“Boots McCowley” a winner for McAuley College

McAuley College, Beaudesert

McAuley's team ready to present their project for the Archibull Prize in Sydney

MCAULEY College, Beaudesert, has won the Movers Choice Award in their first foray into the national Archibull Prize.

The college not only claimed the competition’s version of “The Packing Room Prize” in The Archibald Prize, they also took home Highly Commended awards in two other categories: Infographic and Blog.

It was a great effort considering they were the youngest team from the smallest and the newest school in the competition.

Their entry, “Boots McCowley”, was one of nine national finalists, three from Queensland and two from the Scenic Rim region, vying for the “the Archies” as the competition’s affectionately known, which attracts hundreds of entries each year from across the country.

The innovative hands-on program invites students to research an agricultural industry and share their findings through artwork – specifically a full-size fibreglass cow.

It encourages students and teachers to have conversations about the greatest challenges to Australian agriculture – climate change, food and fashion waste, declining natural resources and biosecurity and invites them to be part of the solution.

The McAuley team ran the project entirely in their free time, while other schools delivered the program during class time.

Two teachers and five students represented the college at the Dome in Sydney Olympic Park where they received their award from garden guru Costa Georgiadis.

Afterward, a trip around Sydney provided a day they will long remember - a great reward for their hours and hours of hard work.


McAuley students introduce Boots McCowley to gardening Guru Costa Georgiadis

Student Charli Campbell said it was incredible to represent the college in Sydney and a fantastic opportunity to meet other students and share in their success.

“I couldn’t believe the incredible standard of work in the competition and I was so proud of our entry, especially as every other school was bigger and more established than us,” she said.

“Our Years 7 and 8 team should be so proud.

“I know I was.”

Visual Arts and STEM Technologies Teacher Cathy Hunt, who accompanied the students to Sydney, said it was an amazing effort by the entire college community.

“We are so proud of the entire McAuley Archibull Team, including the five student representatives who were on site in Sydney to receive the awards on behalf of the whole college.

“This was truly a whole-school effort, as our entry visually presented the value we place on our farming families in the Scenic Rim and their contribution to our community on campus and beyond.” 

Agriculture Teacher Tenille Brimson, who also travelled to Sydney, said links that grew from the level of engagement in the Archibull program were really significant, “particularly as we begin our Agricultural Studies courses at McAuley College”.

“What a significant way to mark the first year of this curriculum area on campus,” she said.

While in Sydney two of the five students also received Highly Commended awards for their entries into the Sydney Science Park Enterprise Skills Awards run in conjunction with the Archibull Prize.

It was particularly outstanding as the students were in Year 7, while the other entrants were in Years 11 and 12.  

The pitch for the prize

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