Education & Training Update – October 2008

Poultry CRC Undergraduate Vacation Internship

The first recipient of a Poultry CRC Undergraduate Vacation Internship, Danielle Handcock, has completed her research project with Associate Professor Geoff Hinch’s CRC funded project investigating ways of reducing cannibalistic behaviour in laying hens. Research Technician, Mandy Choice, supervised Danielle for this portion of her Internship. The remainder of Danielle’s Internship involves the histopathology of tissues of laying hens which have been exposed to infectious bronchitis virus. This project is 75% of the internship and is being supervised by Dr Kapil Chousalkar. Danielle has completed a formal histology course at UNE, has embedded, sectioned and stained tissue and is now in the process of viewing all her slides under the microscope.

Undergraduate Vacation Internships, Graduate Industry Internships and Postgraduate Internships are still available, so please contact me if you would like more information.

WPSA Schools Program

The Queensland WPSA Schools Program, run by Paul Kent of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries has been extended to other states in 2008, with sponsorship from the Poultry CRC. The New England Girls’ School (NEGS) participated in highly successful project which investigated poultry as therapy in a boarding school.

Avian Health Online

The development of the Masters in Avian Health Online units is proceeding well. Unit 3 (microbiology and serology) was offered in Semester 1 this year. Unit 4 (food safety, public health, economics and international trade) and Unit 5 (advanced poultry medicine and disease management) are under development through an agreement between The University of Melbourne and the University of Georgia. Unit 6 will cover avian research project and dissertation. The Graduate Certificate and Masters programs are aimed at veterinarians. However, it is possible for those without veterinary qualifications to undertake some of the units under The University of Melbourne Community Access Program. Contact Dr Trevor Bagust for more details.

Review of Food Processing Training Package

The Agri-Food Industry Skills Council has begun the review of the Food Processing Training Package (FDF03) which covers chicken meat processing. The CRC is coordinating input into this review process (with the assistance of Michael Williams), just as it is doing for the review of the Rural Production Training Package (RTE03) which is being merged with the Amenity Horticulture (RFT03) and Conservation and Land Management (RTD03) into a single Training Package (AHC08). More information about the current status of the FDF03 review may be found at the Agri-Food Industry Skills Council website.

Anatomy of the Chicken resource

The development of the Merial (formerly Merck Sharp and Dohme) Anatomy of the Chicken resource into digital format is almost complete. We expect to launch this new resource on Poultry Hub in the near future.

New Zealand Poultry Industry Conference

I recently attended this conference and gave a presentation about the Poultry CRC Education Program. There was a great deal of interest in what we are doing here in Australia and it was also interesting for me to see what is happening in New Zealand. The poultry industry there has set up an Industry Training Organisation and I will be communicating with Don Thomas of Massey University to find out more about what they are doing.

Livestock Library

We have started making proceedings of the Australian Poultry Science Symposium available via the Livestock Library and the test run has been successful. We will proceed with this project as quickly as possible with the aim of having the last 10 years’ proceedings available by the end of the year. Visit to see how it’s progressing.

With best wishes,


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