and invite you to visit them in Sydney.

The Archibulls will be on display at MCLEMOI GALLERY from 15 – 25 January 2013.

The gallery is open from Tuesday – Saturday, between 11am – 6pm at 45 Chippen Street, Chippendale.

Exhibiting schools are:

· Model Farms High School

· Macarthur Anglican School

· James Ruse Agricultural High School

· Cranebrook High School

· Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Berkeley Vale Campus

· Winmalee High School

· Hills Adventist College

· De La Salle College Caringbah

Agriculture could learn a lesson or two from the Wyong High School community

Today Art4Agricuture event director Kirsty John and I met with Sophie Davidson and Angela Bradburn in boardroom at Cotton Australia.
On the way in I was very excited to see this awesome display with the centrepiece being Wyong High School’s entry in the 2012 Archibull Prize

Cotton Australia  (3)


Sophie is Cotton Australia’s education officer and she is pretty special. She is particularly excited to have the Wyong Archi on display because not only does it give her an opportunity to talk about Cotton OZ’s involvement in the Archibull Prize to everyone who walks in the door, this cow reminds her of the wonderful outcomes you can get when you belong to a school community that has a collaborative and cohesive vision. Sophie was a school teacher in an earlier life and she is extremely proud of the way Wyong High School not only involved the whole school in their entry they bought the community on board as well.

Sophie has read every single cotton school’s blog entries (that’s a lot of blog entries), watched their videos and PowerPoint’s and Prezi’s, talk to all the teachers at the Awards Day, written a full report on the program for Cotton Australia and their farmer stakeholders and shared the students efforts with everybody in cotton world via every multimedia means possible. Wow all this in two weeks

I have visited every school and talked to the students and the teachers and looked at most of the videos and PowerPoints but as yet hadn’t had a chance to read all the blog posts. So my conversation with Sophie today inspired me to come home and read the Wyong story which you can find in the full here.

This school didn’t just write blogs posts, four of their IT student gurus created a website for the program. The below posts I have extracted from the blog are just a sample of how the school pulled off cross curricula and cross year partnerships to deliver  their amazing outcomes. This is very rewarding for me as this is exactly the way we hope all schools will see the program. We have designed the program this way as extensive research has shown that schools who partner with the community and teachers who work with each other deliver the best outcomes for their students. As you can see Wyong High School is certainly delivering in spades.

Extract from       


By Rachael Year 11

A massive amount of work has been put into the Archibull competition by a wide range of Wyong High students. Ranging from years 7 to 12, the students have put a lot of energy into making this competition fun and worthwhile. The activities include creating a blog with a wide variety of posts, making a video and painting a life size fibreglass bull.

The blog posts involved a wide range of students from years 7 to 12. Before even writing the posts, information had to be collected. A group of year 8 students interviewed Malcolm McDonald from Accuprint, while the year 8 Mathematics class, led by Mr Mathew, crunched some numbers to find out how much agricultural produce is required to sustain the Wyong community for a day. Ms Hastings with her year 10 Geography class researched and wrote the sustainability post.

After all the information and research was turned into posts, the awesome-foursome (IT boys from year 10) came to the aid of the year 8 students and designed the blog. After some year 11 students edited the posts, the awesome-foursome loaded the all of the posts.

As well as the blog posts a video was required for the competition. Year 9 students created the Archibull video and some year 11 boys provided the background music.

While all those computer geniuses were working their magic a different type of magic was being worked on the actual Archibull. The art students, directed by Mrs O’Kane, designed and painted the bull since the start. One of the ideas for the bull was to create a clothesline and hang cotton clothing from it. This idea was turned into reality when Mr Stanford’s year 8 Metals class built the Hills Hoist and Ms and Mrs Smith’s textiles class created the clothes. To finish it off the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students painted the final dots on Archibull.

While all the creative juices were flowing Ms Connally was cracking the whip to make sure all the deadlines were met.

This is just a small overview of all the hard work the students of Wyong High have put into the Archibull competition.

A few more insights here


Sustainable production and consumption is the use of goods and services that respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimizing the use of natural resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations.

Sustainable production and consumption involves business, government, communities and households contributing to environmental quality through the efficient production and use of natural resources, the minimization of wastes, and the optimization of products and services.

