Monday, 3 June 2013
On Friday I had the great privilege of launching the government's policy Food in the Australian Curriculum, which is part and parcel of the National Food Plan. I was at Queanbeyan High School's agricultural production plot with Principal John Clark and representatives from AgriFood Skills Australia, Arthur Blewitt and Ben Stockwin of the Primary Industries Education Foundation, Matt Linnegar from the National Farmers Federation, a number of schools and associated educational providers. It was a great opportunity to promote what is a fantastic industry—the food and fibre industry—and to promote the fantastic and exciting careers that exist inside that industry, a most significant industry in our economy. An amount of $1.5 million has been committed at this stage to do several things. First and foremost, it is to help enhance and develop new resources for the curriculum, both online and hard copy materials. That will be done through DEEWR, and $500,000 has been committed to that process, which is designed to help teachers who want to highlight food and fibre in their curriculum and in their classrooms and to give them practical support to do that. One million dollars will be administered through DAFF and AgriFood Skills Australia, working with PIEF as well, to promote a number things—first of all, to support teachers and careers advisors to better understand the importance of food and fibre industries in Australia and the exciting careers associated with it.
There will be a particular campaign to support those teachers in the classroom. There will also be a program to support teachers in training. These people, like teachers, significantly affect the decisions of our young people, and we will be looking to trainee teachers and supporting them as well. There will also be a major program to make in-school presentations to over 8,000 students and 400 teachers. This is a model that we want to see replicated particularly throughout urban schools—rural and regional schools do not need to place a lot of emphasis on it, except to say that there are exciting careers in a fundamentally important part of our economy, the food, fibre and drinks industries.