The Archibull Prize now open to Central Qld secondary schools

The annual Archibull Prize program is now open for secondary schools in Central Queensland.

Competing for cash prizes and the national title of Grand Champion, participating schools will research the Australian cotton industry while creatively transforming life-size fibreglass cows into amazing agricultural inspired artworks.

Beaudesert and Costa LR

Which Cotton School will meet Costa in 2018

Blacktown Girls HS (1)

Schools also create a suite of digital multimedia communications and are paired with Young Farming Champions who visit schools, taking the farm straight into the classroom.

As a former participant in The Archibull Prize, Central Queensland agriculture extension specialist Sharna Holman says she appreciates the opportunities the program gave her.

Sharna now works in the cotton industry for the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) and CottonInfo as a Regional Extension Officer and continues to be involved with The Archibull Prize by speaking with participating schools.

“Being involved in the Archibull Prize while at high school gave me a better understanding of where my food and fibre came from and highlighted the exciting pathways and careers available in cotton.” Ms Holman says.

“I’m looking forward to visiting schools in the region in 2018 to talk with students about the Australian cotton industry and share the passion and stories young people have for the industry and agriculture.’

Participation in The Archibull Prize is a chance for students and educators to put their school on the map, with the 2017 National Grand Champion winner travelling from Brisbane to the iconic Sydney Royal Easter Show to the halls of the NSW Parliament.

“Over the past seven years The Archibull Prize has engaged more than 160,000 students in conversations about agriculture and consistently shown that the students involved were deeply engaged in a range of learning experiences,” says Archibull Prize program director, Lynne Strong.

“Teachers saw the impacts first-hand of a successful combination of arts and multimedia activities, along with STEM project-based learning activities across multiple key learning areas. Put simply, The Archibull Prize is a successful addition to any learning program.”

Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay says the organisation has proudly supported the Archibull program for many years.

“The Archibull Prize is a fantastic way to inform young people and educators about our industry and farming in general,” Mr Kay says. “When coupled with the Young Farming Champions program, we have a powerful way to engage with future and current generations about the value of the cotton industry and agriculture as a whole.”

“We encourage schools NSW and Queensland to participate in this extremely worthwhile program and look forward to seeing the products of their efforts on proud display.”

James Kanaley

Teachers and  students will be inspired by Cotton Young Farming Champions like James Kanaley 

Watch the video and hear what teachers are saying they value about The Archibull Prize

Visit our website and view the winning entries in our Hall of Fame 

For more information or to complete an Expression of Interest Contact Program Director Lynne Strong

E: M: 0407 740 446

_2017 Supporting partners Capture






War on Waste – Gerringong Public School catapults Captain Koala onto the national stage

“With the amount of waste increasing in Australia by nearly 8% a year, it’s time for us, as a nation, to seriously re-examine the ways we consume and dispose of consumer items?’ 


Gerringong Public School and science teacher Sue Hassler catapulted themselves into the pilot program of Kreative Koalas with an unmatched enthusiasm to learn more about recycling and waste management, and in doing so won the award for best community project.


Their creation combined their artwork, Captain Koala, with a TerraCycle Drop-off point. “Our project is unique because we have combined our koala into our community project,” the school said. “We have turned this object into a purposeful and decorative addition to our school. We hope to inspire better knowledge of and involvement in recycling, especially through the provision of this collection point for hard to recycle items such as toothbrushes, Nescafe coffee pods and pump dispensers.” Last year we collected over 60,000 Terracycle items which the school receives 1 cent per item for, this money comes back into the school to help with our sustainability work.

Gerringong Koala.jpg

Gerringong Public School won $500 for their efforts but the longer-term applications of their learnings are what makes this such as successful project.

Gerringong Public School was supported by legends local artist Penny Sadubin and Sustainability Ambassador Jaime Lovell through their Kreative Koala journey

During the Kreative Koalas journey the school participated in a plastics audit and was astounded to collect 822 pieces of plastic including chip packets, snap lock bags, clingwrap, foil and muesli bar wrappers. A second audit found an additional 494 pieces of plastic in the school’s water easement. These plastics became the focus of the school’s war on waste.

