As our school is located in the community centre, we are able to continually put our cow on display. Many passers by have been stopping to look at our progress. However, yesterday we could put the finished product on display. We had many people stop on by and say hello. We even started collecting donations with many people digging into their pockets to give generously.
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition has share our video. You can check out their amazing work here. http://www.aycc.org.au/ We really appreciate their support.
Additionally pro-basketballer Damien Martin, a friend of the school, instagramed our mural. Thank you to Damien for his ongoing support.
Thank you to all the visitors that have been hitting our site. We are very impressed by the numbers.
Our cow is looking to the future. What can it see? Us of course!
We have learnt from the past...
and now we are looking ahead.
We have been working very hard on our multimedia presentation and today we are launching it! Our multimedia presentation is focussed on Healthy Communities. We chose Healthy Communities as we felt in encompassed all we had been studying. We hope we articulated what we learnt and we want to thank our teacher for helping us find the words we needed.
We are also proud to say that our multimedia project has resulted in an amazing art work which we will be auctioning off to raise money for the Aussie Farmers Foundation. We know that they are helping to build healthy communities, not just in rural areas, but in all communities across Australia by supporting our farmers. We want to support them to support our farmers and in turn help food get from the paddock to our plate.
You can watch the video here and bid on the mural.
You can read the transcript below.
Healthy Communities – A shared responsibility
Tim Eyes, a young farming champion, said it was a privledge to feed others with his quality beef. A privledge he said.
We did not know how big this statement was until we set out to learn more.
I am a teenager. In the evening I come home from school to find my mum preparing dinner. My favourite meal is spaghetti bolognaise. I set my school bag down, retreat to my room, and touch base with my friends via my phone. “Dinner’s ready” calls mum. I make my way to the kitchen where she places a warm bowl of spaghetti into my hands. I look down and all of a sudden I am hit with the aroma of beef. I suddenly remember the day I met Tim Eyes. I suddenly remember what I have leant in class. And right in that moment, I am grateful for all it has taken to put that Bolognese on my plate.
Everyone in Australia, and in fact the globe, deserves access to safe, affordable and nutrious food and our farmers, like Tim, are on the job. Did you know that despite being the driest continent Australian cattle farmers play a major role in feeding the world? Australia produces only 4% of the world’s beef yet is the world’s third largest exporter exporting to over 100 countries providing much needed protein to the world’s population. Not only do we need beef farmer’s to provide us with food, but we all source a number of every day products from beef such as leather to make footballs and other sporting goods, gelitan which is used to make gummy bears and marshmallows, soaps and be auty products, glue and printing ink and even the asphalt on our roads.
But what are we doing to support our farmers? They have a lot to think about to make this happen for us. Have you ever thought what a farmer thinks? A farmer needs to consider the weather and the impact this weather has on the land. They need to think about water, and in Australia, the lack of water. They need to consider the environment and more and more pressure is being put on farmers to be environmentally friendly and change their agricultural practices to help combat climate change. They need to look after their animals with animal welfare a top priority in their day to day work. After all, these animals are their bread and butter (literally). Safety of their workers and safe food production is also a thought. Farmers consider the way new technology can support them. They sweat about money and how to pay for all this while still supporting their family. Families who often work together on the farm. Children doing chores and caring for animals before and after school. All to put nutritious food on our tables. All to ensure we are a healthy community.
Farmers have a lot to think about and I need to think about it more. I need to think about how I can support my farmers support our nation. I need to think about my food waste and take responsibility for educating others in my home and school. I need to take responsibility for climate change and as a young Australian speak up where I can to try and make those in power listen before it is too late. I need to try and reduce my individual carbon footprint. I need to be more adventurous in my food choices, and further to this, encourage my parents to source local produce. I need to educate myself and others about where my food comes from.
I also need, we all need, to ensure our farmers know we’ve got them. The weight should not be on their shoulders.
To ensure we have a healthy community, we have to ensure our farmers are healthy, both mentally and physically. That is why we have created this mural. It will be auctioned off to support rural initatives through the aussie farmers foundation.
Tim Eyes, says he is proud to be part of this industry. We are proud of him. It takes courage to be a farmer and feed this hungry nation.
Every cloud has a silver lining and the silver lining in the current state of affairs are our young farming champions. Of course we had already met Tim, but there are so many other young people in agriculture doing amazing things. Our teacher told us about meeting them and said they were full of positivity and hope for the future. That is why we decided to capture a piece of their viewpoint in our rainbow.
The rainbow is positioned underneath the drought stricken land. There is not one solution to ongoing drought and climate change. It is a complex issue and it is going to take critical thinking and numerous people to change it. Our young farming champions are leading the way.
One of the most beautiful aspects of our cow is the acknowledgement of support services, like ourselves, that support rural communities in times of need. At Youth Off The Streets we have outreach centres in rural areas such as the Hunter Valley, Bourke Griffith and Narrandera. Our teacher wrote, on our behalf, to other support services asking if we could acknowledge their contribution to rural communities.
To whom it may concern,
I am writing on behalf of the students in my class. We are currently working on the Archibull Prize (http://archibullprize.com.au/) which is a project-based learning program designed to give students a better understanding of agriculture. You can learn more about school’s particular project here. https://tlcraisesthesteaks.weebly.com/
As part of our art concept we are hoping to show the many organisations that support the physical and mental health of our farmers and provide them with resources/funding in times of need. We recognise that your organisation is having an impact on agriculture and as a result we would like to feature your logo on our cow. The cow will be displayed within in the community and will showcase the positive work you organisation is doing.
