Irrawang High School makes it through to 2017 Archibull Prize finals

Students from Irrawang High School never expected to make it through to the finals of the 2017 Archibull Prize finals, according to head teacher, Grant Wyllie.

With entries coming in from schools from across the state, and as far as Queensland, they knew the program was competitive. They simply enjoyed the process of creating their masterpiece, and learning about the agriculture industry along the way.

So, it came as a great surprise to be selected for the 2017 Archibull Prize Awards and Exhibition day held at Sydney Showground on November 21.

AWESOME:  Costa Georgiadis, Lead teacher Grant Wyllie, Hunter Local Land Services’ Jane Lloyd-Thomas, Year 9 students Nicola Green, Ashley Smith and Delaya Johns, and Art teacher Kass Bangle.

AWESOME: Costa Georgiadis, Lead teacher Grant Wyllie, Hunter Local Land Services’ Jane Lloyd-Thomas, Year 9 students Nicola Green, Ashley Smith and Delaya Johns, and Art teacher Kass Bangle.

Teachers and students travelled down to Sydney for the exhibition and although their entry didn’t take out the title of Grand Champion Archibull, to progress through to the finals was enough to make the school proud.

“We have been involved in the Archibull Prize for the past three years, so we knew of the high calibre and competitiveness of the program. ” Mr Wyllie said. 

“The students were all so excited to be selected for the finals. Just to make it through is a great achievement.”

The students produced an awe-inspiring fibreglass cow depicting the Australian egg and poultry industry. Fitting with the 2017 theme, ‘feeding and clothing a hungry nation is a shared responsibility’, Irrawang students created their Archibull with the support of Hunter Local Land Services.

This is the second year Hunter Local Land Services has been involved with the Archibull Prize and School Engagement Officer, Jane Lloyd-Jones said they are always excited to be involved.

 “Hunter Local Land Services is extremely proud to support the Archibull Prize,” Ms Lloyd-Jones said.

 “The outcomes and the creativity of the program tie in beautifully with Local Land Services, in terms of the agricultural and biosecurity education the students receive,” she said.

“These kids are the future of farming.”

The inspiration for the Irrawang student’s ‘archie’ came from Young Farming Champion, Tim Eyes who supported the students on their Archibull journey. Mr Eyes operates a small-scale farm and agricultural contracting business on the Central Coast, and his agricultural experience proved invaluable for the school.

From facts and figures about the industry, which were encapsulated within little golden eggs, to the depictions of eggs and chickens in art through the ages, the layering of ideas and information was wonderfully clever.

The Archibull Prize is an innovative school-based program designed to give young people the skills to connect farmers and the community, helping build a bright future for Australian agriculture.