Year 10 Geography 1 has researched the topic and produced the following mind map.

Wyong High School Mind Map

Information from IISD.


What does it take to sustainably feed and clothe my community for a day?

During the last week of term 3 and the first week of term 4, a year 8 Mathematics class at Wyong High School worked on getting information about sustainable food and clothing for Wyong. 8 M2 gathered the population of both Sydney (4.6 million) and Wyong (150,000) and the amount of farming products each community consumes. So what does it actually take to feed and clothe Wyong? It takes roughly:

  • 354 pigs (9904kg)
  • 282,523 pieces of fruit and vegetables (68,178kg)
  • 46,429 hens (42,247 kg)
  • 294 beasts (18,822 kg of Meat and Livestock)
  • 12,722 dairy cows (59,260 kg) to provide milk
  • 1029 loaves of bread (22,603 kg of grain)
  • 28,767,123 bees that produce 411kg of honey
  • 267,123,288 grains of rice (5,346 kg)
  • 17 kg of Aquaculture per person, per year.

Cotton, which is the focus of our Archibull project here at Wyong High School, takes 978 hectares of land to produce 60 bales of cotton (13,724 kg) which clothes the Wyong area for a day. This equates to approximately 200 times the size of Wyong High School or about 1,438 football fields. Our research shows that it takes up to 30 times more farming produce to feed and clothe the population of Sydney. This reminds us that farmers are an invaluable part of the Australian lifestyle. Unfortunately, many people take our farmers for granted. Without them, we would not have food, clothes, dairy products, livestock, or our precious cotton.

For Sydney (population 4.6 million).

Feeding Sydney

Feed Wyong



Information gathered from:


On another important note special thanks from the Art4Ag team and Cotton Australia to Hollie Baillieu for revisiting her 2011 Young Farming Champion’s role to work with Wyong High School

Kristie De Pledge shares her story of life on a cattle station in the Pilbara

Today we would like to introduce you to Kristie De Pledge.  Kristie in partnership with her husband Rory and young children are building up a cattle station from scratch in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.  Kristie is very passionate about connecting with consumers and advocating for agriculture.  She has just started a blog to share more about her part of the world:

This is Kristie’s story

Me!!. What about me? What about what I do? What is so interesting about that? Here is my story and you can make up your own mind.

mums pics 077

To put it in perspective lets take a little look back and start with my great grandfather George Hutton. George was an Englishman who came upon a sheep station in the shire of Upper Gascoyne, WA, called Mooka Station. He met and married a German girl working nearby and together they made a small home on Mooka, at the foot of the Kennedy Ranges and proceeded to develop their station.


Kennedy Ranges Western Australia

Together they brought 8 children, 7 girls and 1 boy into the world. My grandmother was the youngest of those children and did not receive any formal schooling until she was 8 years old. It was a hard life back then, washing clothes in the copper and a tin of apples was a special treat for Christmas.

My father’s side of the family were farmers from Victoria. My grandparents sold their farm in Victoria to buy a sheep station in the Upper Gascoyne. They drove across the country, with 6 children, 3 dogs and all that they owned on the back of two vehicles.

Victoria to Gascoyne

Victoria to the Gascoyne – a distance of over 4,000km

When they arrived at Mooloo Downs Station, the previous owners left the next day at 3 am. A distance of over 4,000 km.!!! What an amazing challenge for my dad’s family to have undertaken.

Back to me. I am the eldest of 4 children and grew up on a sheep and cattle station called Mt Phillip in the Gascoyne. What a wonderful childhood. So many adventures.

Walking sheep along laneways with mum and my siblings. Playing for hours out in the bush, km’s from home! I remember running home once, to beat a dust storm coming right after us.

Dust storm

Riding our horses through the creeks. Sleeping on the lawn in the summertime because we had no power for 24 hours. We had pet lambs called Rambo and Rocket!

mums pics 081

I loved going for walks with my grandmother from Mooka. She knows so much about the flora and passed this love of the bush to me. She is the one who taught me not to be afraid of the bush at night time. This feeling inside me, this fluttering and heart burning feeling when I smell the rain landing on dry sand or move through a mob of cattle that we grow and care for.


Picture taken by Graeme Minchin

The feeling of pride and utter contentment when a job like a new fence or pipeline goes in, how do I explain this? How do I share it with you? No idea, but going to try anyway.

