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News

Graduates Shine on Graduation Day

Country Hours Bridget Fitzgerald was the guest speaker at the WACoA-Denmark Graduation on 17 November 2017. Bridget, journalist and presenter on ABC Country Hour gave an enlightening and enjoyable presentation about her journey towards her current career…her sound advice to graduating students as they make their way towards their own careers…“Ask lots of questions”.

The graduation ceremony is an auspicious event for the College. It places importance in expressing the values of the College and honouring the group of individuals graduating on the day, all of whom enjoy the opportunity to demonstrate their achievements throughout the year.

The number of presentations of Scholarships and Awards is indicative of the support for the College’s scholarship program which includes support from such dignitaries as Hon. Dr Sally Talbot MLC, Hon. Terry Redman, MLA and member for Warren Blackwood, Mr. Rick Wilson MP and Member for O’Connor and relevant Associations and local business.

Several prestigious scholarships and awards were presented, signifying the high level of talent and leadership qualities among students at the WA College of Agriculture – Denmark and the support by both the agricultural and educational sector. Principal, Kevin Osborne said, “The scholarship program recognises agricultural college students with a strong interest in the industry, and strives to support their growth and development within their chosen agricultural field.”

Amongst the many scholarships and awards presented on the day, Bradley Kammann was announced College Dux 2017 for the student with the highest achievement in all course areas in Year 12 along with several other major awards, while graduating student Lacy McAlinden and Year 10 student Deahna Keam were awarded the Australian Defence Force 2017 Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Awards, recognising outstanding leadership qualities in these two students.

The highly prized Royal Agricultural Society Scholarship was awarded to Year 11 student Lily Loessl, while the WA Farmers Agricultural Ambassador Scholarship went to Year 11 ATAR student Mikayla Moolman.  College Captain Shannon Hull received the Top VET/Academic Student Award for excellence in vocational education training.

Biological Farming Trial in Cattle Pit

A trial has commenced at WACOA-Denmark to investigate the impact of biological stimulating fertilisers as compared to conventional fertilisers currently used on the farm.

Science and Biology teacher Rob Calcraft, in conjunction with Farm Manager Fred Knight and David York, have commenced the trial in the “Cattle Pit” adjacent to Jack Moore drive. The aim of this trial is to test and measure soil and plant improvement through the use of fertilizers and additives that promote the biological activity in the soil.

It has long been known about the symbiotic relationships between rhizobium bacteria and nitrogen fixing plants, as well as the mycorhizzal fungi and its relationship with plant root systems.  However latest research suggests a much more complex web of relationships between soil microorganisms and plants.

Soil improvement through biological means is a sustainable practice that protects the land for future use, as well as reducing high soluble nutrient run off into local waterways.

Year 10 Science and Year 11 Biology students will measure the progress of this trial as part of their studies over the coming months at the College.

School Principal, Kevin Osborne said, “This is a great example of the integration of Science and Biology with Agricultural practices at the WACOA-Denmark and aligns with the school motto of “Excellence and Innovation in Agricultural Education.”

Open Day A Big Success

Students keen on a career in agriculture and related industries learned all they needed to know about livestock, horticulture and modern farming at the WA College of Agriculture – Denmark’s annual Open Day.

Principal Kevin Osborne said this year’s Open Day, on September 2, was the most important day on the College’s calendar. “This is the day we open our doors to prospective students, parents, the local community and others who may have an interest in agricultural education,” Mr Osborne said. “For prospective students and their families we provide opportunities to see what college life is about, meet experienced staff, gain valuable information on study options and how to enrol.”

Families and members of the community at large toured the College facilities including the state of the art robotic dairy and the new indoor equine centre and surrounding farm, viewing a variety of hands-on activities providing a real feel for the programs available at the College.

Demonstrations included shearing and wool classing, equine events, cattle parades, metal and automotive, machinery and equipment exhibitions – all leading to the Grand Parade of livestock and machinery at the end of the day. Classroom displays included coursework projects and sales of horticultural produce and the ever popular wine tasting and sales from the College’s East River vineyard.

