SACE structure shaping our students for future jobs

Space, technology, creative industries, healthy ageing, all careers dominating the state’s future – but South Australia also wants its students learning to be first rate human beings.

It is a bold message from the chief executive of the hugely important SA Certificate of Education (SACE) Board, the group shaping more than 100 subjects available to Year 11 and Year 12 students.

Professor Martin Westwell says the board wants the state’s students to have access to important subjects but also to learn to be flexible, solve problems and importantly, apply their knowledge.

He quotes the esteemed director of education for the international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Andre Schleicher, who was in Adelaide for a national conference for educational assessors in April.

“He warned that if we keep focusing on proficiency alone we will be developing second class robots and not first class humans,” the SACE Board CEO says. “We want to develop first class humans.”

Prof Westwell says there are high-profile industries developing in SA including world-class health research, the space industry, advanced manufacturing using high technology, and creative industries ranging from festivals to film.

More traditional industries like mining and resources, education and healthy ageing are also likely to remain strong employers, but Prof Westwell says students must be prepared for uncertainty.

“There was a Deloitte report that came out a few years ago showing the shelf life of skills is getting shorter and shorter,” he says.

That is why young people need skills to have careers rather than long-term jobs, Prof Westwell says.

“(For example) teams will become more important so we’ve got diversity, having proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) will be important. But you will also need skills to influence people, to support decision making to help people to imagine the imaginable so that it becomes (possible).”

Prof Westwell’s own career has followed unexpected paths; he was born into a long line of electricians in north-west England but turned out to be more academically suited.

SACE Board CEO Professor Martin Westwell says diversity in students education is important in preparing them for future careers. Photo by JKTP.

He studied at Wigan Mining College before winning a place at the esteemed Cambridge University to study chemistry including completing a PhD in biology chemistry before moving to Oxford University as a research fellow.

Work at a drug company spun out of the university followed, then Prof Westwell led a research project looking at how technology changes the way people think for the Research Institute for the Future of the Mind at Oxford University.

In 2007, he was lured to Flinders University after having visited SA with his wife who is a teacher, and the two deciding it was the right place for their careers and also bringing up their two sons now aged 17 and 21.

Prof Westwell was made director of the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century, working on getting research to have maximum impact on the community. One project involved improving education results in schools.

“We worked with every public school in Port Augusta, pre, primary and high school, looking at young people’s cognitive learning to improve numeracy,” he says.

“In the high school when we started they were getting just over 60% of students reaching the national minimum for proficiency and that changed to more than 90%.”

Prof Westwell was a board member of SACE for five years before taking on the role as CEO in January 2018, tasked with overseeing $10.6 million in funding to transform the SA Certificate of Education.

In this time there has been renewal on the SACE Board, the first of Year 12 electronic exams and work on subject renewal for more than 60 subjects with one major focus.

“We’ll be asking students to put their knowledge into practice,” Prof Westwell says.

“We now quote Tony Wagner from Harvard University, ‘the world no longer cares what our students know, it cares about what they can do with what they know’.”

There are also plans to involve industry in developing new future jobs subjects including cyber security. Prof Westwell wants to build a system where employers and investors can know students who study the SACE know more than the basics, “I want them to be able to really infer something about young South Australians”.

“When we have a complex and uncertain job future we need expertise, we need flexibility, diversity,” he says.

“I think professionally, SA education is world leading in many ways and the way in which we go about it in this state is unusual, it is done by partnership, there’s a real feeling that we are all in this together for the success of our students.

“I think personally, one of the key drivers for us to coming to SA is we wanted our kids to have their childhood here, it’s a fantastic place to grow up, there’s a great education system here.”

Industry in focus: Careers of the Future

Throughout the months of May and June, future careers in South Australia will be explored as part of I Choose SA.

Embracing innovation, creativity and an understanding of building quality partnerships with technology is key to ensuring career opportunities in the future. SA is taking necessary steps to equip future generations with the skills for future careers and current workforces to transition to the future industries.

Read more Careers of the Future stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Strong future ahead for Adelaide’s international education sector

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced his national migration plan to ease the pressure on capital cities in the eastern states and support growth in the regions. StudyAdelaide CEO Karyn Kent explores how the changes could bring even more international students to study, live and work in South Australia and what this means for local businesses.

