A Recipe for ATAR Success

The opportunity to mix their academic studies with hands-on work on the College farm has once again proved to be a recipe for excellent results for WA College Agriculture-Denmark’s ATAR students.

The Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) number, determines a student’s entry into university and 60% of the College’s 2019 Year 12 ATAR students achieved ATAR’s of 70% or higher, the best result of any of the College’s graduating classes.

Principal, Kevin Osborne said, “We have been building a strong ATAR program for several years now and have had some outstanding individual ATAR’s in the high 90’s, but it is particularly pleasing to see so many of last year’s class perform strongly and gain direct entry into University courses.”

About a third of the students at the College sit for ATAR courses and the Principal firmly believes that the combination of practical and theoretical learning delivers the greatest benefit for every type of learner, resulting in demonstrated outcomes.

Graduates Olivia Miller, Deahna Keam and Tom Darwin all achieved ATAR scores over 90%.

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The WA College of Agriculture-Denmark’s reputation as one of the States foremost agricultural college’s, was never more certain than when on Friday 15 November 2019 students graduated with flying honours and several enviable scholarships. The College is an Independent Public School and the principal, Kevin Osborne said, “The College takes an innovative outlook on learning. It provides a mix of practical hands-on training combined with classroom based learning. This approach to our education program has had proven outcomes in assisting our graduates to achieve rewarding and successful careers. Given that our graduate employability remains extremely strong, we are justly proud of our students and teachers.”

The high level of talent and leadership qualities among our students is apparent by the support given to our Scholarship Program by both the agricultural and educational sector. 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. Deahna Keam was announced College Dux for the student with the highest achievement in all course areas in Year 12 and Zac Mostert was the top VET student for excellence in vocational education training.

With 13 prestigious scholarships on offer and numerous special awards covering diversity in the industry including leadership, agriculture, business management and citizenship, all equally valued, were presented on the day https://www.facebook.com/denmarkagcollege/. “The encouragement that such scholarships present can’t always be measured and we thank our sponsors for their support of the program, their generosity is extraordinary”, said Kevin Osborne.

Guest speaker and former Dux, James Bidstrup, now an Agronomist with Elders in Esperence said the opportunities offered to him since graduating from the College included travelling around the world, including Argentina where he was undertaking crop research. James message to the graduating class, among others was, “The learning is never over”.

The Hon. Sue Ellery, MLC, Minister for Education & Training attended the ceremony to congratulate graduates.

Kevin Osborne said, “It seems we’re going to finish this year with the best achievement results from a graduating class that we’ve ever had.

  • We’re going to have a WACE achievement rate this year of 96%.
  • We’re going to have a 100% achievement rate of the Certificate II in Agriculture.  Every Year 12 student graduating this year is going to leave with at least two Certificate II level industry qualifications, and
  • 90% of them are going to leave with at least three.
  • Thirteen of our Year 12 students are also going to leave with a Certificate III in Agriculture.

But just as importantly, it’s clear we’re graduating a group of young people who don’t just have a good set of skills and knowledge and qualifications, they have a good set of values too: they’re kind, considerate and respectful.”

Below: Dux 2019 Deahna Keam with Hon Sue Ellery, MLC, Minister for Education & Training. Chairman of the Board Steve Jones with Zac Mostert, Top VET students and Olivia Miller, Runner-up Dux pictured with Cris Langslow from the Denmark Chamber of Commerce.

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Rising Star – Equine

Elissa Forbes the new equine teacher at the WA College of Agriculture – Denmark has taken centre stage at the recent end of season 2017 Dressage Western Australia awards night, much to the delight of the College.

Elissa won 3 major awards on the night presented by the peak body:

The Dressage WA Award for the horse and rider combination who achieve the highest percentage in the competitor class during the State Championships.
The Australian Warmblood Horse Perpetual Trophy awarded to the horse that is currently registered with the Association who achieves the highest percentage in any Competitor or FEI class during the Championships..
The Grand Espoir Perpetual Award awarded to the highest percentage AWHA registered horse at the WA Dressage Championships.