Pictured Below: (L-R) Dr. Sally Talbot, MLC, Principal Kevin Osborne and Pam Moss, Assistant Executive Director, Statewide Planning & Delivery, Department of Education

 

A comprehensive photo gallery can be viewed on the College Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/DenmarkAgCollege/

2017 Parent Survey

Dear Parent/Carer

Please see below the link to 2017 Parent Survey:

https://www.schoolsurvey.edu.au/s/Z8NUSSnR/LogIn

Getting constructive feedback from our parents is one of the most important ways we can continue to improve the College and deliver better outcomes for our students.  The results from the 2017 Parent Survey will be reviewed by College Staff and by the College Board as part of our annual self-review processes.  A copy of the Survey will also be published online early in 2018.

The survey will close on Friday November 17, 2017.

I thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey.

Regards

Kevin Osborne

Principal

 

 

Denmark Winners in 2017 Milk Quality Awards

The dairy industry is celebrating the success of top performing dairy farmers producing high quality milk while boosting their on-farm profitability.

The Australian Milk Quality Awards recognise farms that have achieved the best milk quality in Australia based on annual average bulk milk cell count (BMCC) across Australia’s milk processing companies.

Dairy Australia’s Kathryn Davis said the on-farm management of milk quality is key to ensuring the competitiveness of Australian dairy in the marketplace.

 Every year the Australian Milk Quality Awards celebrates the great job being done by dairy farmers up and down the country to keep milk quality at a consistently high standard (Ms Davis) 

 

“A low cell count is an indicator that mastitis is well controlled in the herd, improving milk production, cow health and welfare.  Farmers achieving a low cell count are also financially rewarded with a premium for their milk and significant cost savings on mastitis treatments and labour” said Ms Davis.

WA had 5 farms in the top 100 suppliers across the nation with the lowest aggregate BMCC:

  • Matt and Angela Brett, Dardanup
  • Luke and Vicki Fitzpatrick, Waroona
  • Craig and John Foster, Wilyabrup
  • WA College of Agriculture (Denmark)
  • Ben and Caroline Letchford, Busselton

Further, there were 14 herds that were listed with bulk milk cell counts in the lowest 5% in Australia of which includes the WA College of Agriculture – Denmark.

College Principal, Kevin Osborne, said “This is a terrific recognition of the great work being undertaken in the College’s Robotic Dairy Enterprise with our Dairy Manager, Terry DeVos and Technical Officer – Agricultural Education, Patrick Swallow.”

Full Results: Dairy Australia

Further Contact: Kevin Osborne, Principal, 0428 480 204

 

Business Plan Sets College Strategic Direction

The WA College of Denmark’s Business Plan 2017-2020 is developed in consultation with all College staff, the College Board and Agricultural Advisory Council. It aligns with the Department of Education Strategic Plan 2016-2019 High Performance, High Care and the Framework for Agricultural Education 2017. It also reflects and supports the following Department of Education policies and directions:

  • Classroom First Strategy
  • Focus 2017

The Business Plan reflects the tripartite nature of the WA College of Agriculture – Denmark: the school, on-the-job workplace training on the College farm and the residential component. The School self-assessment is an integral part of maintaining and improving the performance of the College. Our 3-year Business Plan is data driven and guided by our self-review cycle. The 3-year Business Plan is then translated into Operational Plans which are monitored and reviewed each semester.

Download: 2017 – 2020 Business Plan

Annual Report Highlights College Operations

For over 75 years the WA College of Agriculture – Denmark has provided a caring and learning environment to nurture excellence and innovation in agricultural education.

The Annual Report 2016 provides parents and those with an interest in the College, information about the highlights and operations of the College for the year ending 31 December 2016.