The outlook for Adelaide’s international education sector – and SA’s business community – has been boosted with the Australian Government’s release of its ‘Plan for Australia’s Future Population’.

As recently announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the plan features a range of measures to create better incentives to encourage new migrants to settle outside of Australia’s largest cities.

Included among these measures is an additional year in Australia for international students who have completed their studies at a regional campus of a higher education institution, lived in the region during their first post-study work visa and who wish to continue to live and work in the region.

The whole of SA, including Adelaide, is considered regional for migration purposes and the potential of that extra year will now be offered to existing and new international students in the state.

StudyAdelaide is a partnership between government and the education sector, promoting Adelaide to international students. We are delighted to see these changes and confident they will provide a significant additional incentive for even more international students to choose to study and live here.

It is great news for the SA economy given international education is our second largest export and was valued at $1.6 billion in 2017/18, with capacity to grow beyond the 38,000 international student enrolments we achieved in 2018.
It is also great news for SA businesses.

Students graduating with higher education qualifications can now work for a minimum of three years, giving local businesses extended access to their knowledge and skills which are in occupations of high demand, such as engineering, IT, commerce and health.

StudyAdelaide CEO Karyn Kent.

Many SA exporters, especially those in the wine sector (our largest export sector), have enjoyed great success employing international students and graduates.

International students deliver tangible benefits for these companies with their first-hand knowledge of target export markets, their language skills and their networks and contacts, to support and help deliver the export aspirations of our local businesses.

SA businesses can easily access these skills – the post-study visa (subclass 485) requires no employer sponsorship and international graduates are employed under the same conditions as an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

The Australian Government’s announcement builds on recent changes also announced by Immigration SA that benefit those international students who aspire to migrate, in recognition of the investment these students have made in an education here and the contribution they will make to the SA economy as a highly educated graduate. Many of these graduates go on to establish their own SA businesses, that in turn employ locals.

One of the founders of web and app developers PixelForce is originally from Hong Kong and now employs more than 25 people here in Adelaide. They developed the Sweat app for Adelaide’s fitness duo Kayla Itsines and Tobi Pearce, who were recently listed among Australia’s 250 richest people.

Nicho Teng from China studied at Glenunga International High School and Flinders University and has gone on to establish Haneco Lighting and Greaton, a property company that is developing the new Wirra Wirra five-star hotel and the Westin Hotel as part of the GPO redevelopment, which is set to open in 2022.

Deloitte Access Economics reported in 2018 that for every four international students in SA, one job is created.

These new jobs aren’t just limited to our education institutions who deliver Adelaide’s world-class education, they are spread throughout our economy.

In 2018 and 2019, four purpose-built student apartment buildings have been completed and another four are in the pipeline. Imagine the contribution to construction and ongoing operational jobs created by these alone.

Premier Steven Marshall has identified growing both international student numbers and our population as key priorities and, along with our members, StudyAdelaide looks forward to welcoming even more students here.

Together, these policies clearly add to SA’s significant appeal as a study destination for international students, alongside our world-class education institutions and vibrant, affordable lifestyle.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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International education one of SA’s top export earners

The value of international students to the South Australian economy continues to grow – last financial year generating $1.62 billion and positioning international education as one of the state’s top export earners.

Almost 38,000 international students were enrolled in SA universities, education institutions and schools in the 12 months to November last year, and with universities opening their lecture theatres for the new semester later this month, thousands more students are set to arrive.

Karyn Kent, CEO of StudyAdelaide, the main organisation marketing Adelaide as the learning city, says Adelaide has always had a solid reputation as an education city, but the number of enrolments and the value of the sector are on the rise.

She says international student enrolments have been climbing by about 6% since 2014, with the majority of students coming from China and Hong Kong, followed by India, Nepal, Malaysia, Korea and Kenya.

“The value of the sector has been growing by about 10% (each year),” she says. “It’s estimated by Deloitte that around 43% of that ($1.62 billion) is spent on education fees, and the other 57% is spent on living expenses, housing, food, entertainment and things like that.