My husband and I now own and run a cattle station in the Shire of Ashburton, West Pilbara, WA.



It had been abandoned for 30 years

dozer, koordarrie hstd site, coral bay 10 003

In June 2010,my husband, Rory and I moved here after clearing a patch of ground, and erecting the barest necessities for life.

Kids, Koordarrie Stage 1 004

These included solar power, water tank and source, staff accommodation in the form of a donga, a shed, two dongas with plans for further work(never-ending actually), fenced house yard for children’s safety and a caravan to sleep in until I got the dongas cleaned up.

FebMarch 2011 037

Home sweet home. It was a dry year and there was no garden, no lawn, no trees to speak of.

Our property is called Koordarrie and is approximately 127,500 hectares


We run around  4,000 head of Droughtmaster cattle and have a staff of up to 6 people every year, who range from international travellers on rural exchange type programs to Aussies.


A typical day in December is spent checking tanks, fixing pipes, distributing mineral supplements like Beachport lick. At the moment we are also clearing lines for a boundary fence and new pipeline with the bulldozer and grader.

From November to April  we will erect more fences and make water point improvements and undertake general day to day maintenance. We hope for rain that doesn’t always come. Our annual average rainfall is around 11 inches. Based on years of a lot, then a little.


From April through to June –we prepare the fencing, machinery, horses, motorbikes, panels and trucks for mustering. We train our staff for day to day jobs like checking solar pumps and fixing small jobs like pipe leaks, trough float repairs and tyre repairs.

June and July are our really busy months when we begin mustering stock and remove the weaners from cows, and sell saleable cattle. We shift from areas under grazing pressure to areas of property with better ground cover. We are always maintaining our watering points and station plant.

All sorts 2008 110

We place a lot of emphasis of careful mothering up, giving the cows and calves plenty of time to reunite and confirm the bond between them after mustering.

From October to early November we complete the mustering and shift cattle for effective management of herd and tidy up loose ends like broken down pumps, troughs and fences, whilst we still have staff

In November we start the summer jobs like fencing off pressure areas or holding paddocks and put up new infrastructure like yards or traps for less intensive labour of stock handling.

Yard building

When your starting from scratch as we are, money must be carefully spread across the whole of the property, with projects like fencing, watering points and relevant infrastructure, general maintenance, food and fuel always at the front of your mind.

Seeing my own children growing up in this wonderful, experience rich environment fills me with happiness. There are so many amazing things happening within agriculture right now and technology has enabled us to connect with the wider community.

I hope sharing my story shows that there is fun, excitement, sadness, wonderment and satisfaction to be had, right here, right on your doorstep in this beautiful country .

Yanrey Station 167

Winning Entries for Archibull Prize 2012

As promised here is the full list of winners for the 2012 Archibull Prize


Overall Winning School – Archibull Prize – $1000.  This is determined by adding all the points from the 3 elements

  1. Best Cow – $500
  2. Best Blog – $500
  3. Best Project video or PowerPoint – $500
  • Archibull Prize 2012

The overall winner was James Ruse Agricultural High School at Carlingford closely followed by Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus with De La Salle College and Shoalhaven High School tying for 3rd place and just behind them was Model Farms High School. Just 5 points separated 1st and 4th. This was one close competition in every element. 


The James Ruse elements that combined to win them the big win

  • Blog

  • Video

    • Best Cow was a win for Caroline Chisholm College Glenmore Park with “Athena”


    • Caroline Chisholm College

    This is what the art judge had to say about “Athena” “ Athena says just about everything that can be said about the dairy industry in Australia. With her puzzle base and upright stand, she takes the form of a trophy – a trophy proclaiming Dairy as the Winner! The puzzle base, which depicts a stereotypical dairy farm image, opens up to reveal a series of milk myths, which are then busted by dairy industry facts.

  • Caroline Chisholm College 2

    Her sides talk about the impact of the carbon tax on the dairy industry, the staggering quantities of cows needed to provide the required amounts of milk, the processes and the biosecurity risks to the industry itself. Scattered all over are also a series of QR Codes, which then link the viewer to a wealth of further information. Definitely the complete dairy picture!”

