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New resource aiding agricultural educators and captivating young audiences detailed on Flow

The Shifting Gears resources is a product recently launched by the National Centre for Farmer Health and is reshaping the way farm safety education is delivered to younger demographics.

Image credit: National Centre for Farmer Health official Facebook page

Cecilia Fitzgerald, the Business Development and Industry Engagement Manager at the National Centre for Farmer Health, appeared on the Country Viewpoint program this week to expand on the crucial resources which will be free to download from the peak body's online Safety Shop from January 2024.

Fitzgerald highlighted that an extensive stage of consultancy was needed in order to package together informative and compelling content for students and educators in the agriculture sector.

"Shifting Gears was developed following an intensive period of delivery of a program called 'Gear Up for Ag' and what we saw and heard from teachers and students during delivery of that program is that there aren't many resources that address farm safety within the Australian farming context and that are suitable for teenage audience," Fitzgerald told listeners.

"So teachers didn't know where to look for resources that were relevant and interesting and engaging for teenagers...the six videos and activities that our team has created really connect safety concepts within the farming environment with human health, rather than just focusing solely on the why you should or shouldn't do something from a regulatory perspective.

"We've also created some animations that are engaging and to convey farm safety theories that are tailored specifically for the farming context, the Australian farming context and that are relatable for teenagers."

Fitzgerald further contextualised the need for farm safety education by outlining how dangerous farms can be as workplaces for young Australians.

"Unfortunately, it's reported that about 15% of injuries and deaths that are occurring in agriculture involve people under the age of 15, so again through programs that we deliver at the National Centre for Farmer Health, we know that kids start doing work around the farm from a young age," Fitzgerald said.

"They're often working with large animals and farm machinery which puts them at greater risk for injury, but what is pleasing to see throughout programs is that they are saying that they do care about their health and safety and so programs like these for Ag, the students are encouraged to start conversations about farm safety with their families."


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