“That’s the ongoing daily impact that international students are having on our economy. It’s certainly generated some big investments. We’re about to do some research with city businesses to try and get a feel for the retail sector in the CBD and whether they’re noticing it as well.”

Karyn says a large proportion of SA’s international students in the vocational and higher end education sectors study business, accounting and finance degrees, while engineering, health and IT are other main areas of study, followed by hospitality and education.

Adelaide’s three main universities, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and Flinders University, have various campuses across the city and regional SA. The University of Adelaide is the oldest, established in 1874.

Adelaide is home to dozens of other education institutions including TAFE SA and campuses of Carnegie Mellon University and Torrens University Australia.

So what makes Adelaide attractive to international students?

“Lifestyle is definitely one of the key benefits,” Karyn says. “International students can afford to live close to their campus here in Adelaide, we have a really diverse and welcoming environment and I think we give the impression that we’re a team and a family here.

“But if you look at other drivers of destination choice it’s ‘does the city have the course I want to study?’, ‘is it a nice place to live?’ and employability opportunities are all really important.”

SA is already home to a number of international student success stories, people who have gone on to stay in SA and pursue business ventures.

Web design and app development studio PixelForce was born from a university assignment that became one of SA’s fastest growing businesses. One of its most high profile clients is fitness guru Kayla Itsines, who tasked PixelForce with generating her Sweat app.

Another success story is Harbour Bottling, a wine bottling plant exporting up to 400 shipping containers of locally produced wine a year, mostly to China. Both these companies were established by international students who now call SA home.

It is unknown exactly how many international students end up calling SA home, but a 2018 report released by the Australian Treasury and Department of Home Affairs called Shaping a Nation estimated that 16% of international students in Australia eventually transitioned to permanent residency.

“The SA Premier (Steven Marshall) has been very upfront about migration as a way to address low population growth and international students are a big part of that story,” Karyn says.

“If we get the settings right, it makes it more attractive and easier for international students to stay.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway says the State Government has demonstrated its commitment to growing international student numbers by increasing StudyAdelaide funding to $2.5 million.

A Ministerial Advisory Committee for International Education has also been established, bringing together education institutions, peak bodies, government and private providers to develop a strategy to sustain further growth in the sector.

“International students make an enormous contribution to the state, not only economically, but also socially and culturally and become invaluable tourism ambassadors for SA among their friends and family back home,” Mr Ridgway says.

“Graduating international students become young professionals with a global outlook and we have seen countless examples of them joining or creating local businesses to help drive economic growth across industries in our state.”

Industry in focus: Trade and Investment

Throughout the months of January and February, the state’s trade and investment industry will be explored as part of I Choose SA.

South Australia is in a prime position for trade and investment opportunities as we have a 24-hour connection to international markets and a prime reputation for our premium products and services.  Read more trade and investment stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Out of the dark and into the light – how Savvy’s tough times are helping others

Mt Barker man Chris ‘Savvy’ Savill is using one of the darkest times of his life to help others battle their own demons.

In 2017, Savvy, who spent time in the military before becoming a sound recordist and camera operator, experienced a serious bout of depression after work-related stress and other factors almost became too much.

He decided to seek help and see a psychologist, which in the end didn’t work for him, so instead he tried using his military experience to develop tactics to increase mental resilience and strength.

“When I got depression at the end of 2017 it hit me pretty hard,” Savvy says.

“I pulled the military tactics I knew and converted them into every day tactics to pull myself out of depression, and that’s how I got out of it. One friend in particular also stuck by me and urged me on and I did activities that I really enjoyed, one of them being hiking.”

Now Savvy is putting these tactics down on paper and converting them into an online training method that others can access and use in a way that works for them.

Chris ‘Savvy’ Savill, an RUOK ambassador and mental health advocate.

The mental health resource, Alpha Six, is still under development and Savvy is currently studying cognitive behavioural therapy and positive psychology to boost his theoretical knowledge to add to his personal experiences.

The Alpha Six outreach program was launched in January 2018 and has existed through a website and Facebook page as well as Savvy himself actively reaching out to people in need of support. So far, he says he has helped save the lives of five people who were on the brink of suicide.

“One of them was a homeless person and I pretty much sat with them throughout the night to make sure they weren’t alone because being alone can be a huge killer,” Savvy says.

