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Talking ‘food and fibre’ at the 2018 PIEFA Conference - feature image, used as a supportive image and isn't important to understand article

"We aim to increase teacher knowledge and confidence in the use of food and fibre education"

“Food and Fibre – the original STEM" was the theme for the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) conference held in Canberra in May. The conference aimed to explore innovative approaches to primary industries education from the perspectives of teachers and academics, industry representatives, State and Federal policy makers and researchers.

Almost 50% of the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) 2018 participants indicated that they are keen on studying general science (rather than engineering, technology or health related courses), but many are not sure what to do after that. The NYSF was keen to learn more about the priorities of the sector and where there may be intersections for our student participants and their future study options. 

PIEFA CEO, Mr Ben Stockwin said the conference aimed to inform and inspire delegates.

“PIEFA operates a national conference on a bi-annual basis to provide the education, industry and government sectors with the place and space to network, share resources and plan for the future. We aim to increase teacher knowledge and confidence in relation to the use of food and fibre education as a context by teachers to assist them to educate students about food and fibre production and to deliver the 168 content descriptors that reference primary production,”

“The conference provided some very clear outcomes for PIEFA, education departments and industry about working together more effectively to support teachers," Ben said.

Talking ‘food and fibre’ at the 2018 PIEFA Conference - content image
The Conference included national and international keynote speakers, workshops, lightning presentations, trade displays and networking events culminating in a gala dinner with demographer and social commentator, Bernard Salt AM.

Bernard spoke about the trends likely to impact the primary industries sector over the next decade and beyond.  Highlighting the fact that Australia needs to have a much longer term plan when it comes to our economic planning in the agricultural sector.

He went on to discuss the world’s population growth projections and the increased priority for agriculture and food production on a global level – something that Australia should be ready to take advantage of.

The conference also provided teachers with new resources and knowledge to inspire a new generation of students around the country.

For more information about PIEFA and its work -