Students from The Lakes College in Blue Haven made us proud at the 2018 Archibull Art4Agriculture awards. This is a world-renowned program that encourages students, teachers and farmers to join together and explore the role agriculture plays in the health, wealth and happiness of Australians and many other people around the world.
Working on this project over two terms, it was a fantastic learning experience for the students where they were able to apply their creative, multimedia, intellectual and fundraising skills to create an award-winning cow.
Gifted a life-size fibreglass cow to work with and the theme ‘Feeding, Clothing and Powering a Hungry Nation is a Shared Responsibility’, the students had fun showcasing their creative talents as well as raising money for the Aussie Farmers Foundation.
The next thing was to give their beloved bovine a name! The students love hip-hop music and were studying the beef industry, so ‘Lil Tbone’ made the cut.
Winning two major awards as well as two community awards was really exciting and special for the students. Not only since they were the first alternative school to enter and go up against well-known agricultural schools in the state, but also because Father Chris Riley was a guest presenter!
Our students have experiences ranging from homelessness, mental health issues, exposure to domestic violence and school expulsion from mainstream schools. Despite this, the project brought a sense of collaboration, connectedness and belonging with each other and the wider community-one of the many reasons why students in our schools are becoming more engaged in their education. Who would have thought that a cow would bring your school community together?!
The Archibull project helped Rachel* regain her confidence and form friendships that she was deprived of in a mainstream school environment. Faced with bullying almost every day, this resulted in her suffering severe depression and anxiety. In addition, Rachel was also experiencing many issues at home with her parents splitting up resulting in her mum turning to alcohol.
For kids like Rachel, The Lakes College is a safe place where she was able to be herself. Her involvement in the Archibull allowed her to connect with others and discover career paths inspired from the many farm visits.
Like many of her peers, she had the opportunity to travel with Lil Tbone on convoy to rural NSW helping her to overcome her anxiety of meeting new people. Rachel has since begun a TAFE course in Animal Care.
Overall, the students enjoyed the opportunity to work together, taking their learnings out on the road in a bid to see how we can further assist in feeding a ‘Hungry Nation’.
*Name changed to protect the privacy of our young people