Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Minister for Education and Training

    Move over Rover - students learn how technology is transforming agriculture

    18/05/2018 11:30 AM
    • Student drone pilots and a highly trained agility dog took turns to race around an obstacle course to achieve the best time
    • Last year, Australian farms generated $60 billion in income and supported 1.6 million Australian jobs 

    More than 190 students from nine Western Australian secondary schools attended this year's Muresk Institute's Drone versus Dog trials.


    The Drone versus Dog trials were established in 2017 at Muresk Institute, Western Australia's skills hub of modern agriculture, to expose secondary school students to the rapidly advancing agriculture industry and the career opportunities it provides.


    The agricultural industry is booming with free trade agreements and emerging markets creating growth in the industry.


    Ensuring WA is best placed to take advantage of industry resurgence, the McGowan Government is investing in contemporary training and skills development for the agricultural sector through education and training programs such as Drone versus Dog at Muresk.


    The event teaches students how modern technology such as drones and robots or 'agbots' are applied in the industry, and showcases the sector to students who might not otherwise think about a career in agriculture.


    The program also allows Muresk to demonstrate clear pathways to employment through the educational courses at Muresk, including Curtin University's Associate Degree in Agribusiness.


    This year, Archie Le Grice from John Curtin College of the Arts won a drone for his school, beating the other student pilots with a time of 17.42 seconds. The dog, Jay, had the best time but missed the final hurdle.


    This is the second win in a week for Archie who also took out the Under-18 Junior Boys division at the HIF WA Longboard Titles, and will represent WA at the Australian Surf Festival on the Tweed Coast, New South Wales in August.


    Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:


    "The Drone versus Dog trial is a unique way to show school students the role technology plays in a modern farm. It's been a big hit with students and highly effective in changing their perceptions about jobs in agriculture.


    "The trials demonstrate the McGowan Government's commitment to the agriculture sector.


    "We understand the importance of growing agricultural skills in the State, as the industry offers an opportunity to diversify and strengthen the Western Australian economy."


    Minister's office - 6552 5700