Gerringong Public Waste Collection.jpg

“I realized that every syllabus or curriculum had an underpinning in sustainability and nearly every topic had some direct content related to the environment,” Mrs Hassler said.  “I showed the students Mission Blue with Sylvia Earle, and then we talked about plastics; their break-down periods, where they come from and why they are a problem. Then we looked at their lunchboxes and how we could minimise plastics in them. We saw a huge change in lunchboxes and there is now a lot less clingwrap, for example, coming into the school.”

Gerringong Public School then overhauled their bin system. Now waste is separated into paper, foil and hard plastics, Terracycle (chip and muesli bar packets)and landfill. “With a school of 430 kids we’ve gone from filling 21 landfill bins each week to four and they are usually only a quarter full,” Mrs Hassler said.


In addition, the students made beeswax wraps as an alternative to cling wrap and Ziploc plastic bags, which can take five hundred years to break down. So successful was this part of their war on waste that parents began asking for after-school workshops to make their own. The school canteen also came on board with eco-cups, metal spoons and a reduction in the use of foil, and recycling bins were put in the staff room and library.

The school has been very successful in educating and engaging their local community using Facebook, school newsletters and their local newspaper The Bugle with Captain Koala now becoming a community teracycle facility

“It’s an ongoing process of watching what the waste is and it takes a long time for people to understand that what you’re doing is important,” Mrs Hassler said. “There’s no point in teaching literacy and numeracy if we’ve wrecked our environment in the meantime. It becomes about starting independent action with nine and ten-year olds and that’s just gold for me. I’ve got kids who’ll come to me and say, ‘On the weekend, we picked up all these plastics on the beach’ and I feel like they do get it and they’re implementing it in their own lives and making a difference.”

Gerringong Public School is a shining example of the power of collaboration to take courageous steps to create change. Though driving of change may start with one champion, it is the movement, and in this case the students who are everyone’s future, who will make it a reality.

Kreative Koalas focus of collaborating with thought leaders who back the next generation of young people who are going to rethink the world and create a better future is something we can all be involved in and be proud of.

See what all our Courageous Kreative Koala schools are doing here 

Watch this space for more on the adventures of Captain Koala

A strong biosecurity system – ‘Come Clean,Go Clean’ a winning formula

Tail of Pigs – The winner of The Archibull Prize 2017 Best Biosecurity Animation was Little Bay Community of Schools

The NSW Government sees a strong biosecurity system as vital for protecting our primary industries, our economy and our community.

Agricultural production alone provides:

  • $12 Billion NSW Primary Industries contribution to the economy
  • 39,000 Agricultural businesses in NSW
  • 42,000 Farms in NSW
  • 66,000 People employed in NSW Agriculture Industry
  • $8 billion value of NSW Agricultural exports

With a vision of Government, industry and the people of NSW working together to protect the economy, environment and community from the negative impacts of animal and plant pests, diseases and weeds for the benefit of all, the government is investing heavily in education programs for farmers and the community including schools.

Concepts relating Biosecurity are considered by school teachers to be complex. The Archibull Prize gives students a concrete mechanism for these very abstract ideas. Using farmers as role models and agricultural examples students are encouraged to appreciate the ways in which farmers are actively addressing biosecurity challenges in Australia and to think about applying this to themselves.

Biosecurity was an issue that 91% of students reported discussing during their Archibull Prize projects with half of those students looking at the topic in-depth

Teachers reported significant shifts in students gaining greater understandings of farmers concerns about biosecurity and the community’s role in preventing biosecurity breaches

Students were particularly inspired by the Cotton Industry ‘Come Clean Go Clean’ program and the concept of the pork industry Pig Pass.

Typical students’ comments about their role in preventing biosecurity breaches included

We need to keep our country free of disease and pests. This can only be done if every single person tries to follow the rules that are put in place to keep Australia bio secure. Students can help be bio secure by respecting the regulations and restrictions on other people’s farms and obeying the rules of our border security. We should wear clean shoes and have clean cars. Remove weeds and don’t drop them in areas where that weed isn’t already growing. Look after their own pets and keep parasites from spreading from them.

The Archibull Prize design allows agriculture to be embedded into the school curriculum across subject areas its hasn’t been traditionally able to reach.

