To conclude our Yr 7/8 CCC - Cows Create Careers unit for this semester, and to demonstrate the depth and breath of careers that directly or indirectly revolve around agriculture in our region, students undertook a walking tour of Timboon. At Total Dairy Service students were hosted by owner, Shirley Walker, who described their business model that services and instals dairy plant and feed systems. Students were introduced to Luke Walker and Mikayla Hein, who own and operate their own businesses, Engineer-It and Effluent Solutions Australia. As mechanical engineers their businesses involve working on repairs, farm machinery design, and construction, manufacturing and developing effluent management systems, solid trap systems and systems for utilising effluent efficiently. At Nutrien Ag Solutions, Ben Green described his career path and the variety of careers including agronomy, horticulture, livestock, merchandise, property and agribusiness covered under the Nutrien banner. To conclude our tour, students visited Timboon Fine Ice Cream where students learnt about the career paths of Caroline Simmons and Tim Marwood whose business targets the tourism and hospitality industries. Students heard about the creation of the 12 Apostles Artisan Trail and its role in promoting artisans in our region and gratefully sampled cones of dairy delights. Thank you Shirley, Luke, Mikayla, Ben and Caroline for sharing your journey with us and for helping make students more aware of the myriad of careers available across agriculture in our region.
To heighten their focus on designing a business to operate in the real world, our VCE Business Management class welcomed Mark Cuthell, the Coordinator of the Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre, into their classroom. Mark showcased three recent tourism campaigns to demonstrate how our region is portrayed and may be perceived by potential visitors. He used the campaigns to challenge students to consider how they related to the students’ intended target markets and the class examined predictions regarding future tourism opportunities. Our Business Management students were provided with background data on market sentiment, market reaction and predicted traveller behaviour in a post COVID world and how this would impact on their businesses. Mark was very encouraging and supportive of our students’ business ideas as they are, “the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Thanks for your insight Mark, can’t wait to see some of these ideas in action!
Who better to seek advice about creating a hook to engage an audience than award winning journalist, ex Weekly Times contributor and Free Range Ag founder, Simone Smith. Our VCAL students are examining current issues with the intent of presenting speeches and we decided it would be beneficial to learn the tricks of the trade from a professional. After researching a topic Simone explained that it was imperative to pick the news angle, the importance of personal/people stories and provided relatable experience in writing persuasive copy. The VCAL students have been tasked with giving speeches about the main 15 mental-health issues in Australia with the intent of sharing this information with students enlightening their peers. Simone explained that this issue is relevant to anyone and everyone as the evidence and statistics demonstrate that these mental health issues could affect one of them or someone they know! She stressed that potential journalists needed to be interested in everybody and most things, needed to ask questions and to read, listen and watch the news. She encouraged students to develop skills in comprehension, writing, statistics, time management, develop the confidence to approach people and to think outside the square. Simone made it very, very clear that everyone needs to clearly communicate their concerns and whilst students may not like making speeches, the skill is important when you need to express your views or concerns. Good advice for everyone!
Introducing our Bushfire theme within the Natural Disasters unit, the Year 5/6 students welcomed CFA volunteers to describe and contrast the fatal 1983 Ash Wednesday fires and the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires and to improve their bushfire awareness. John Mahony (Allansford CFA) and Kelvin Boyle (Naringal CFA) outlined the weather conditions, point of origin, fire fighting procedures, wind change and fatal consequences that they experienced during the Ash Wednesday fires. They described the way the community rallied after the event to support those impacted and the improvements that were made to fire trucks, fire fighting uniforms, communications and warning systems. The current Year 5/6 students learnt that the 2017 Year 5/6 student cohort then made up fire evacuation plans with their families, produced posters and introduced bushfire awareness to their peers at TAP’s On! 2017 with the Timboon CFA. Katy Millard, Clyde Bassett and Mary Wigan (Timboon CFA) recalled climatic conditions lead to the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires in our region only 4 months later. They described the causes, use of the Vic Emergency App, the role of the CFA and the community response to the natural disaster which included community meetings, informal BBQs, Blazeaid volunteers, donations of food, clothing and money. Students had the opportunity to try on the fire fighting gear, examine scrapbooks and newspaper articles describing the events and trial the Mount Warrnambool fire tower map. Our CFA volunteers outlined why they volunteer with the CFA and their responses included wanting to help the community to stay safe, assisting with secretarial or promotion activities, wanting to help neighbors and communities and because, “…it was just something that I wanted to do, to give back!”. These students will be tasked to develop a fire and evacuation plan with their parents and will follow up later this year with the Red Cross Pillowcase Project leading into the 2021 fire season.
This week Anne Rosolin, the creator of Great Ocean Road Paddock 2 Plate Farm Tours (GORP2PFT), spoke to our VCE Business Management class about how to execute a business plan for a new business. After describing her own career path Anne spoke about defining the format of your business, the who, what, how, when, why, the time line, details, the good, bad and ugly and to talk to people you trust. She recommended doing extensive research, creating a contact list, seeking advice from a solicitor and accountant and finding a mentor. It was important to update your computer skills, and investigate local laws to obtain the correct permits, to work within regulations, establish who your potential competitors and or business partners are, to investigate advertising and project your running costs. After asking students to complete a SWOT of GORP2PFT the students enjoyed Anne’s buttered scones. Our VCE class then described their business ideas to Anne which included a food van for events, music festival at Glenample, a nightclub, tattooing, a travelling LGBTQIA mental health service, kids clothing, paddle boarding, mini golf, farm tours, Chinese restaurant, cabin retreat, prestige restaurant and a garden party venue. What a creative, entrepreneurial group of students, definitely watch this space!
