2010/739 The Australian Seafood CRC’s high school engagement initiative
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2010/739 The Australian Seafood CRC’s high school engagement initiative

By Mark Oliver and Emily Mantilla


This project aimed to engage the Seafood CRC with high schools that were engaging in aquaculture education in the vicinity of a Seafood CRC commercial partner in order to promote aquaculture education and awareness. Based on the findings of the case studies frameworks could be developed to assist other schools in developing high school based aquaculture training facilities. The three schools involved were Port Lincoln High School; Stuart High in Whyalla; and Cowell Area School.

Stuart High's seafood program is an excellent example of student engagement. Traditionally developed as a way to engage 'at risk' youth, they have surpassed all expectations. Stuart High's greatest challenge is industry engagement. Most of the commercial seafood industry is well south of Whyalla and daily visits on a regular basis would be a challenge. The staff and management are actively trying to tackle this issue and are also seeking the assistance of Cowell Area School in this area.

The high level of quality associated with the Port Lincoln High School's seafood program can be strongly attributed to the teaching staff. They have had significant commercial experience as well as a demonstrated ability in delivering vocational based seafood training. The school is perfectly suited for students who have enough initiative to use their skills to pursue a position in the local seafood industry as there are meaningful employment opportunities for graduates of Port Lincoln High School.

Cowell Area School has been noted by many as a quality model of a progressive rural school. The principal, teaching staff, administration and farm manager are totally devoted to the progress of the seafood program. Having a functional oyster farm is one of the many unique attributes of the school.

The one common factor that stood out over any others during these case studies was the staff themselves. They all acknowledged the challenges associated with running a program of this nature but all conceded it was well worth it. It seems as long as there are individuals with this level of passion and commitment within these schools the future of these seafood programs look promising.