About The Cowell Area School Oyster/Aquaculture Program and Lease
The Aquaculture Course at Cowell Area School has grown from an idea put forward by a group of local oyster growers to a structured course undertaken over two years of senior secondary schooling.
In 1991, Cowell oyster growers initiated contact with Cowell Area School and requested a course that would suitably equip students for entry into the Aquaculture industry. 1992 was spent developing a curriculum, in consultation with local oyster, yabby, abalone, and fin-fish growers, Department of Education, TAFE (Training and Further Education), AFA (Australian Fisheries Academy) and SAFITC (South Australian Fishing Industry Training Council).
The course was appropriate for the industry, while still maintaining the educational outcomes of a senior secondary program. The first course was offered in 1993 and has continued to grow to this day, with a 90% success rate of all students undertaking the course.
1999 saw the implementation of a full time farm manager (Tom Kenny) and a 0.5 time teacher to directly support students whilst in the classroom. Since 2000 the teaching position has been full time (1.0) Skills in aquaculture are gained through work placements within the industry, at the school's oyster lease and fish farming tanks at the school.
Since 2012, Cowell Area School has set up working partnerships with a Japanese Oyster Grower, and with the Tasmanian based business Shellfish Culture. This partnership has involved sending staff and students to the places mentioned to get a first hand experience of other oyster leases and parts of the aquaculture Industry. In 2014, Cowell Area School had the privilege of presenting at the 2014 World Aquaculture Conference in Adelaide.
Cowell Area School Oyster/Aquaculture Program - Article in Fish Magazine