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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TAFE SA patisserie lecturer to compete on world stage

TAFE SA patisserie lecturer Justin Williams is hoping to achieve sweet success when he represents Australia in the “Olympics of pastry” on April 24 and 25.

Justin, who teaches a patisserie course at TAFE SA’s Regency Campus, will head to Singapore to compete in the prestigious Asian Pastry Cup in hope of qualifying for the world championships in Paris in 2019.

The pastry chef, who teaches a patisserie course at TAFE SA, has been working with teammate and Sydney pastry chef Sonia Quek, training for 15 hours a day for the event.

The duo has spent the past six months cooking with hundreds of kilograms of chocolate and sugar in preparation for the contest.

TAFE SA patisserie lecturer Justin Williams will compete in the Asian Pastry Cup in April 2018 in hope of qualifying for the world championships.

The Asian Pastry Cup is the biggest live pastry competition in Asia and is attended by talented pastry experts from a number of different countries.

Contestants must create two elaborate chocolate and sugar-themed showpieces, 20 desserts and two modern gateaux in eight hours.

Details of exactly what Justin will create are top secret.

“This event is highly competitive – it’s basically the Olympics of pastry – so we need to keep our cards close to our chest to get an edge on our competitors,” he says.

“We have put in many hours of training, trying and testing new techniques and finessing our creations for the event.

“We have put a lot into this so hopefully we can get a good result on the day.”

Justin says the pair has collaborated with 3D chefs and an industrial designer to help create structural elements for the chocolate and sugar showpieces.

“Our 3D chef creates a 3D image of our showpieces then prints each component using 3D printers and we then make moulds out of silicon from these printed items,” he says.

“Our industrial designer is designing and building our finished buffet decorations.”

The live competition will involve patisserie experts sweating it out over eight hours in hope of creating the winning elaborate showpieces.

Justin has years of baking experience under his belt after working as a pastry chef in hotels around the world.

TAFE SA educational manager Fee Lee says he is confident the Australian team will finish in the top three.

“TAFE SA has a strong record of success in these competitions winning in the SIGEP Remini in Italy and the Mondial Du Pain in France,” he says.

“Justin has taught the Certificate IV in Patisserie at Regency Campus for seven years. He has a strong background as an executive pastry chef having worked for many years in Australian and international hotels.”

Fancy a career in cooking? Check out TAFE SA’s courses here.

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.