Teachers turn to WAFIC for education
The importance WAFIC places on education was demonstrated recently when it hosted a professional development day (PDD) for secondary school teachers.
The PDD was designed to help gauge appetite for an education package aimed at home economics and vocational high school students.
In his address, WAFIC Chief Executive Officer John Harrison told the group of more than 50 teachers from a wide range of WA schools that the WAFIC Board had identified education as a key priority.
“We recognise the need to build community support and understanding of the fishing industry if we are to properly support fishers to continue to supply sustainable, fresh and high-quality seafood from some of the world’s best-managed fisheries,” he said.
“We are currently developing a pilot package with the help of a fantastic working group of teachers, that will help other high school teachers and students learn more about the sustainability of WA’s commercial fishing, pearling and aquaculture sectors.
“We have also designed a range of tools for teachers, including suggested class lessons, instructional videos and recipe cards for use in the classroom. These will be downloadable from the WAFIC website.”
As part of the PDD teachers were each given a big poster that showcased some of WA’s under-utilized fish species. Celebrity chef Peter Manifis has designed recipe cards to complement the species depicted on the poster.
Teachers are encouraged to consider that the generally cheaper price of under-utilized species makes them more suitable for practical cooking lessons in the classroom.
An earlier survey of teachers had revealed that the price of seafood was one of the main factors discouraging the use of fish and other seafood for practical cooking lessons in home economics classes.
Rhys Arangio from Austral Fisheries, Steve Davies from Marine Produce Australia and Matt Watson from the Marine Stewardship Council all delivered a range of presentations that were enthusiastically received.
“The presentations were designed to increase knowledge about the sustainability and variety of WA’s commercial fisheries and to highlight the social and economic contribution the industry made to the State,” Mr Harrison said.
Teachers were also exposed to a fish filleting demonstration. Chef Manifis was joined by WAFIC Seafood Ambassador Don Hancey and together they cooked a special squid risotto for the teachers’ lunch.
“It was encouraging to see that our exit survey of teachers following the PDD revealed that they had found the presentations highly informative and felt their knowledge of the industry had increased dramatically,” Mr Harrison said.
The teaching resources are at: http://www.wafic.org.au/resources/