“The next morning, I called them an ambulance. It took me all night to convince them to get help.”

Savvy also spreads the word about mental health awareness through his role as an RUOK community ambassador, one of only two in South Australia. RUOK is a suicide prevention charity that reminds people to have meaningful conversations with friends and family who might be struggling with life.

Savvy says he encourages people to adopt four steps when checking in with a friend or family member who is having a hard time.

Savvy shares a motivational talk with a local school.

“Firstly, ask them are they ok. Step two is listen to them in a non-judgemental way, step three is urge them to get professional help and step four is check up on them,” he says.

“All it takes is a conversation. When people have depression they just want to be heard.”

It’s not only the 2017 bout of depression which brought the importance of mental health into perspective for Savvy. Growing up in Cornwall England in the 1980s, Savvy had dyslexia, a learning disorder that makes it difficult to read, write and spell.

He struggled throughout primary school where his frustrated teachers dismissed his dyslexia for laziness, shouting at him to do better and calling him ‘stupid’. This made him a target for bullies.

“It really stripped me of my self-confidence and looking back on it now, I’m pretty sure I went through childhood depression. It wasn’t a pleasant time in my life,” Savvy says.

“But my parents were the best, they were absolute fighters, my mum got behind me and fought and fought to get dyslexia officially recognised in the schooling system. She would go to specialists and they did all kinds of tests on me to confirm that I did have dyslexia.”

Savvy in his home studio.

But by the time Savvy finished high school he had failed most of his final exams, shooting his self-esteem further down but also building the determination he would use later in life.

It wasn’t until after he finished school when he fell in love with sound, one day discovering an audio mixer at a friend’s house. Still in the UK, he worked as a music producer before he was spotted by a sound designer from London’s West End Theatre where he worked for some time before the BBC grabbed hold of him.

“The BBC said they needed a sound assistant in their studios, so I applied and got it,” Savvy says.

“I mainly did their in-house productions, the big shows back then were Top of the Pops, EastEnders, and a kids show called Blue Peter. At Top of the Pops I got to work with 50 Cent, Gwen Stefani and Coldplay, which was really cool.”

Savvy met his now wife Meredith, prompting a move Down Under in 2006. His first job in Australia was helping establish and run an Aboriginal music centre in Tennant Creek in the outback.

It evolved into a recording studio where locals and Winanjjikari musicians could record their language, their stories and their traditional songs.

Savvy filming for Totally Wild.

“It had a cultural significance because people would record the languages that were dying out, they were recorded for the National Archives,” Savvy says.

“We’d go to places where only two elders were left speaking those languages, so once they passed away they’d take the language with them. Now there’s an audio record, which is great.”

From the outback, Savvy went on to pursue his career in Adelaide, working at radio stations and at Channel 10 as an audio and camera operator on shows including Totally Wild.

He was there for almost a decade when the depression hit and he eventually left to continue his own solo sound pursuit – Savill Sound – providing sound services for all media platforms. He also works as a camera operator for sporting events and local film productions here in SA.

His audio and media producing and Alpha Six take up most of his time, but he has also visited schools as a motivational speaker.

“Looking back now, I have a really big driving force because of it,” Savvy says. “If somebody says I can’t do something I want to prove them wrong.”

If you or someone you know is going through a tough time call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Adelaide’s newest high school opens its doors

Adelaide’s newest high school featuring a multi-storey building with a glass atrium linking to the refurbished University of South Australia Reid Building has officially opened its doors to students.

The $100 million Adelaide Botanic High School, on Frome Road in the CBD, has welcomed 350 Year 8 and 9 students as the school holidays ended and Term 1, 2019 began.

The six-storey institution will have a strong focus on STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in aim of preparing students to enter the workforce of the future.

Key design features include external learning and recreation spaces on the upper levels of the building and also around the parklands. The school also houses a music and drama theatre with a typographical projector, modern laboratories with investigative science equipment and food technology kitchens.

Students in senior grades will fill the school in coming years, with enrolments eventually totalling about 1250.  From 2022 the school will also take Year 7s as all SA public high schools move towards the Year 7-12 model.

The $100 million Adelaide Botanic High School has opened its doors to Year 8s and 9s. Photo by Chin Tan, Cox Architecture.

