Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The Bowen Gumlu Growers Association has been making waves, delivering the ‘New Realities in Agriculture and Aquaculture Project’ to the region’s young people, though a virtual reality project.
Participating students were taken through the common misconceptions surrounding the industry and shown the diverse and varied roles that are available for young people.
Bowen Gumlu Growers Association Chief Executive Officer, Ry Collins, said the project was designed to engage directly with a young audience focused on their future.
“The virtual reality experience that the ‘New Realities’ project offers gives students and young adults the opportunity to step into a simulated environment and explore the roles available in the agriculture and aquaculture industries,” he said.
“Engaging this audience in an environment that stimulates discussion around future careers is crucial to the long-term success and viability of the industry.”
Senior students attending the Whitsundays Career Expo in August were the first to try out the virtual reality headsets.
Mr Rob Harris, Bowen State High School Principal, was in strong support of technologies that offer alternate ways to engage students and encourage them to consider pathways beyond year 12.
“The students really enjoyed the Virtual Reality experience and commented on the number of roles on offer across the industry,” he said.
“I think it surprised many students to learn that skills in the sciences, information technology and food studies can be utilised to forge a career in agriculture and aquaculture.
“Hearing first-hand from local growers about their experiences on farms added another dimension to the experience and allowed the students to imagine the reality of a career working alongside these mentors.”