On Friday 6 May, HEIA(Tas) Committee of Management (COM) members Kellie Adams, Rita Cawley, Julie Creed, Emily Dobson, Karen Weitnauer and Mary Williams along with presenters, Marie Phillips, Department of Education Tasmania, and Dr Janet Reynolds (HEIA[Qld]) were involved in a very successful two-day professional learning event at Rydges Hotel in Hobart.
Following the welcome by Rita, our patron Frances Underwood, gave her support to the professional learning day by advocating for our teachers to come together to share and learn from each other. Frances is also particularly keen to assist in promoting the important work of practical teachers like home economists within the University of Tasmania and the Department of Education.
The morning of day one of the conference focused on understanding the links between food and fibre production as compulsory areas of study within the Design and Technologies curriculum for students from Kindergarten to Year 8. Teachers engaged attentively with Marie and Janet as they both gave relevant and significant examples on how schools can make links to agriculture, food and fibre production, as well as utilising the cross curricula priorities of sustainable and ethical outcomes. Marie provided pages of links, including digital tours of farms or food production and she also encouraged student questioning such as ‘How were my clothes made?’ and ‘Who grew my burger?’ as starters for learning.
Three teachers shared the work they had undertaken in their respective schools for Years 7 and 8, based on the Australian Curriculum. Jenny Cooper from Oatlands District High School shared an innovative program she has developed for senior students using a local version of ‘paddock to plate’, focusing on the Design and Technologies context Food specialisation.
After morning tea, teachers co-planned units of work, with Marie and Jan assisting by ‘table hopping’. Having the experts in the room, discussing and strengthening the objectives of the Australian Curriculum were part of the genesis of the idea for the day. Teachers found this support essential to move forward with their ideas.
In the afternoon, Jane Milburn, from Textile Beat presented a thought-provoking account of how we use and waste resources in relation to Textiles. Her up–cycling workshop followed on day two of the program. However, on Day One we had the opportunity to hear about some of the ethical questions relating to global textile use, consumption and/or waste. The notion of cheap clothing and fabric production cannot be understated in our global economy.
The COM members hosted Jane and some fellow ‘out of towners’ to dinner on Friday night in the nearby North Hobart restaurant strip and then day two got underway at the Ogilvie High School Home Economics facility.
Chefs, Stephen Lunn, Paul Foreman and Eloise Emmett, delighted and entertained us with practical cookery demonstrations based on chosen Tasmanian ‘hero’ ingredients. Six recipes, two from each chef, were prepared, plated and tastings shared, before lunch. The hero ingredient concept proved to be a great success and the following foods were selected as the ‘hero’ ingredients to be used in the recipes:
- Tasmanian apples, garden beetroot, blackberries, honey, saffron, quinoa, quail and mussels.
Following are the recipes prepared by the chefs:
Stephen Lunn, Australian VET Teacher of the Year and Years 11 and 12 teacher:
- Caramelised beetroot tarte tatin
- Beetroot relish
Paul Foreman, Executive chef Kalis group:
- Creamy quinoa saffron risotto with poached pear and cracked hazelnuts
- Spring Bay mussels, saffron and fennel soup
Eloise Emmett, Food writer, chef and author
- Apple and blackberry pie
- Grilled quail, honey and mustard dressing
The chefs happily shared their recipes and cookery tips with the audience - it was a great morning! After a sumptuous lunch prepared by local caterers, Basil Catering, the group moved to the Textiles suite for a hands-on workshop with Jane Milburn. Jane spoke about her journey with textiles, initially by making garments as a child and for her family, then much later working with ‘found’ or recycled natural fabrics.
Jane shared her slow clothing manifesto:
Ten ways to reduce your material footprint
think: make thoughtful, ethical, informed choices
natural: treasure fibres from nature and limit synthetics
quality buy well once, quality remains after price is forgotten
local: support local makers, those with good stories and fair trade
care: mend, patch, sort, sponge, wash less, use cold water, line dry
few: live with less, capsule wardrobe, have one best style, unfollow
make: embrace home sewing as a life skill, value DIY and handmade
adapt: refashion, eco-dye, create new from old to suit yourself
revive: enjoy vintage, exchange, op shop and swap
salvage: donate, pass on, rag, weave, recycle, compost
Jane discussed her garment history and then we set about refashioning some items and personalising some recycled t–shirts into jewellery.
The two day event was a resounding success for the small committee and our thanks also go to the presenters, the King and Amy O’Malley Trust, Neredith Comrie representing the HEIA/McCormick Flavour Forecast Recipe Challenge, Donna Walker from Birchalls Books Hobart, Tom Tilsley from Fullers Bookshop Hobart, the HEIA Conference Committee and HEIA(Tas) COM, Ruth Mainsbridge Teacher Recognition Award for their assistance, additional resources and satchel information.