The Picture You in Agriculture team is committed to equal opportunity leading to equal outcomes. As part of this committment we support students in rural and urban students to have hands on opportunities to get a taste of diversity of careers on offer in the agriculture sector.
In November 2019 with the support of the principal of the newly announced Richmond Agricultural College – Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education rural students from Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School who participated in The Archibull Prize visited Western Sydney University .
Students and teachers from Lake Cargelligo Central School (L) and Wee Waa High School (R) with their Archies
The visit to Western Sydney University was a highlight in a year of deep and diverse learning experiences for these students as part of The Archibull Prize. This innovative and fun program engages secondary school students in agricultural and environmental awareness through art, design, creativity and teamwork. It is known for its vibrant life-sized fibreglass cows (the Archies), which can be seen anywhere from the offices of politicians to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. In November each year The Archibull Prize concludes with a presentation and awards day. This is what is generally known about The Archibull Prize.
What is not so well known is the capacity of the program to bring together urban and rural communities in a collaborative manner. This year students from Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School, in northern and western NSW respectively, packed up their Archies and drove to Sydney for the awards ceremony.
“It was certainly a different experience transporting the Archie in the horse float that is usually designated to transporting the schools show steers to various shows around the country,” laughs Wee Waa teacher Verity Gett.
Hosting the rural students, in the unfamiliar urban environment, were fellow Archibull participants from Hurlstone Agricultural High School.
“Hurlstone Agricultural High School was excited to be able to host both schools and Western Sydney University (WSU) partners were very supportive of the visit and facilitated a tour for the students and staff.” Kris Beazley Principal of recently announced Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education
And so the visit became more than The Archibull Prize. Students also had the opportunity to attend an ABC Heywire workshop, meet celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis and to make a special presentation at the awards ceremony.
The Heywire workshop and interaction with Young Farming Champions was another highlight.
“The students really enjoyed working with the Young Farming Champions in the workshop from ABC and came up with some interesting stories. They are now considering entering their own story in the Heywire Storytelling competition.” Lake Cargelligo teacher Tara-Jane Ireland
Students and Young Farming Champions came together for a story tellling workshop with ABC Heywire
Emma Ayliffe was the Young Farming Champion working with Lake Cargelligo Central School as they studied the Australian grains industry through The Archibull Prize and she welcomed the opportunity to strengthen her association with the students in Sydney.
“It was wonderful listening to their experiences at the Heywire workshop and watching their stories develop. And it was great to see friendships develop between Lake Cargelligo and Wee Waa students as they realised their similarities and connections. I hope to continue my relationship with them beyond the Archies.” Emma Ayliffe Young Farming Champion
Following the Heywire workshop students travelled to Western Sydney University
“At the WSU Farm and precinct students had the opportunity to understand the interaction in the peri-urban landscape between urban development and agricultural production. They were also able to see all elements of the university’s water management systems in action.”
“The students were then treated to a visit to the University’s world class glass house facility, to witness several scientific plant experiments including the growing of different cultivars of eggplant and pollination with native bees.” Kris Beazley Principal Richmond Agricultural College – Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education
At the university students were able to explore the campus and ask questions regarding tertiary studies, learning that these days there are multiple pathways to university or TAFE entrance beyond the traditional ATAR scores.
For many of the students it was their first trip to Sydney and traffic, public transport, the boarding house and the sheer number of people proved eye-opening.
“They were fascinated by the facilities at the Hurlstone Agricultural High School campus, particularly the kitchen and dining facilities which are bigger than our Food Technology room,” Tara-Jane says.
Finally it was time for the awards ceremony and the day was opened with an Acknowledgement of Country by Lake Cargelligo student Brooke Kirby.
Lake Cargelligo student Brooke Kirby opened The Archibull Prize Awards Ceremomy with an Acknowledgement of Country .
“Brooke was very nervous,” Tara-Jane says, “but proud to represent her school and culture at such a big event.”
For their Archibull project Lake Cargelligo Central School was highly commended for their infographic while Wee Waa High School was highly commended for their Archie Artwork.
“The awards ceremony was a great event, with so much excitement in the room and so much inspiration for the future of agriculture and farming, despite challenges like climate change and drought,” Verity says. “It was very exciting for our students to meet and speak to Costa and we are looking forward to skyping him one day from our school farm and maybe getting him out here to visit. Overall it was a great opportunity for our small rural school to be involved in such a program and we are very proud to have received highly commended (or second place!) in the artwork section for our Archie ‘Chronibull’.”
Both Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School are grateful for the Sydney experience and in particular the hospitality from Hurlstone Agricultural High School and Western Sydney University .
This story first appeared in The Land
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Hear more from teachers and students at Wee Waa and Lake Cargelligo on their Archibull Prize experience
- Wee Waa High School share their Archibull Prize experience
2. Wee Waa teachers and students share how the program bought teachers and students and the community together to build drought resilience
3. Lake Cargelligo Central School teacher Tara-Jane Ireland shares the breadth of experiences The Archibull Prize offers
4. Students from Lake Cargelligo Central School share their deep learnings with the art judge Wendy Taylor