And its had a ripple effect with 83% of teachers saying they will use learning activities about agriculture in other areas of their teaching




Hurlstone Agricultural High School took our the winning biosecurity entries with these phenomenal infographics in 2016 

Check out these tongue in cheek biosecurity adventures of our very own Young Farming Champion biosecurity expert  Sharna Holman here


_2017 Supporting partners Capture

What teachers value most about participating in The Archibull Prize

Blacktown and Costa

Expressions of interest are now open for The Archibull Prize 2018. Make the finals and you too can meet Costa

We have listened and delivered. After a three week judging tour, over 40 video interviews and written teacher case studies we are sharing the secret to success.  See The Archibull Prize teacher insights page here. As you can see the definition of success varies greatly

We asked our Lead Teachers questions like.

What are the highlights of being involved in The Archibull Prize?

The growth and the confidence you see in the students and the pride they take in it. How can, as a teacher, you not engage in a project that embraces the students so thoroughly? How can you not give them the opportunity to experience something they
take great pride in, that they work above and beyond in, and they’re prepared to give up their time and stay back till 5pm of an afternoon? How can you say no to that?

Jillian Reidy The Henry Lawson High School

The highlights are seeing how engaged and enthusiastic the kids are, and the relationships you develop with them through collaboration and teamwork. Our whole class presents our work, meaning the kids have to get up in front of their peers and they gain such confidence from that. The kids get a real growth through the Archibull – and it’s fun! Teachers and parents all love it.

Tracy Devlin Gwynneville Public School

What outcomes have you seen beyond a painted cow?

  • We have seen many layers of upskilling of students and educators to work in a large collaborative team on a STEAM project
    • Project Based Learning in action and on a public forum
    • The Archibull has been influential in St Raphael’s decision to teach agriculture as a subject from 2018 for the first time.

Inel Date St Raphaels Catholic School Cowra

Can you tell me two things you have learnt about the industry you studies that you didn’t know before The Archibull Prize?

What stood out for all of us were the career opportunities available in the industry – for example we had never given any thought to what an agronomist was. The other highlight was the impact cotton has on the community. I kept asking the girls “What would we do if we didn’t have the cotton industry?

Khanthamala Gifford Blacktown Girls High School

Our Young Farming Champion Peta Bradley told us that wool absorbs odours. She told us of a guy who wore the same woollen shirt for 27 days and it still wasn’t smelly at the end of it!

Melinda Adderly Granville Boys High School

What is the impact of the Young Farming Champions visit on your students?

It’s very important to get the Young Farming Champions into the school as soon as possible, because the kids are literally sitting there thinking that a farmer is going to be some old guy in a hat with straw hanging out of his mouth. So, when they see these young, dynamic people and they’re like, “Whoa, what? You’re a farmer?” It shocks me. It happens every year and they’re still doing that because they don’t know. It really opens their eyes up

Sarah Robinson Matraville Sports High School

Dione Howard was really amazing. Its fantastic to see young women in agriculture. Being a young person off the land, the ideas that she could share, it was very real. It was so cool for the kids to meet her and hear about her life. 

Lisa Bullas Calvary Christian College Carbrook Campus

Now is your chance to sign up and be a part of The Archibull Prize 2018.  Send me an email for an EOI at

The Archibull Prize 2018 coming to a school near you????? Expressions of Interest now open

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, tasking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun

The Archibull Prize is a world-renowned art and multimedia competition focusing on the theme of ‘Feeding, Clothing, Housing and Powering a Hungry Nation is a Shared Responsibility’.

This innovative and fun STEM project based learning program is an agricultural and environmental themed art competition for primary and secondary student groups

The Archibull Prize program:

  • Brings the farm into the classroom
  • Introduces students to young people working in the agriculture sector
  • Provides opportunities for students to gain knowledge and skills about the production of the food they eat, fibres they use and the environment they live
  • Creates an opportunity for students to work together to create an amazing artwork that tells the story of agriculture
  • Builds relationships between schools, industry, business and the community
  • Raises awareness of exciting career
  • Fosters two-way conversations and builds lifelong relationships between consumers and farmers

Competing for cash prizes and the national title of Grand Champion, participating schools research a food or fibre industry while creatively transforming life-size fibreglass cows into amazing agricultural inspired artworks.