    • Best blog

    The blog component resulted in a tie between De La Salle College at Caringbah and Shoalhaven High School at Nowra

    De La Salle College at the Awards Ceremony

    The De La Salle team with their trophies

    De La Salle College Caringbah Blog


    a Shoalhaven High School

    The Shoalhaven team

    Shoalhaven High School

    a Muirfield High School


    Muirfield HS

  • Awards of Excellence were presented to all the second place getters


    Model Farms with Lady Moo Moo


    Winmalee High School with Singer

    Awards of Excellence for Blog

    Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus

    James Ruse Agricultural High School

    Cream of the Crop Awards were presented to



    and the winners are?

    a Archibull Prize Awards

    20 schools and lots of excited guests came together today at the home of the Royal Easter Show to find out who had won the Archibull Prize.


    There was a lot at stake including these superb hand painted trophies by Wendy Taylor


    Muirfield High School was pretty excited to find out they had won the best PowerPoint or Video section

    Not only was there a cheque for $500 they got one of those very impressive one off original Archies too

    a Muirfield High School

    Equally excited was the team from Shoalhaven High School who took out best blog ( a tie with De La Salle College)

    a Shoalhaven HS with teachers

    Team Shoalhaven with their Young Farming Champion Stephanie Fowler

    a Shoalhaven High School

    Team Shoalhaven and their cow

    a De La Salle College

    De La Salle College got a big cheque and a trophy


    and reconnected with their Young Farming Champion Richie Quigley

    a Model Farms High School team

    Model Farms received an award of excellence for their artwork and their PowerPoint


    Model Farms Cow being admired by Young Farming Champion Bronwyn Roberts with  Ann Burbrook


    This is one visually stunning cow

    a Caroline Chisholm College

    The winner of the best cow was the team from Caroline Chisholm College seen here  admiring their trophy. The dairy industry is sooooo lucky to have these young people  telling their story through art .  Wow

    Congratulations to Winmalee High School who won an Award of Excellence for their very clever cow “Singer” who is featured in the middle of the first photo.


    Some of the Cream of the Crop winners


    Sarah Leonardi-McGrath with some of the Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus team who won a number of Cream of the Crop awards as well as an Award of Excellence for their blog

    Sarah had some exciting news for the schools in the audience and I will share this with you shortly


    The lovely Sophia Wakeling who we are looking forward to working with in 2013


    a James Ruse with trophy

    We did says James Ruse Agricultural High School

    a James Ruse with Richie Quigley and Wendy Taylor

    James Ruse Agricultural High School students with the Artwork Judge Wendy Taylor and their Young Farming Champion Richie Quigley.

    a Jodan Kerr

    On behalf of Art4agriculture Jordan Kerr says thank you to our Guest of Honour Sara Leonardi-McGrath. More from Sara shortly so watch this space

    To our judges – thank you so much this was a tough gig

    Alison Fairleigh – over judge

    Lisa Claessen – blogs

    Ann Burbrook – Videos

    Sophie Davidson –PowerPoints

    and our very special art judge

    Wendy Taylor

    I will put a complete list of the Prize Winners on the web in the next few days

    Congratulations to all the schools, teachers and students. You did yourselves proud and I salute you all

    The art of gentle persuasion

    Thanks to Caring for Our Country funding we will be rolling out the Young Eco Champions program in 2013. As part of their roll the Young Eco Champions will go into schools with Young Farming Champions as part of the Archibull Prize in Southern NSW.

    Each Young Eco Champion will also pair with a farmer and work on a Natural Resource Management (NRM) Project together.

    Young Eco Champion Megan Rowlatt has already sunk her teeth into hers   

    Megan starts her journey for you here …….


    Not only is Megan a YEC she is also the National Young Landcarer of the Year


    Educating landholders about the importance of our native vegetation is one thing, getting them to adopt sustainable management practices and applying this knowledge to the way they use the land is another.

    Most landholders and farmers care for the land and the environment. They want the best outcomes for the natural environment as well as the best productivity outcomes for their land. Achieving both can sometimes be a challenge and often the environmental outcomes are secondary to productivity outcomes.

    Megan and Marcus Clover Hill Project  (12)

    At present, the landholder has attempted to control Lantana and Wild tobacco through slashing and then piling debris within the vegetation, hoping for it to mulch down.