Earlier in the year, Elissa and her horse Royal Magic were also awarded the Penny Hill Park Stud Dressage Rising Star Award. This state award is for the horses competing in their 1st year of competitive Equestrian Australia Dressage, culminating with the top 15 scoring horses in the State competing against each other in a finals event. Two of Elissa’s horses qualified as finalists with Royal Magic toasted the “rising star”.

Principal Mr Kevin Osborne said, “We knew when we appointed Elissa as head of our equine program that she would bring to the College a wealth of knowledge as she is highly credentialed…these awards only serve to highlight this. We feel that it is the College that is really on the winning side as our students enrolled in the equine program will benefit greatly from her wealth of experience.”


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Chamber of Commerce Award Won By WACoA Student

Year 11 Agriculture Studies student Gareth Korpel has been announced as the winner of the Denmark Chamber of Commerce Business Management Award “For outstanding levels of participation and achievement in Business Management”, flanked by Principal Kevin Osborne and member of the DCC committee, Chris Langslow.

Gareth is pictured with Principal Mr Kevin Osborne, and Chris Langslow, committee member from the Denmark Chamber of Commerce.



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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


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Nation’s Future Leaders Recognised

Several prestigious scholarships and awards were presented at the recent Graduation Ceremony, 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.

Ethan Riemer was announced the College Dux 2016, for the student with the highest achievement in all course areas in Year 12 along with several other major awards, while graduating student Robyn Adams and Year 10 student Jessica Pike, were awarded the Australian Defence Force 2016 Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Awards recognising leadership qualities in these two students. The Caltex Best All Rounder Award saw Sarah Stutley join the ranks of a select group of Australian students chosen to receive this prestigious award, which also recognises leadership qualities along with excellence in academic, leadership, sporting, and community service activities.

The highly prized Royal Agricultural Society Scholarship was awarded to Year 11 student Makayla Cockman, while the Charles Sturt University Agribusiness Prize went to Cameron Geddes to assist a student to fulfil their goals through tertiary study. Patrick Swallow received the Top VET Award for excellence in vocational education training along with many other certificates of excellence. The Stud Merino Breeders Association Scholarship went to Year 11 student Casey Perkins who has shown a particular interest in the sheep and wool industry and the Old Collegians George Elliott Memorial Scholarship – to assist students with further agricultural studies, was awarded to Ben Marsh, a Year 11 student.

A new WA Farmers Agricultural Ambassador Scholarship – a new initiative between WAFarmers and the Department of Education WA was won by Year 11 student Charlie Cloud. The scholarship recognises agricultural college students with a strong interest in the industry, and will support their growth and development within their chosen agricultural field. Kayla Emmerton won the Shire of Denmark’s Agricultural College Scholarship aimed at students who are likely to pursue agricultural pursuits within the Shire’s boundaries into the future.


Visit our Facebook page for a complete list and photo gallery of the Graduation ceremony.

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Denmark win inaugural Excellence in Agriculture Awards

As part of its commitment to recognise excellence in agricultural education, the WA College of Agriculture this year offered two inaugural Agriculture Endeavour Awards.Year 11 students at any of the WA College of Agriculture campuses located near Cunderdin, Denmark, Esperance, Harvey, Morawa and Narrogin, were eligible to apply for the $1000 award.

Both the 2016 winners came from the WA College Agriculture-Denmark, Angus Thomas and Shannon Hull. These students impressed the selection panel with their applications, demonstrating both high performance in most aspects of the education program and positive attitudes towards learning.

The WA College of Agriculture is unique in providing a blend of secondary education and vocational training. All graduates directly enter employment or courses of study at Muresk Institute or University. The success rate of students is outstanding with nearly all students gaining employment or entry to further courses of study on graduation from the College.

Whilst not a criteria of the scholarship, Shannon and Angus both indicated an intention to continue further study in agriculture at the tertiary level and will be great ambassadors for the agricultural industry.

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