Tyrrell College wins national award in recognition for the great work it is doing in partnership with local businesses and their community. The College was named the 2011 NAB Schools First National Impact Award Winner in November 2011 and as a result received a cheque for $500,000.00.
At the national awards ceremony held at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, Tyrrell’s school-community partnership was showcased in a professional film clip, along with the projects of the six other state and territory finalists.
Check out their video at Tyrell Schools First Video
Presenting the award, NAB Schools First chairman Andrew Hagger described Tyrrell College’s agriculture program as an
“outstanding example of how young people can benefit when schools, communities and businesses work together and pool their resources”.
He also said
“the college was a deserving national award winner because of the outstanding impact its program was having on students, the agricultural industry and the community at large, but also for its potential to grow further with the award funding.”
The program was born from a desire to find a way to engage students within the Sea Lake community, as well as address a growing need for young people to take up a career in agriculture. The partnership involves Tyrrell College; Grainflow Sea Lake; AgriVision and more than a dozen local businesses and farm businesses.
The partnership with Grainflow initially began as a simple lease of the land around their “bunkers”, but has developed significantly throughout the year.
Specialists pitch in
Students in years 10, 11 and 12 get hands on experience through interaction with agricultural specialists and local farmers and are exposed to the range of career opportunities in the agricultural sector. They also have the option of undertaking a VET agriculture certificate and/or VCE Agriculture in year 11 and 12.
Students are required to be involved in all the day to day management decisions throughout the year. At the start of each cropping season, students work with employees from AgriVision and Incitec Pivot Fertilisers to decide on crop type, fertiliser and sowing strategies. In-crop management and then marketing decisions become important as the season progresses.
In addition to the cropping program students develop skills in animal husbandry, fencing, farm maintenance and business decisions. In 2011 students participated in a number of excursions including vising an embryo transfer operation as well as a local not-for-profit agricultural research organisation.
The number of students electing to be part of the program has more than doubled since its inception, which is a key indicator of the program’s success and ability to meet the needs of students.
This year the agriculture program is responsible for cropping over 80 hectares around the school and Grainflow site.
The Tyrrell College Community along with agriculture teachers Mr John Wright and Miss Fiona Best are excited about the exciting prospects of students being able to study agriculture in the future.