Celebrating 2023 World Youth Skills Day at Action4Agriculture


Today,  July 15 is the United Nations World Youth Skills Day – a day to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

The 2023 theme is “Skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future.”

Does this sound familiar?

For over 15 years Action4Agriculture has been equipping young people with the skills to thrive in the 21st century and we have long been known for developing the four Cs of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. Building on our cornerstone programs of Young Farming Champions, The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas we were thrilled to add two new programs to the stable in 2023 in Young Environmental Champions and Action4Youth to further explore these skills.

The Young Environmental Champions invited students to research the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and choose a global problem from which to derive a local solution for their school and community.

“Over 10 weeks, these young minds dedicated themselves to creating a social impact project that will bring about positive change in their communities and contribute towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Action4Agriculture director Lynne Strong says. “Our young people are reshaping, rewiring and reimaging the future; a future where they will be the leaders.”

Action4Youth is a purpose-driven program to support young people from all backgrounds and experiences to thrive in a career in agriculture by:

  • Increased employer engagement in work-based learning pathways.
  • Improved learning and skills development experienced by young people.
  • Increased entry-level jobs offered to young people.

“It is widely recognised that the education and training systems we have in Australia aren’t fit for purpose and Action4Agriculture we are working with a dedicated group of people to address that. We were committed to ensuring the right people were at the table as part of our Action4Youth program and we were very excited to be able to identify those people from the Illawarra and South Coast of NSW and share that information with others so they can follow in our footsteps and replicate and scale our work and value add to their outcomes,” Lynne says.

All participants in Action4Agriculture programs have access to workshops facilitated by Josh Farr from Campus Consultancy covering 21st century topics including building teams, design thinking, developing stake-holder relationships, communication and agile project management.

“The benefits of participating in an Action4Agriculture initiative is the authenticity of learning and the development of real world skills. It enables young people to engage in real world systems, to understand constraints and structures on real world problems and to engage with experts in the field.

From each stage of the program students are encouraged to extend themselves and develop their skills. This is supported by their belief in their solutions and their passion to make a difference.” Secondary School Principal


According to the United Nations “technological advancements and shifting labour market dynamics increasingly call for agile and adaptable skill sets. It is crucial that we empower young people to navigate these changes effectively. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is well placed to meet these demands by reducing access barriers to the world of work, ensuring that skills gained are relevant, recognized and certified, promoting green skills and practices, and offering skills development opportunities for youth who are not in education, employment and training.

“On World Youth Skills Day, let us unite in recognizing the potential of young people as catalysts for change and commit to providing them with the skills and opportunities they need to build a prosperous and sustainable world for all. Together, we can shape a brighter future where no young person is left behind.”

This is an ethos enshrined in Action4Agriculture and we are proud to promote World Youth Skills Day and our role within the movement.

Image source 




Innovative Multistakeholder projects lifting collaboration rates

Australia has one of the lowest collaboration rates in the OECD

““Everyone I talk believes that the problem is academics … their incentives are very much associated with publish or perish.” Malcolm Turnbull

Whilst the blame game is often counterproductive, it is important we address the ramifications for research in agriculture which is too often only found behind paywalls. When the majority of this research is funded by the taxpayer it is important to find ways to make it available to all organisations doing applied research.

With support from funding from the National Careers Institute Action4Agriculture is on a journey to encourage a communities of practice model

  • A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals.
  • Communities of practice often focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge to advance a domain of professional practice. Interaction on an ongoing basis is an important part of this.
  • Many communities of practice rely on face-to-face meetings as well as web-based collaborative environments to communicate, connect and conduct community activities. Source 

We are very excited to share with you our E-Book to support others to build successful multistakeholder partnerships

You can download it HERE 


#action4agriculture #careerswithpurpose #careerseducation


A pitch and awards event for the pilot of Action4Agriculture’s Young Environmental Champions program (funded by the NSW Office of Regional Youth and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation ) gave the stage to 10 teams of young people on May 12 to showcase what matters most to them.

Held at the Newcastle Museum and facilitated by Josh Farr from Campus Consultancy, the event included primary and secondary schools from the Hunter and Hawkesbury regions.

“Over the past 10 weeks, these young minds have dedicated themselves to creating a social impact project that will bring about positive change and contribute towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, “Action4Agriculture director Lynne Strong said. “Our young people are reshaping, rewiring and reimaging the future; a future that they have designed ”

Students found a diversity of projects to focus on including flood water management, sustainable fishing, waste management and recycling, increasing pollinators, improving student mental health, technology to transition students to high school, community partnerships and climate action.