Adelaide Botanic High School is adjacent the Adelaide Park Lands, Adelaide Botanic Gardens and is nearby the state library, museum, art gallery and the University of Adelaide.

Premier Steven Marshall said in December 2019 that the school’s location next to the highly anticipated Australian Space Agency headquarters and the rest of the Lot Fourteen innovation precinct will offer “unprecedented opportunities for students”.

Botanic High will share a single zone with Adelaide High School, located on West Terrace.

Adelaide Botanic High School features:

  • Science, design and technology labs that underpin the school’s focus on STEM.
  • State of the art engineering and investigative science equipment.
  • Food technology kitchens.
  • Spaces to encourage creativity in design technology, media studies and art.
  • Performing arts theatre
  • A modern library and research centre.
  • External learning and recreation spaces around the parklands and on the school’s upper levels.
  • Indoor gym and fitness studio.
  • Cafeteria with an outdoor terrace.
  • Basement parking for 170 bicycles.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Adelaide school to undergo $35m development including new inquiry and innovation hub

One of Adelaide’s most prestigious private schools will undergo a $35m development, including an inquiry and innovation hub featuring science and technology labs.

Westminster School at Marion in Adelaide’s south-west will undergo the development which is set for completion by the end of 2021 to coincide with the school’s 60th anniversary.

The co-educational, early learning to Year 12 school says the development is the single largest investment ever made by an independent school in SA.

Westminster School is set to undergo a $35m redevelopment featuring

The project is designed by Adelaide architects Brown Falconer along with a Melbourne firm.

School principal Simon Shepherd says a key element of the development plan is the three-storey inquiry and innovation hub to include science labs, IT, design, engineering, technology and fashion and textile spaces.

The school’s existing performing arts centre will also undergo a three-storey extension featuring a community food café, learning resource centre and performing arts hub.

“The inquiry and innovation hub forms part of our commitment to preparing students to become the innovators, educators and leaders of tomorrow,” Simon says.

“The new multi-level community food café, learning resource centre and performing arts hub will include an interactive circulation zone, food cafe for the school community and visitors, rehearsal, performance and theory spaces for music, drama and dance students, as well as library facilities with break-out study books and quiet reading areas.”

A central outdoor meeting space – Westminster Square – will provide access to café and dining spaces, the senior school library, and performing arts and learning areas.

The school’s senior learning hub will also undergo upgrades.

The development is part of the school’s campus masterplan and is expected to create a modern and innovative learning space to help set students up for the workforce.

“We are committed to empowering students to achieve more than they thought possible as engaged citizens in the community and outstanding leaders in their chosen careers,” Simon says.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2019.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Adelaide University scientist to build world’s fastest charging battery

A University of Adelaide scientist is powering ahead with a plan to build the world’s first quantum battery, which could be charged in less than a second and provide opportunities for the renewable energy sector.

The university’s newest Ramsey fellow and expert in quantum physics, Dr James Quach, will be working within the Precision Management Group in the university’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

Once built, the quantum battery could replace conventional batteries used in small electronic devices such as watches, phones, iPads, computers or other products that rely on stored energy.

Once developed, the university says it hopes larger quantum batteries could lead the way for opportunities in renewable energy.

Dr Quach says the invention is based on the theory that the more quantum batteries you have, the faster they charge, unlike ordinary batteries which take some time to charge irregardless of the number.

“If one quantum battery takes one hour to charge, two would take 30 minutes, three would take 20 minutes, and so on,” he says.

“If you had 10 thousand batteries, they would all charge in less than a second.”

The fastest charging battery would be possible due to a feature of quantum mechanics known as entanglement.

The University of Adelaide’s newest Ramsey fellow Dr James Quach.

“Quantum mechanics deals with interactions at the very smallest of scales, at the levels of atoms and molecules – at this level you get very special properties that violate the conventional laws of physics,” Dr Quach says.

“One of those properties is entanglement. When two objects are entangled it means that their individual properties are always shared – they somehow lose their sense of individuality.

“It’s because of engagement that it becomes possible to speed up the battery charging process.”

Dr Quach says he intends to “take the theory from the blackboard to the lab” with the idea of a quantum battery first discussed in a research paper in 2013.

