Keeping young people safe in agriculture: it's no playground

15 February 2022

A CQUniversity research team is set to tackle the serious issue of on-farm safety for children' after they were awarded a National Farm Safety Education Fund Grant from the Australian Department of Agriculture' Water and the Environment' valued at more than
$300 000.

The project will be led by CQUniversity in collaboration with the New South Wales Department of Education' GippsDairy' AgForce and the Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings Councils.

The Next Generation Farm Safety project will create and deliver four integrated programs to improve farm safety outcomes for young people across Australia.

The project will deliver a series of initiatives to support the understanding and adoption of safe industry practices and will be targeted at school children in the upper-primary and lower-secondary years.

Project deliverables will include a series of online learning resources inclusive of interactive games' professional development for teachers' farm safety roadshows for students and practical safety field days for families.

CQUniversity's Agricultural Education and Extension research lead' Dr Amy Cosby explained that the project was developed in collaboration with key partners to address the serious issue of safety incidents involving children and young people on farms.

"Farm safety is a challenging topic' especially with children and adolescents who are over-represented when it comes to on-farm injuries and fatalities in Australia.

"Australian farms are not just a workplace' but are often homes to adults and children' which is why the Next Generation Farm Safety project will deliver integrated programs to improve an understanding of the safety risks and therefore outcomes for the next generation of farmers across the country.

"It will help primary and secondary school students' to better understand risks and take appropriate actions to stay safe and it will also equip parents and teachers who are key influencers of young people' with important safety messages so that they can help to shape attitude and behaviour changes'" said Dr Cosby.

"As someone with a young family that also lives on a farm' and who is a researcher in agricultural education' I understand the importance of ensuring learning occurs both at school and at home on the farm' enabling students' teachers and parents to all be involved and develop a shared understanding and positive attitude towards farm safety.

"The ultimate objective of this project is to improve on-farm safety knowledge through a multi-generational approach and help to reinforce attitudes that place a high-value on safety' so that we can ultimately reduce incidents involving young people within the Australian agriculture sector".

The project will commence delivery by mid-2022 in Queensland' New South Wales and Victoria.

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