For their final presentation they were tasked with creating a three minute pitch to sell their idea to a judging panel. The panel was led by AAEE (Australian Association of Environmental Educators) chair Sue Martin, accompanied by Newcastle environmental advocate Alexa Stuart, health promotion specialist Dan Brown, CoastXP founder Dominic May and founder of the BEATS.org Tommy Viljoen.

Winning the primary school section was Hamilton Public School who focused on SDGs 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and 13 (Climate Action) to create a project titled People Power.

“[We are] aspiring to improve the health of individuals and our community.

We aim to clean the air and promote physical health by promoting modes of transport that are strictly people powered!”

Winning the secondary school section was St Joseph’s Lochinvar who looked at flood mitigation due to local urbanisation and how it is affecting their school, coming up with a solution that utilised the excess water to irrigate their school farm. Their project incorporated SDGs 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 15 (Life on Land) and was an excellent example of how global issues can be addressed at a local level.

Runner-up in the primary section the runner-up was St Brigid’s Primary School who focused on SDG 15 (Life on Land).

and in the secondary section was the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education for their focus on SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing)

The Hon. Kate Washington, Member for Port Stephens/Minister for Families and Communities/ Minister for Disability Inclusion was especially impressed by the calibre of the presentations:

“I love this program. It gives students, who are already solving the problems of the future, a chance to shine,” she said.

The Hon Kate Washington MP with students from St Brigid’s Primary School

The Hon. Tim Crakanthorp, Member for Newcastle with students from Hamilton Public School


Other special guests were the Hon. Tim Crakanthorp, Member for Newcastle/Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education/Minister for the Hunter, Declan Clausen, Deputy Mayor of Newcastle and representatives from Newcastle and Maitland Councils, Hunter Local Land Services and the NSW Office of Regional Youth.


#youngenvironmental champions




Young Environmental Champions launches in the Hunter and Hawkesbury

“I was able to open up ideas, I looked through the lens of my teammates, and by putting our brains together we have come up with an idea that may be difficult but possible to do. Overall, we are thinking big and are exhilarated for the weeks to come.” Student feedback 


The Young Environmental Champions program is officially off and running with launch events held in February across the Hunter and Hawkesbury regions.

At the Hunter launch event we were joined by representatives from the University of Newcastle, local councils, Office of Regional Youth and Local Land Services. Special guests were teacher Kristen Jones, who spoke passionately about challenges that face schools in the modern era


And Zane Osborn from Hamilton Public School who spoke about students teaching their peers, using Hamilton’s Blue Gate Garden TV as a wonderful example.

At the Hawkesbury event we were joined by representatives from RDA (Regional Development Australia) Sydney and the Greater Sydney Landcare Network.

YEC is funded by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the Office of Regional Youth and engages leadership coach Josh Farr to facilitate student workshops while teachers have the chance to learn with changeologist Les Robinson.

As part of the launch events 50 students from primary and secondary schools representing ten Local Government Areas attended Josh’s initial workshops where he introduced team building and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which will underpin projects designed by students over the ten-week program.

Students relished the chance to network with like minded young people and to make connections with those in the workplace such as representatives from local councils and Josh’s discussion on the structure of teams particularly resonated with students:

“I found the four styles of teamwork – planner, connector, dreamer, do’er – and how they contribute, extremely interesting and expect it to be useful.”

Students commented that they learnt more about the value of brainstorming ideas, planning, asking questions and to look at a problem from another’s point of view, and showed great interest in learning more about the SDGs and how they can be applied to their own challenges and visions.

Future workshops, both online and in-person, will strengthen the skills and ideas ignited in the first workshop and will look at design thinking and project planning, including presentations from special guests.

A final pitch event will be held on May 12 where students will showcase their visions for a sustainable tomorrow.

Teachers will be supported to, in turn, support their students through a workshops, held in early March, with Les Robinson


Both teachers and students will be invited to a special workshop delivered by Headspace on self-care for volunteers.

We, at Action4Agriculture, are excited to see the launch of Young Environmental Champions and can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s leaders create today to show us their vision of a better world. And we are thrilled to see our enthusiasm mirrored in the participating students:

#youngenvironmentalchampions #creatingabetterworldtogether #yec