“Entanglement is incredibly delicate, it requires very specific conditions – low temperatures and an isolated system – and when those conditions change the entanglement disappears,” he says.

“… I aim to extend the theory of the quantum battery, construct a lab conducive to the conditions needed for entanglement, and then build the first quantum battery.”

Dr Quach says the the quantum battery could support renewable energy technologies by allowing for a continuous energy supply no matter the weather conditions.

He is undertaking the four-year Ramsey Fellowship at the University of Adelaide’s School of Physical Science.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Port Lincoln students prepare for aquaculture workforce

Eyre Peninsula students will have access to hands-on training in the aquaculture industry through a partnership between the Port Lincoln High School and TAFE SA.

The joint initiative will allow senior students to enter the workforce earlier, with students able to complete a Certificate II in Aquaculture in Year 11.

By Year 12 students can then complete the units from the Diploma of Aquaculture at school, before completing the one-year diploma in six to eight months after graduation.

Students will then be equipped with the skills to enter the workforce or go on to study marine biology and aquaculture at Flinders University.

Previously, students were only able to complete the Certificate II at school before waiting until finishing school to tackle the diploma.

The majority of training will be undertaken at the Port Lincoln High School’s aquaculture training facility.

Port Lincoln is regarded as the seafood capital of Australia and is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the southern hemisphere.

Photo: PIRSA.

TAFE SA aquaculture lecturer Brent Smith says with continued growth in seafood demand domestically and globally, it’s more important than ever to ensure the future aquaculture workforce has the highest level of skill and training.

“More than 2/3 of the state’s aquaculture workforce is employed in the Eyre Peninsula region alone,” he says.

“There is strong demand for workers on tuna, mussel, oyster, kingfish and abalone farms as well as many more in hatcheries, processing, marketing, transport and other related activities.”

Students will learn a range of skills including filleting fish, feeding, handling and harvesting stock, developing an aquaculture breeding strategy and various other maritime skills.

Port Lincoln High School aquaculture teacher Chris McGown says the partnership with TAFE SA will give students the basic skills needed to work in the industry or pursue further study.

“We have a massive aquaculture industry on our doorstep – most of the town is employed in some way through aquaculture,” he says.

“There are oysters, abalone, and tuna farms as well as factory workers – there is an abundance of opportunities and students haven’t previously had access to this sort of pathway.”

According to the Department of Primary Industries and Research SA (PIRSA), the aquaculture industry is one of the largest primary production sectors in the state.

The majority of SA’s aquaculture farming lies in the coastal waters of the Eyre Peninsula, while 81% of the state’s regional aquaculture workforce is employed in the region.

For more information visit the TAFE SA website.

Want to know what it’s like to work in Port Lincoln’s seafood industry? Check out the I Choose SA video below!

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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The island beekeeper and his pure passion for the sweet stuff

After years spent hanging around hives of hardworking honey bees, Kangaroo Island local Peter Davis is still fascinated – and never in fear – of the industrious insects.

“You become fascinated by their ability,” says Peter, owner of one of the country’s biggest organic honey producers, Island Beehive.

“If the conditions are right, they can be so gentle. I never wear gloves.

“I’ve had people who are allergic or afraid of bees and within three minutes their hand is comfortably covered in them.”

Peter David grew up around bees on Kangaroo Island, home to the world’s only remaining purebred population of the Ligurian honey bee.

After growing up on his family’s mixed-use farm on Kangaroo Island, Peter developed a soft spot for one of his homeland’s major differences – the Ligurian honey bee.

Kangaroo Island is home to the world’s only remaining pure strain of the Ligurian bee and is also the world’s oldest bee sanctuary.

The Ligurian bee, originally from Italy, was imported by the SA Chamber of Manufactures in the early 1880s and shortly after the 4500 square-kilometre island was declared a bee sanctuary.

Bees cannot fly the distance between the mainland and Kangaroo Island, meaning the island has remained free of bee diseases.

Peter, who grew up near the government apiary at Flinders Chase in the 1950s, has dedicated his working life to protecting the Ligurian bee and learning of its heritage.

Peter’s hives are scattered throughout the island.

