Fostering female agri-tech leaders

Teachers inspire students and can play a big role in career choices and leadership confidence. Three secondary teachers from rural Victoria recently took a trip to Brisbane to learn about how they can support students and influence workforce trends.

CQUniversity hosted 15 female teachers from regional, rural and remote areas of Australia at their Brisbane campus as part of the Women in Agri-Tech project. The project aims to create and foster a strong network of leading female teachers supported by researchers, educators and industry professionals.

Each teacher will develop an agri-tech learning module aligned to food and fibre; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and digital technologies curriculums. Three teachers from Victoria were among the women to attend, Anne Frazer (Secondary science/STEM coordinator at Timboon P-12 School), Shona Janky (AgHort teacher/Farms Program Coordinator at Woodleigh School) and Noni Gabb (Year 9 Level Coordinator at Ballarat Grammar).

Anne says she can now provide extended learning experiences for her students while Noni described the project as an opportunity to “upskill in entrepreneurship and the ideation, development and pitch process required in the development of new agri-technology”.

Dr Amy Cosby, CQU Research Fellow in Agri-tech Education and Innovation, champions this project. “The second phase of the program will involve female students from across Australia partnering with their teachers to participate in an agri-tech accelerator competition to further develop their entrepreneurship skills,” she says.

Image above: Dr Amy Cosby (in pink) and participants of the 2019 Women in Agri-Tech forum in Brisbane (image credit: Amy Cosby)

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