Schools also create a suite of digital multimedia communications and are paired with Young Farming Champions who visit schools, taking the farm and their career  straight into the classroom.

Being a part of The Archibull Prize is a chance to put your school on the map, with the 2017 National Grand Champion winner travelling from the iconic Sydney Royal Easter Show to the halls of the NSW Parliament.

Over the past seven years The Archibull Prize has engaged over 160,000 students in agricultural conversations and learning experiences. Teachers saw first-hand the impact of  a successful combination of arts and multimedia activities, across multiple key learning areas. Put simply, The Archibull Prize is a successful addition to any learning program.

Visit our website and view the winning entries in our Hall of Fame.

For more information or to complete an Expression of Interest contact Program Director Lynne Strong:


_2017 Supporting partners Capture



Meet the bear who deep dives

Continuing our series on the Champions Schools who nailed the 2017 pilot of Kreative Koalas

Today’s blog post features Diver from Keira High School who won the Fair Food Forager Award for Best Kreative Koala Call to Action. Visit the Hall of Fame here

Keira Koala.jpg

Keira High School’s koala is personified as a diver. It is clothed in a wetsuit, complete with scuba diving tanks and a mask. The wetsuit is a tight fit, symbolic of how the Koala is trapped amongst a myriad of rubbish. Wollongong is a coastal city and the students Koala design reflects the impact of rubbish in their community. They incorporated a mixture of plastics (e.g. scrap fishing wire) with their Koala to represent the natural world and express the suffering of our coastal environment as a result of our actions. The Koala’s marine theme is juxtaposed with the rubbish representative of human impact.

The second part of the Kreative Koalas program was to design a community project.

Keira High School’s Sustainability Ambassador Daniel Simpson talks about Keira High School’s community project 

Like the other schools the Kreative Koalas program has had a domino effect with Keira High School students becoming more environmentally aware within themselves and within the wider community. This has led to exciting outcomes and future plans.

“This was one of the first environmental initiatives taken up by Keira High’s student body. In the future, we aim to promote sustainable practices in a way that will have a lasting impact on our school community. This will become an ongoing project that will continue to run at Keira, and we plan to do bigger and better things as we become more experienced with the Kreative Koalas program.”  Liz Price Lead Teacher Keira High School

Keira High school

Well done Keira High School looking forward to reconnecting in 2018 and catching up on your waste management call to action success

Interesting facts

Koalas aren’t bears.  Visit here to learn more


Meet Sam the bear with a (re) purpose

Continuing our stories on The Bears on a Mission  meet Sam the Bear with a (Re) Purpose

Gwynneville  Back .JPG

Created by the clever team at Gwynneville Public School Sam won the Sharon Bird MP Award for Best Kreative Koala Artwork.

The school also picked up the The Gareth Ward MP Award for Best Animation with this phenomenal video highlight the scary stats on clothing waste and merits of up-cycling

Students in years 4 and 5 work on The Kreative Koala Project. Their focus was on “ Waste”  and how we could  make a difference by reducing the amount  of rubbish on a personal level,  a School  level and  at a Community level.

They aim of their artwork is to engage and promote discussions about our stewardship of our landscapes and waterways 


The base shows the up-cycling projects the student created to show how we can reuse or recycle products that we aren’t using anymore

The plinth the koala has four milk crates. Three are filled with rubbish from our beach clean- up, from our school clean up and from the packaging from when our koala arrived. The fourth is our target for our next clean- up which is zero waste.

For the community project part of the program  the students organised a playground clean up . They found that even though they had bins out, there was still a lot of rubbish being dropped onto the ground or was blowing out of the bins. In their community they  went to North Wollongong Beach and partook in a beach clean-up. They found from a distance the beach looked quite clean but on a closer inspection they soon saw that there was a lot of rubbish hidden in the bushes and under the sand. It was easy to see the large bits and discovered  large amounts of small pieces of plastic and cigarette butts.

Gwynneville Public School Kreative Koalas (1).jpg

Well done to the Champion team from Gwynneville Public School who also took out the Greater Sydney Landcare Network Award for GRAND CHAMPION KREATIVE KOALA

and dont forget to check out what their Sustainability Ambassadors had to say

Interesting facts

Koalas aren’t bears Visit here to learn more