“It’s really important that we make Kangaroo Island locals a part of the heritage and that they want to participate in it,” he says.

“Over the last 12 years there’s been a dramatic change of awareness in people around the world doing everything they can to protect all bees.

“But I think we can do much more.”

Learning how to breed queen bees from a young age, Peter continued his passion for beekeeping and producing honey products.

He first sent queen bees to Denmark in 1991, and two years later received a request from Sweden for 250 more.

In 1995, he sent another 250 queens and was fast becoming well-known among overseas apiarists.

Now the 71-year-old runs the Island Beehive factory in Kangaroo Island’s main hub of Kingscote and produces up to 200 tonnes of honey per year.

Ligurian honey has a delicate, subtle flavour.

“We export about 60 tonnes of honey a year, with 40 tonnes going to Japan,” he says.

“They’ve been our customer for over nine years, however, one of the best ways to export honey is by people coming through the doors and taking products home with them.

“You can’t take honey to New Zealand or WA, but you can virtually anywhere else in the world.”

Island Beehive has more than 1000 beehives scattered across the island and employs 14 people.

Kangaroo Island Ligurian Honey is sold in the factory’s shop and in other outlets across the island.

It’s also sold in 200L drums and sent across Australia and to Japan.

Peter’s honey has been known to support many other South Australian food manufacturers, including Spring Gully and B.-d. Farm Paris Creek.

“We created a demand,” he says.

“Ligurian bee honey tastes so much better than other honey because we have such a diverse range of flora on Kangaroo Island.

“We have species of mallee that aren’t found anywhere else in the world.”

So you wanna be a beekeeper?

TAFE SA is offering a short course in beekeeping on March 17 and 18, April 7 and 8, and May 12 and 13.

The two-day beginners short course at TAFE SA’s Urrbrae campus and beekeeping site in the Adelaide Hills covers topics including new hives, diseases, honey extraction and legal requirements.

For more information click here.

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New pool of talent for Adelaide’s fashion scene

Emerging fashion designer Brian Yambao could have picked anywhere in Australia to scratch his creative itch and study fashion.

But after falling in love with Adelaide during a work trip, the young designer who is originally from the Philippines, settled on honing his craft in South Australia.

This month Brian will watch his label Maelstrom glide down the runway as part of SA Fashion Graduate Parade, Unbound.

He is one of 27 TAFE SA and Flinders University fashion graduates who will show off their final collections on Thursday, February 8 on the grounds of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Brian will showcase six outfits under his label Maelstrom.

Brian says the parade is the culmination of three years of “learning, hard work and fun”.

“It also marks the beginning of our careers in the fashion industry as we look to the future with hopeful eyes, armed with newly developed skills and brimming with inspiration,” he says.

Brian is among the second lot of students to graduate from the three-year Bachelor of Creative Arts (Fashion), the highest fashion-related education course offered in SA.

Prior to 2014, fashion could only be studied through an Advanced Diploma at TAFE SA.

Brian says he sees “exciting things happening with the fashion scene in SA”, with the help of the rising popularity of the Adelaide Fashion Festival every year.

“It’s going from strength to strength with new designers and everyone is becoming more recognised,” he says.

“There’s no shortage of talent here, we have the capacity to be a big player, so it’s a very exciting time.”

Emerging fashion designer Brian Yambao.

In recent years Adelaide has seen many of its homegrown fashion talents become global businesses, including Australian Fashion Labels and Paul Vasileff of Paolo Sebastian.

Brian was recently mentored by Paul, an I Choose SA ambassador, through four weeks of work experience.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for Paul as a designer and the way he conducts his label,” Brian says.

Growing up in the Philippines, Brian moved to Australia in recent years and has lived in Alice Springs and WA.

He visited Adelaide for work when he was a graphic designer and was taken by the city’s accessibility and the lifestyle.

His move into fashion was prompted by his love for sketching.

“I never knew how to sew but have always sketched,” Brian says.

“So this (the TAFE SA/Flinders degree) has opened me up to new skills.”

Brian says his graduate collection of six outfits explores striking colours and textures.

“My main muse was a triumphant woman … and the metaphor for a phoenix rising from the flame.”

Tickets for the SA Fashion Graduate Parade are on sale here.