The EduGrow program
In 2015 the EduGrow program ‘grew’ to include an expanded awards program (open to remote, rural and regional schools nationally), a dedicated website and special events by request involving remote, rural and regional schools. The program aims to encourage, support and recognise the wonderful efforts of students, teachers and school communities who create safe, engaging food gardens and outdoor learning places and activities in them.
Visit www.edugrow.com.au for more information. At the EduGrow site you can also register to receive EduGrow news and/or to register your interest to participate in the EduGrow 2016 Awards that we aim to run in the latter half of the year.
History of EduGrow
In 2010 RIG Network worked with the Darwin Region CDEP Network to convene a workshop for CDEP providers and participants on “Best Practice and New Opportunities – Local Food Gardens, Food Systems and Horticulture”. Over 80 people from across the top end attended the workshop over two days. See the Event Proceedings from this workshop for more information.
A key recommendation from participants was a call for action to recognise and support action to encourage and involve young people in focused activities to learn how to grow and eat healthy food.
This call for action led to the EduGrow Remote School Gardens Workshop 2011 for top end NT school stakeholders that RIG Network convened in partnership with support from CDU Horticulture and Aquaculture and RIG Advisory Group members. Workshop discussions provided the inspiration for the Edugrow School Garden Awards.
In 2012 RIG Network partnered with ALPA, EduGrow’s Founding Sponsor Partner, to hold the ALPA 40th Anniversary EduGrow School Garden Awards that were open to ALPA’s five member communities.
In 2013 the Awards grew and were open to all schools in Arnhem Land. The Awards were again supported by ALPA as well as new sponsors the Jimmy Little Foundation, Traditional Credit Union, Nutrition Plus and others. The EduGrow School Garden Awards – Arnhem 2014 celebrated the the UN Year of Family Farming along with our core themes of growing good food, good learning and good times at school and Food, Family, Community with schools and their communities.
In 2014 EduGrow linked up with the Community Greening and Youth Community Greening Teams at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to explore expanding the program in NSW. We sought support the Commonwealth IAS program to pilot the Awards in NSW. Although our IAS funding application was unsuccessful, we enjoyed working together on various activities during the year including the EduGrow School and Community Garden Recognition Awards 2015, held in Term 4. The 2015 Awards were again made possible with invaluable support from ALPA, EduGrow’s Founding Partner and Sponsor.
In 2015 great entries were received from far and wide – from the Gibb River Road and Kununurra in WA, to Warruwi Island and Berry Springs in the NT, Mount Isa, Georgetown and Mount Molloy in QLD as well as NSW. Inspiring teaching and learning and community participation from local leaders and legends ….. congratulations all! We’re looking forward to helping grow more good things in 2016!
EduGrow participants and guests at the EduGrow Awards Ceremony held at Yirrkala School in November 2013.
Snapshots from the inaugural EduGrow Awards, 2012, below