Annual Report 2016

Enrolment Demand High

As there are limited places at the College and very strong demand, particularly for residential places, it is recommended that prospective students apply no later than 1st Term in the year proceeding potential enrolment. However, applications remain open and families are encouraged to apply at any time.

Enrolment Process

·         Expression of Interest Form. To be completed by prospective student

·         Application Form. To be completed by Parent/Guardian

·         Return both forms along with 2 semester reports and NAPLAN results if possible.

·         Once this information has been received the College will contact the Parent/Guardian to arrange a prospective student interview.

Expression of Interest forms can be found on the website. These can be lodged at any time and will be held by the College until the year proceeding potential enrolment, when the College will contact families to arrange prospective student interviews.

Not all of our students are residential. About 20% of students also attend the College as day students, including many travelling from Albany each day on the Loves Bus service.

Younger students who may be interested in attending the College in the future are also encouraged to attend our Open Day which is held in September on the Father’s Day weekend. This year Open Day is scheduled for 2 September 2017.

 

BUSHFIRE ACTION PLAN

Whilst the College sits just outside of the Department of Education Bushfire Zone (Register) it is committed to maximising the safety of its students and staff. The WA College of Agriculture-Denmark has a comprehensive Fire Action Plan advising of what action may be taken in case of a fire emergency.

What does this mean for you and our school? Read on…

Whilst the WA College of Agriculture-Denmark sits outside of the Department of Education Bushfire Zone Register we are committed to maximising the safety of our students and staff.

What does this mean for the College?

When we are made aware of a fire danger or issued a warning by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) that a fire emergency has been declared, the Principal of the College will advise Parents/Carers of any pre-emptive action that is to be taken, which may include closure of the College until the fire risk has passed.

Depending on the level of risk Parents/Carers  will be advised by:

· Our SMS messaging service

· By letter sent home with your child

· Contact by telephone where other means to contact you may fail. (So please ensure the school has up to date contact details for you.)

· A notice on the College Facebook page

· A notice on the College Website

If we have to close the College

Any decision to pre-emptively close the College will be made by the Principal no later than 4.30pm on the day before the planned closure. If the forecast changes after that deadline, the closure will stand, regardless of improvements to the weather conditions later in the afternoon of the day before the planned closure or overnight. This will limit confusion or uncertainty for parents and to allow you ample time to make alternative child care arrangements. Parents will be advised of any confirmation of closure, or its reversal, by the above communication methods.

If the College is closed—How will I know when it is reopening?

You will receive an SMS to advise you whether the school will reopen the day after the planned closure, or whether it will remain closed. The College website and Facebook page will also contain a notice to advise you of the current status of the school closure and when it is expected to reopen.

In case of fire emergency in the area, we ask parents/carers to monitor local media for current information about fire danger ratings. Staying tuned to ABC Local Radio in your locality is advisable. You can also check with DFES on 13 DFES (13 33 37) or www.dfes.wa.gov.au

Alternatively you can call me on 0428 480 204 if any of the options listed above for finding out when to send your child back to school will prove problematic.

Questions?

Please contact the school on 9848 0200 if you have any questions about planned closures during the bushfire season.

Kevin Osborne

Principal

 

 

Orientation to welcome new students

Newly enrolled students arrived at the College on Monday 30 January to a comprehensive orientation program in preparation for residency and College life.

For many, this is the first time away from family and friends so it is important to provide a program that helps with the transition from local schooling and living at home, to College life and providing a sound foundation for future learning.

The program provides guidance and equips students for their “first day” and is important in helping to remove any initial feelings of anxiety by delivering activities that foster friendships and allows new students to become familiar with the College and its surrounds. The program also includes outdoor activities such as the fabulous “Wild Over Walpole” Eco-cruise and Tree Top Walk.

It’s just a glimpse into their future at the College, but one that they can fully enjoy. We welcome you one and all.

Follow us on the College Facebook page for gallery of photos  http://www.facebook.com/DenmarkAgCollege/

 

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