Education & Training Update – January 2009

Postgraduate/Postdoctoral/Intern Update

  • Lauren Edwards has now submitted her PhD thesis The human-animal relationship in the laying hen. Congratulations to Lauren! Check out the great photo of Lauren as she takes her thesis to the university postgraduate office at the University of Melbourne.
  • Sarah Haberecht from Bartters, is studying for a Master of Science in Agriculture at UNE. Sarah obtained permission to credit a course in feedmilling at North Carolina State University towards her UNE degree. Sarah found the course excellent and enjoyed recruiting assistance from her work mates at Bartters to complete her assignments. She is happy to speak with anyone who would like to find out more about the course.
  • Rebecca Forder completed her PhD on a Poultry CRC Scholarship, then moved to a Poultry CRC Postgraduate Internship with Alltech in the U.S. Rumour now has it that Bec has accepted a Lectureship in Animal Nutrition at the University of Adelaide Roseworthy campus. Congratulations to Bec and welcome back to Australia!

Review of Rural Production Training Package

The Rural Production Training Package (RTE03) is being revised and merged with the Amenity Horticulture (RFT03) and Conservation and Land Management (RTD03) into a single Training Package (AHC08). Information concerning the current status of the RTE03 review can be found at the Agrifood Skills website. Of particular interest on this site is the document about Skills Sets (PDF). The concept of Skills Sets recognises that sectors of an industry may not require a full qualification such as a Certificate or Diploma but may require formal recognition (for reasons of legal compliance or access to funding subsidies and apprenticeships) of small groups of units of competencies. Provision is made for on-going industry input via the Continuous Improvement Register.

Review of Food Processing Training Package

The Agri-Food Industry Skills Council has announced that it has begun the review of the Food Processing Training Package (FDF03) which covers chicken meat processing and will also be expanded to cover egg processing. The contact person for this review process is Richard Jenkins (Richard Jenkins and Associates, PO Box 212, OATLEY NSW 2223, Tel: 02 9579 4483, Fax: 02 9586 1610, Mob: 0408 022857. Email: More information about the current status of the FDF03 review may be found at the Agrifood Skills website.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a basic tenet of the Australian Qualifications Framework. It is the formal process of recognising skills and experience already possessed by employees. With assistance from Susan Gleeson and Michael Williams, the CRC is investigating the development of industry-specific documents for conducting RPL. We are using the template developed by Skills First in Queensland as a starting point. More information about the Skills First process can be found at the Queensland Government’s VET Workforce website.

Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment

The Poultry CRC has sponsored several industry employees to complete the Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment (TAA40104). This was a bit of an experiment initially but has proved to be an excellent way of assisting industry workplaces to interface with Registered Training Organisations such as FarmGate Training. I will be having further discussions with industry representatives to see how we can expand this approach.

Anatomy of the Chicken

The Merial (formerly Merck Sharp and Dohme) Anatomy of the Chicken Learning Resource in digital format is now on Poultry Hub. If you would like a copy of this learning resource on CD, please contact me. This resource was developed by Ms. Rebecca Carley, New Media Director, NetEffective Media Group (NMG), based in Melbourne. We are so happy with what NMG has done that we are talking with them about the development of other resources.

ACMF Video Library now online

You can now view segments of the Hatchery to Home secondary school DVD on line. Each segment is between half a minute and about 6 minutes long and covers such areas as hatcheries, breeders, broilers, food safety, consumption, nutrition etc. There is also a Farm Visit Video that gives you a good impression of what it is like on a commercial Australian chicken farm. To access this and the many other features (incl. podcasts with experts talking about chicken and their particular area of expertise and an extensive photo gallery), just go to the home page at and select the appropriate feature from the main page or explore other areas by clicking on the tabs on the left hand side of the main page.

Schools Resources Meeting

The meeting on November 24 went extremely well. Eight teachers, from QLD, NSW, VIC, SA and ACT attended, along with 9 others representing the Poultry CRC, RIRDC, PIRSA, and registered training organisations. There was much lively discussion and good synergy among the participants. The development of a teachers’ resource kit for teaching in the area of poultry science is well underway and is being coordinated by Ms. Susan Gleeson from FarmGate Training in Brisbane. Early in January, Susan and Michael Williams visited the CRC in Armidale to plan the teachers’ resource kit. Once the first full draft of the kit is developed, it will be sent out to all interested persons for comment.

Other Resources under Development

Planning is continuing for the development of an industry recruitment-cum-public education and induction training resource. The revision of the Murrumbidgee College training materials continues. We are also investigating the development of a chicken dissection DVD and a post-mortem DVD. Watch this space for more about these resources.

Public consultation: Draft Poultry Welfare Monitoring Program

The “Draft Poultry Welfare Monitoring Program” and “Draft Poultry Welfare Monitoring Program with guide” documents are now available for comment on the Queensland Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries website. Even if you do not live in Queensland, you may still find them of interest. The web page provides an email address for feedback.

Poultry CRC Re-Bid

I am coordinating the drafting of the Education Program section of the Poultry CRC re-bid and I welcome any input that you may have about the program. I am also coordinating the re-bid component of Program 3B: A multi-pronged approach to improving egg quality, so if you have any ideas about this, please share them with me.

Easter Eggs

The Poultry CRC office received samples of Easter egg PVC heat shrink wrap sleeves from a company in China. These can be placed on the outside of boiled eggs and hot water poured over them to shrink the sleeve, resulting in what looks like a painted egg (as favoured by, e.g., some people of Greek descent). If this sounds like something that you are interested in, you can contact Shenzhen Quantum Trade Co. on email or visit their website. Who knows, it could be an interesting classroom activity?

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