Australians are awakening to the crucial role of farming, food production and technological innovation in meeting the global challenge of food security, environmental sustainability and climate change. From soil science to crop, horticultural and animal production, we are witnessing a resurgence in agricultural study, research and innovative practice – our staff and students are excited to share their stories with you!
Date: Sunday 22 September
Time: 11am - 3.30pm (course information sessions for future students start at 10am)
Where: The University of Melbourne Dookie campus, 940 Dookie-Nalinga Road, Dookie College
This year’s Dookie Day will focus on our past, present and future through the theme, Planting seeds today for tomorrow. The day will allow you to explore a future of sustainable agricultural growth and to connect with Indigenous history and culture.
Themed precincts will allow you to explore research advances and industry partnerships in the areas of remote sensing and precision agriculture, sustainable food and animal production, and learn about the important connections between Indigenous culture, arts and the land.
The University of Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell, an international expert on animal infectious diseases, will attend Dookie Day, along with senior University leaders who's research areas include crop breeding, heat stress management for dairy cattle, herbicide-resistant weed management and soil health.
Dookie Day will also include a panel of experts discussing Agriculture Victoria’s on-farm ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) trial – the benefits, the barriers and the how. University, State Government and industry representatives will talk about Victoria’s bold vision and two-year trial program. This trial involves the installation of IoT technology across four regional areas and four industry sectors to drive industry-wide change and propel Victoria to world leadership in food and fibre production.
The University of Melbourne continues to invest in the Dookie campus, teaching and accommodating more students in 2019 than at any time in the last ten years. This ensures our graduate researchers and students in our Bachelor of Agriculture degree, Diploma in General Studies pathway and vocational education programs maximise their opportunities to engage with industry and learn in the context of agriculture.
For further enquiries, please contact Julia Truong via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around 640 prospective students, alumni and members of the Goulburn Valley community explored the University of Melbourne's Dookie agricultural campus on Sunday 9 September.
Around 150 academics, professional staff and students led tours, gave presentations, organised activities and delivered other assistance for the event, bringing numbers at the campus to around 800 on the day.
Dookie Day, first held in 2017 following the redevelopment of the campus’ teaching facilities and student accommodation, showcases the School of Agriculture and Food’s teaching, industry engagement, research and capabilities.
Visitors were able to discover the University's agricultural and veterinary science courses, meet students and watch presentations on what they had learned during the industry-focused Dookie Semester of the Bachelor of Agriculture, see new developments in agricultural research and technology and listen to seminars presented by scientific experts. A farmers’ market sold fresh local produce, including fruit grown at the campus.
The day started with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by local Yorta Yorta man Graham Briggs.
Seminars throughout the day explored genomics and data science in crop biotechnology, soil management for environmental benefit, lab-grown meat, technology in equine veterinary medicine, the importance of farm advisers and fenceless livestock farming.
Visitors could also watch demonstrations of agricultural drones, virtual reality teaching tools that allow city-based students to see agricultural processes first-hand, biometric monitoring of meat consumers, shearing and wool classing demonstrations and tours of Dookie's student accommodation, teaching spaces, solar panel farm and glasshouse.
There were also a range of alumni-focused activities, including a morning tea, a refitted Dookie Museum and a dinner to celebrate the campus’ history and future the night before Dookie Day where 80 attendees heard presentations from Head of the School of Agriculture and Food Herbert Kronzucker and current students.
Dookie Professor in Residence Timothy Reeves delivered the keynote presentation, in which he said that while the School of Agriculture and Food produced a diverse range of graduates, they shared a common need to understand the context of the agricultural industry.
He said the Dookie experience delivers this efficiently, effectively and enjoyably.
“Listening to some of the third-year students tell their audiences that the Dookie experience was one of the best things in their life was very emotional and uplifting," he said after the lecture.
Professor Reeves also emphasised the industry experience the Dookie campus delivers to its students through frequent exposure and interactions with the 2,440-hectare commercial farm; industry excursions to farms, processors and marketers; which are complemented by visits and demonstrations from agronomists, vets and specialists from the dairy, pig, sheep and wool industries.
“The campus engages with over 40 different organisations in the Goulburn Valley region,” Professor Reeves said.
“This broad range of experiences not only makes an outstanding and valuable contribution to the education process, but also gives the students industry exposure and an insight into potential future jobs – some third-years already have job offers.”
Third-year Bachelor of Agriculture student Tiffany Miller, who has chosen to complete her studies based at the campus after completing the Dookie Semester last year, said the day exemplified the Dookie experience.
“Dookie Day really brought together the students at the campus as a family, rather than separate cohorts,” she said.
“We were able to work together to show off the campus that we are really proud of, which is what Dookie day is all about.
“We want people to love Dookie as much as we do. It’s just an overall amazing experience with some of the most amazing up and coming ‘aggies’ to enter the industry.”
Story by Stuart Winthrope. Gallery images by Shape Creative and Stuart Winthrope.
The Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences hosted a community open day at the Dookie campus on Wednesday 18 October 2017 to engage the local community, industry and stakeholders in the Goulburn Valley.
Around 300 visitors were able to see demonstrations of research based at Dookie and the Faculty's other campuses, learn about our courses and see the recently upgraded Swinburne Hall and A Dorm, where Bachelor of Agriculture students in the Dookie Semester have been based this semester.
A gallery of photos from the day by local photographer Liz Arcus is available here.
Swinburne Hall was officially opened by Deputy Chancellor Ross McPherson in a ceremony attended by University Executive. The Executive also attended an engagement lunch with Faculty staff and local VIPs where Faculty Dean John Fazakerley and Provost Margaret Sheil presented on the Faculty and University's commitment to the campus, and to the Goulburn Valley.
The 90 Bachelor of Agriculture and Diploma in General Studies students based at the campus guided visitors and gave presentations on what they had learned at the campus.
Other Dookie Day highlights included:
- Demonstrations of drones that monitor plant health by Sigfredo Fuentes and Engineering's Rodger Young
- Weed control with microwaves instead of pesticides, by Graham Brodie
- Tours of the robotic dairy Demonstrations of the Faculty's sensory testing sensory testing technology
- A research showcase to demonstrate Parkville and Werribee-based research, teaching and veterinary clinical services
- Tastings of beer and wine made at the Dookie winery, including a gold medal-winning shiraz brewed by students in the 2016 Vine to Wine breadth subject
- Seminars on mastitis control, preventing footrot in sheep, sheep progeny evaluation and farm investment by Faculty staff and experts aligned with the Faculty.