Would you be ok with us doing this? We would love permission to use your logo.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We are pleased to say that we have been able to include the locals of the following organisations:
- Aussie Farmers Foundation
- The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal
- Aussie Helpers LTD
- Rural Aid
- Beyond Blue
- Drought Angels
- Lions International
- Country Women's Associaation
And of course, Youth Off the Streets.
We want our cow to be about community. This is one of our favourite parts of the cow. These supports are at the roots of the community as symbolised by our gumtree.
Additionally, we have turned our cow into a GIANT MONEYBOX!!! We are hoping to fill the cow with money this week as part of our final artwork. The money will be donated to the Aussie Farmers Foundation. We have chosen the Aussie Farmers Foundation for a few reasons.
1. They support the Archibull project and we believe this is an important initiative and we want to say thank you.
2. They support rural communities in the following areas:
3. They provide grants, which means that the community in need is able to articulate their needs and where they feel the money should be spent.
You can visit their website here: www.aussiefarmersfoundation.org.au/
We are hoping we can fill this cow with money over the coming weeks by getting our cow into shopping centres, on our outback convoy and by sharing our cow at community events.
The money is placed in the top of the cow just under the sign. The sign says, "From the head to the hide, let's bridge the divide." We feel that we can bridge the divide between our rural community and the suburbia Australia by supporting each other. There is a slot for the money. The money goes in and drops through the bucket of pledges. The bucket of pledges is us saying that this is going to take more then a few donations to fix. This is going to take a change in mindset. Inside the bucket is a blue light which illuminates the inside of the bucket like light reflecting off water. The sound of the money hitting the pail sounds like rain. We also have window so we can see the cow fill up with money as the project progresses.
(NB: It is hard to take a photo of the full impact as the light reflects off the window.)
Here is one of our generous parents making the first donation to the cause on Friday.
We hope this aspect of our cow continues to make an impact beyond the competition of this project.
Today was a special day. The whole day was dedicated to community. We opened up our little school to others in hope that we could give generously to each other. Students from Mercy Catholic College visited us for the day as part of their service learning. They brought clothing and food for us, as well as company and support. In returned we shared our archibull project with them.
There was three goals for today:
1. To try and get the cow as close to being finished as possible.
2. To complete the majority of our multimedia / animation entry.
3. To build community in as many ways as possible.
TLC students and Mercy students split into two groups. The first group gathered around the cow to keep adding to our art. The Mercy girls asked so many questions about what we had been learning and the intention of our cow. We took the time to share with them some of our newly found knowledge. The cow brought both groups together in rich conversation and helped to break the ice and make new friendships. By the end of the day the cow was really taking shape... so closed to being finished now.
(Can you pick the mistake in the rainbow above?? We will fix it before submission!)
The second group of TLC and Mercy students had the AMAZING privilege to work with rapper and spray artist Losty on our multimedia / animation entry. Losty is a friend of our school, mentoring and supporting our students whenever we need him. He gave up his time to work with us on this special project. Losty reinforced some previous spray art techniques he had taught us and we shared these techniques with the Mercy girls. I know it isn't clear what this has to do with our animation, but we promise we will tell you soon. The final product will make sense... but in the meantime here is a sneak peak!
A massive shout out to Losty for his support in this project.
We then all sat down and shared lunch with each other. The shared project connected us and we made friends and memories that will be with us for many years to come.
This is what one of the Mercy girls, Imogen, wrote for their school newsletter.
"The Lakes College Outreach was a day full of love, acceptance, laughter and community as we were welcomed into the 'Youth off the Streets' school in Blue Haven, an alternative school for teenagers who are disadvantaged or at risk. Full of excitement and nerves the day started in a circle, where we introduced ourselves to the teenagers of Lakes College and vise versa. We cooked a delicious breakfast of smashed avocado, toast, bacon and eggs and fruit. A little nervous and uneasy we shared a few laughs and conversations as we ate breakfast. The day remained challenging and a little confronting, however it was an experience that has shaped us and will continue to impact us. It was challenging to start conversations at start and confronting to hear of all the different circumstances that each kid had or is going through. As the day progressed, friendships formed, laughter was heard from afar and trust was built. The sounds of thoughtful and friendly conversations filled the air, as we spray painted a mural, hung out and worked on an art project. The wonder of community was displayed as we shared a lovely meal together outside. Many hands came together to prepare the food and set/ decorate the table so that we could enjoy a moment of fellowship and unity. Right in that moment we were all the same, no matter the circumstances we all faced, in that moment we were all in our most human state, smiling, eating, laughing and talking. In that moment we all belonged. The day ended where we started, in a circle. We each expressed something we were grateful for that day. Tears we shed, smiles were widened and once again laughter filled the room. Our hearts were full. Us Mercy girls left the college with opened eyes, softened hearts and a passion to see beyond people right to their core. We are grateful and blessed that we got the opportunity to be involved in such a rich experience. "
This is what this project has, and continues to do for us and those that are part of the community we continue to build in and around our school.
(Note: This is only part of the team. We have a few shy students who didn't want their photo snapped!)
The finished product. Sadly we had to paint over the flags. They were the first thing we did on our cow, but when we added everything else they looked tokenistic. That wasn't our intention, so we made a change. The final product is not tokenistic at all. It is the core of our project. The future is in our hands.
Today we decided to take on the huge task of the head of the cow. We knew what we needed to do, but it was more difficult then first anticipated. Everyone got involved and we managed to pull off the enormous task of spraying our hands onto the head of the cow.
Why did we chose to spray our hands on the head of the cow? The cow is looking forward, to the future, and we know that the future is in our hands.
The amazing students from The Lakes College, Youth Off The Streets