News Article


   Thursday 26th September, 2019

Gippsland teachers will be enabled to incorporate ‘food and fibre’ concepts in class, via a series of free professional development events across the region.

In term four 2019, teachers will have the chance to take part in a practical, hands on workshop, thanks to a new Gippsland project.

GIPPYAg, a unique project which aims to link schools, teachers and industry across Gippsland to improve knowledge and appreciation for local food and fibre industries will build the capacity of primary and secondary teachers to introduce hands-on STEM learning experiences about the science and technology used in agriculture and horticulture.

The free teacher professional development opportunity is open to primary and secondary teachers interested in incorporating food and fibre concepts into their teaching practice and classrooms.

It will provide resources which can be used in the classroom about non-invasive fruit testing, digital farm mapping and satellite imagery.

Delivered by Food & Fibre Gippsland and CQUniversity Australia, with support from the Victorian Government, this is an excellent opportunity for educators to learn more about the local $7 billion agriculture and horticulture sector.

“Teachers will be able to link the knowledge obtained through the opportunity about agriculture and horticulture to multiple subjects, including science, biology, chemistry, agriculture, design, food technology and digital tech,” says CQUniversity Research Fellow Dr Amy Cosby, who will deliver the PD.

Dr Cosby, who heads up the GIPPYAg project believes the PD will give teachers a new level of confidence to incorporate food & fibre into their classrooms, giving their students a deeper and better understanding of the sector that generates $7 billion of Gippsland’s $16 billion gross regional product, and that has been identified by governments and stakeholders as a priority future industry.

“It’s vital for the next generation of Gippslanders to be more aware of the food & fibre sector, so we plan to convey easy and achievable lesson plans with resources ready to implement, whilst teachers undertake PD which is aligned to the AITSL Teaching Standards.

“Teachers will also have the chance to hear from a panel of local industry experts, who will share career pathways in the food and fibre industry, so they can learn about opportunities available to their students and the STEM and technology skills the sector is looking for.”

“There hasn’t been a lot of teacher professional development opportunities in the region for a long time, so if we want young people to learn, know and understand how important food & fibre is to Gippsland, we need to give teachers the confidence and the skills to teach this type of content “

With the PD programme also incorporating the ongoing support of an industry panel, there will be a local knowledge base for the teachers to call on, if and when the need arises.

“We recognise the importance of having resources and knowledge delivered in a workshop, but to have industry panels in the region with representatives from the local agriculture and horticulture industries involved is a strategic long term move to keep the education and awareness alive well beyond a PD Day”

Dr Cosby explained that the aim is to have some or all of those subject matter experts from the industry panels accessible to the teachers so that the food & fibre education can continue via guest speaking opportunities and hands on workshops throughout the school year.

Dr Cosby indicated that there is currently a lack of agriculture teachers in Gippsland and the region is not alone with this issue as there is a shortage right across Australia, however she says this is not a reason to shy away from teaching about the food & fibre industry.

“The concept of Food & Fibre can fit into a range of disciplines in the classroom, so even if teachers are not specifically teaching agriculture at their school, they will still get a lot of benefit and learnings out of participating in this professional development day" she concluded.

There are a number of Free PD events across Gippsland in the final term of the 2019 school year.

Each event will run from 9.30 am to 3pm, and are scheduled for locations listed in the table below.
Registrations are essential and more details are available from Dr Amy Cosby via or 0405 824 112.

TO REGISTER -please click here

Free Teacher PD Days

NOTE: You may need to scroll the table below left/right for more information




Warragul Country Club

9:30am to 3pm

Tuesday 22 October

Gippsland Tech School in Traralgon

9:30am to 3pm

Monday 18 November

South Gippsland Bass Coast LLEN at Leongatha

9:30am to 3pm

Friday 22 November

Sale College – Guthridge Campus

9:30am to 3pm

Monday 25 November

The Hub in Bairnsdale

9:30am to 3pm

Tuesday 26 November