    Being involved in the Young Eco Champions (YEC) program, I am able to connect with landholders and other NRM professionals to work towards establishing the best management practices for landholders and their needs on their properties.

    By developing practical and realistic plans in consultation with a range of stakeholders, we aim to work towards achieving the best outcomes for the environment as well as the landholder.

    Here in the Illawarra, much of our vegetation has become fragmented and is isolated. Clearing activities over time from the early years of the Red Cedar loggers throughout the 1800’s and then for the agricultural industry,  high conservation value vegetation such as our Rainforest and Woodland, is now in many areas of our region, restricted to the escarpments and steep foothill areas which were in the past deemed unproductive due to their inaccessibility to farmers, or exists in small isolated patches across the landscape locked up on private property.


    Cedar loggers cleared many of the trees in the Illawarra in the early 1800’s

    Much of the remnants have become weed infested due to the disturbance and also due to bird drop and wind-blown seed from surrounding weed infested areas.

    Our region boasts some of the best prime agricultural real estate in the country and I am really passionate about seeing this industry supported into the future and working together to get the best outcomes for the landscape and these landcarers – because really our farmers are the carers of the largest areas of land, and are the producers of our food for the future.  


    The dairy industry is now the main agricultural industry and trees are very important for shelter

    Fortunately many landholders in our region realise the value in preserving and attempting to rehabilitate natural areas. Benefits to water quality, and shelter for cattle are important issues to farmers, and eliminating threats of noxious, Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) and other environmental weeds from the landscape are also a concern. Sometimes they just sometimes need a little bit of assistance and guidance.

    I recently visited my first property I will be working on as a YEC with an experienced Bush Regenerator in prime coastal Dairy country – Jamberoo NSW. Here the rainfall is high, soil fertility is good and the climate is great almost year round. This means perfect conditions for weeds to thrive!

    Our project will be looking to rehabilitate two island remnants of rainforest vegetation which sits in open grazing paddock. Although the vegetation is isolated, it is important shelter for cattle, and will also provide refuge for native wildlife travelling through nearby intact rainforest corridors.

    At present, the landholder has attempted to control Lantana and Wild tobacco through slashing and then piling debris within the vegetation, hoping for it to mulch down.

    Megan and Marcus Clover Hill Project  (2)

    Megan and Bush Regenerator Marcus review the site for Megan’s project

    Unfortunately this is suppressing any natural regeneration from occurring and opening up the vegetation edges to further weed infestations due to the high level of disturbance. Secondary weeds such as Cape Ivy, Bidens and Mist Flower are also now present and add to the difficulty in managing the vegetation. Although there is a high level of degradation, there is some good stuff in there too!

    Our bush regenerator has developed a strategy for rehabilitating the remnants and we will be working in partnership with Landcare Illawarra to source appropriate tubestock for planting projects once the weeds are removed and we can establish where any natural regeneration is occurring. I am excited to be able to have discussions with the landholder and negotiate some control techniques and behavioural changes that will still allow for productive use of the landscape, but not impact on the vegetation and bush regeneration that will be occurring on this site.

    Watch this space for updates on our progress!  

    Not just for Young Picassos

    The Archibull Prize is an engaging, fun and interactive way of connecting communities with the people who produce their food and fibre.

    The program builds a bridge for farmers and communities to reach out to each other, share stories and improve understanding and work through potential solutions together.

    As part of their quest to win the Archibull Prize the students have to complete 3 elements and prizes will be awarded on the 6th December 2012 in the following categories .

    • Best Cow – $500
    • Best Blog – $500
    • Best Project video or PowerPoint – $500
    • Overall Winning School – Archibull Prize – $1000
    • You can take a sneak peak of the video and PowerPoint entries here


    James Ruse Agricultural High School

    James Ruse Agricultural High School talks about their Archie

    Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus

    De La Salle College

    Caroline Chisholm College talks about their Archie

    Winmalee High School talks about their Archie

    Shoalhaven High School

    Gunnedah High School

    St Michael’s Catholic School

    Wyong High School – to be loaded shortly

    Hills Adventist College

    Abbotsleigh College

    Macarthur Anglican School

    Elizabeth Macarthur School

    Jamison High School


    Muirfield High School

    Model Farms High School

    Cranebrook High School

    Camden Haven High School to be loaded shortly