Following on from the interpretive “Story of a River” lesson our Year 3/4 students continued their study of Civics and Citizenship by welcoming into the classroom, marine scientist, Hannah Moloney. Hannah, a previous guest during our iso Family Science Week in 2020, described her early love of local beaches and environs and elaborated on her role with the Manta Trust in the Maldives. The Maldives is the most populous place in the world for Mantas and Hannah enlightened the class about the two species of Mantas, the Reef and the Oceania, their size, structure, diet, feeding methods, cleaning, colouring, and the distinct marking on their bellies that were like fingerprints. Hannah explained that they were under threat from pollution, rubbish, fishing, ghost nets which are free swimming discarded or lost fishing nets, their gill plates were harvested for Chinese medicine and their ecosystem will be impacted by climate change. The Manta Trust works to educate people about cleaning up rubbish, protecting waterways, sustainable fishing, research and responsible tourism. Students then played a game called Hungry Mantas where they had to avoid plastic or ghost nets and learnt, through a game of Chinese Whispers, that “Soon there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean”. What a wonderful way to help make our students better global citizens.
On Tuesday our Year 7/8 Cows Create Careers (CCC) students welcomed their calves to Timboon P-12 School for the next three weeks where the calves’ health and growth will be monitored by our students. The two calves are on loan from dairy farmer and ex student, Peter Fulton, who outlined the feeding regime required for the calves that included feeding pellets, milk powder and grass and keeping the calves’ bedding clean. The CCC class has named the black/white calf Tezza whilst the tan colured calf is called Fern. We would like to acknowledge the support of our sponsors including Deanne and John from Jaydee Events who helped facilitate the donation of 2 bags of premium Milk Powder with Tom Newton and Lyn Hall from Maxum Foods and 3 bags of Barastoc Calf Meal from Ben Boyd of Ridley’s.
As party of their Civics and Citizenship unit our Year 3/4 students are learning about laws that govern them and how they can make an impact on those laws. This, combined with their literacy investigation into persuasive writing, helps students understand what a difference they can make to local laws and how they can be influential. Facilitated by their creative teachers, students explored a case study, “The Story of a River”, where they replicated the journey of a pristine river as it meandered down a mountain, past farm land, urban blocks, through a town and eventually out a river mouth into the sea. As the fresh rainwater was carried on it’s journey along the river through various catchment areas it was exposed to muddy water, animal effluent, fertilizer, pesticides, mineral waste, fishing lines, urban waste, pollution, oils, chemicals, waste water, plastic bags, and sewage before it reached the ocean where it became part of a deadly habitat for marine life including turtles. Focusing on humans’ interconnections within a catchment, students could see the impact of water pollution, life style choices and the decision making process on the whole river ecosystem. This was followed by a movie called ‘ForkFish – Plastics in the Ocean’ a cynical, exaggerated portrayal of the role plastics play in the health of the ocean. Plenty to think about…
Today our VCAL Literacy students were joined by chef, dairy farmer, tourism tour operator and entrepreneur, Anne Rosolin as they learn about real life issues and potential career opportunities. Anne described her pathway from growing up on a self sufficient beef farm, through secondary school, where she was told that she would fail, to Gordon Technical College, to travelling and working overseas as a farmer and chef, then becoming a dairy farmer and now as a tourism operator. She outlined that these varied experiences helped shape her and that it was important to take opportunities as they presented themselves. She discussed her holistic approach to life, the farm and hobbies and the considered decision to add the new business to provide a diversified income stream. Her current role combines food, dairy and tourism which are elements that Anne enjoys and are combined in her new business Great Ocean Road Paddock 2 Plate Farm Tours. Anne regaled the class with examples of her experiences and the kinds of encounters she wants to provide for her guests including making scones and butter, experiencing seasonal life on the farm and enjoying produce from local food artisans. What an interesting and creative local businesswoman!
To conclude their studies of micro-organisms, yesterday the Year 5/6 students hosted baker, and owner of Jane Dough, Will Jane. Will described his career path from work experience in Melbourne to learning from and working with bakers in France, England, Italy, India, Byron Bay and other parts of Australia before setting up his own wholesale bakery in Warrnambool that produces breads, pastries and donuts. He described the importance of the sour dough starter in the baking of his sour dough loaves and students could see and smell the difference in the live starter and the dry commercial yeast. Students learnt that while the dry yeast was quicker to use, the starter had more flavour as it contains a fermented mixture of flour and water, and a colony of micro-organisms including yeast and lactobacillus bacteria. Will’s bread takes 3 days to make as on the first day Will feeds the starter and on the second day, he mixes it, adds salt, proves it for 4 to 5 hours, shapes it then leaves in in the fridge overnight before baking it on the third day. We were surprised to learn that Will had kept this starter going for 4½ years and it is fed 4 litres of water and 4 kgs of flour everyday which results in approximately 100 kg of bread dough, that is 120 loaves a day! As they examined and tasted the sour dough, hot cross buns and croissants students could see the holes in the bread that were the result of the yeast feeding off the sugar that was produced by the yeast microbes. Jane Dough products are available from the bakery in the Coles carpark in Warrnambool, regional markets and local retailers including The Corner Store. What a delicious way to learn about micro-organisms, thanks Will!