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Reef Alliance

Enhanced Extension Coordination

Enhanced extension coordination is a new program being developed as part of the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program, managed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). A key element of this new program is the development of a training program that will further improve the skills and capability of those providing extension services to farmers. This training will be open to anyone working in this field, including industry development officers, researchers, agricultural advisors, agronomists and consultants.

What is extension?

Extension is the process of enabling change in individuals, communities and industries. You might not even call yourself an extension officer, but instead an industry development officer, researcher, advisor, agronomist, consultant or perhaps something else.

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What is the Enhanced Extension Coordination project?

A change to land management practices is essential to meet water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchment areas. This project will improve coordination, collaboration and communication across different producer and extension networks to increase adoption of agricultural land management practices leading to improved water quality.

Regional Coordinators have been appointed to collaborate with extension networks throughout the six GBR Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions to identify ways to better apply and tailor extension services to meet required needs and recommend other services that can support whole-of-farm outcomes.

  • Your Regional Extension Coordination team

    This project will interact with a wide range of Australian and Queensland government funded projects, particularly those delivering on-ground services to producers to ensure minimal duplication and maximum impact.

    Contact your local Regional Extension Coordination team member here.

    GBR map (002)

  • Regional Extension Networks

    Improved coordination, collaboration and communication will value add to existing and future extension work, removing duplication or clashes. The regional extension planning process and associated funding will help deliver relevant and prioritised projects. There will also be capacity building activities for networks to increase their knowledge and understanding around generic extension skills and also industry specific technical skills.

  • Funding

    The Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program has supported the Enhanced extension project through $3 million funding for coordination (over three years).

    In addition, an extra $2.5 million has been allocated for Flexible and Peer to Peer projects in the Reef catchment (over two years). Please contact your local Regional Extension Co-ordinator for more information.

What skills are needed?

A Reef Extension Training Needs Analysis (TNA) was undertaken in October 2018 to guide both the range and the form of the training and development activities to build the capacity of extension service providers in the Great Barrier Reef catchments, as part of the Enhanced Extension Coordination program. Over 150 people responded and the results are summarised in this executive summary. To receive the full report, contact John James (contact details below).

Stay in touch

To hear when new training courses are available, please subscribe to our Enhanced Extension eBulletin.

Training subsidies

To help you grow your extension and technical skills, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is offering subsidies for those working in the Reef catchments to cover the registration cost of approved courses. You (or your employer) will still need to cover your salary, travel and accommodation.

Just follow these three-steps…

  1. Register your interest in receiving a subsidy for attending a suitable Reef-related training activity, using the Reef Extension T&D database.
  2. Follow the instructions in the email you then receive, registering and paying for the course upfront.
  3. Once you’ve successfully completed the training, apply for the refund using the Reef Extension T&D database.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Dr John James
Manager (Reef Extension Training Development)
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Telephone 07 4529 4125 or 0417 617 572
Email john.james@daf.qld.gov.au

Upcoming training opportunities

  • Fertcare Level C

    100% subsidy available for those working in Reef catchments

    Fertcare Level C training covers the detailed and complex knowledge of environmental issues, including the use of a fertiliser environmental risk assessment and management methodology for experienced advisors who provide fertiliser recommendations.

    Face-to-face workshops are held on demand, where 10 to 15 students have requested training in a general location. Enter your details over here to register your interest in a forthcoming course. Workshops are now being scheduled at the following locations:

    • Townsville (12 November 2019)
    • Mackay (13 November 2019).

    The registration cost of $1020.58 inc GST (FA/AFSA members) and $1097.58 inc GST (FA/AFSA non-members) is able to be reimbursed for those delivering extension services in the Reef catchments, with a maximum of three people from the one organisation being subsidised at each workshop location.

    As subsidies are limited, if you’re depending on one to be able to attend, apply first for the subsidy using the Reef extension T&D database and once you’ve received your approval email, register and pay for the workshop.

    For all the details and to register for this course, head over to the Back Paddock website.

     

  • Behavioural Science Extension Training

    100% subsidy available for those working in Reef catchments

    A full-day workshop delivered by Behaviour Innovation for those involved in delivering extension services in the Reef catchments. The aim is to offer a unique approach to enhancing the practices of on-the-ground extension staff by providing a toolkit of new skills in behavioural science.

    The training will focus on concepts such as:

    • The science of human behaviour
    • How to understand farmers’ motivations and barriers to adoption
    • How to engage with a broader farmer base
    • Techniques for communicating more effectively with farmers
    • Strategies for managing resistance
    • Techniques for measuring and validating your effectiveness as an extension professional.

    This event is being offered at five locations as follows:

    • Biggenden (18 July)
    • Rockhampton (1 August)
    • Innisfail (13 August)
    • Ingham (15 August)
    • Townsville (5 September).

    The registration cost of $985 inc GST is able to be reimbursed for those delivering extension services in the Reef catchments, with a maximum of three people from the one organisation being subsidised at each workshop location. See all the details over here.

    As subsidies are limited, if you’re depending on one to be able to attend, apply first for the subsidy using the Reef extension T&D database and once you’ve received your approval email, register and pay for the workshop.

  • Soil Health Workshops

    100% subsidy available for those working in Reef catchments

    Workshop description

    This series of two-day workshops focuses on all three components of healthy soils – the physical, chemical and biological components. It will explore the interaction and synergy of considering all three in a mutually inclusive way. It will examine how each component interacts at the micro and macro level to produce a healthy soil that sustains agricultural and horticultural industries. It will also consider ways of effectively communicating this information to farmers and graziers.

    Extension service providers working with farmers and graziers in the Reef catchments are invited to attend this two-day soil health workshop. Participants will increase their understanding on both a scientific and practical level of how to assess and evaluate the health of soil. You’ll also learn how to monitor and improve it after natural disasters, long-term cropping or over-grazing, which can lead to rundown soils and lack of crop vigour.

    Workshop program

    Day 1

    • Introduction to soil health: concepts, definitions and origins
    • Soil, plant and water interactions: rhizosphere, nutrient and water exchange
    • Organic matter, humus and soil carbon: difference between terms
    • Soil physical aspects: texture, soil structure, bulk density, sodicity and salinity
    • Soil biology: overview, aerobic/anaerobic conditions, carbon ratios, diversity and enzymes

    Day 2

    • Soil chemistry, nutrients: forms available, processes, nutrient recycling and losses
    • Plant health: disease tolerance, plant stresses and nutrients
    • Fertilisers: synthetic, organic, amendments
    • Relationship of soil health and cropping: monocultures,, rotations, green manure crops, beneficial organisms
    • Knowledge gaps: testing methods, identification, role in the soil

    Presenter

    David Hall has worked in agriculture for some 30 years; initially as a field agronomist and later doing extension work across various industries and research and development work in the area of soil fertility and soil health. Some areas of interest besides the more conventional forms of fertilisers are those involved with soil biology, slow release forms of nutrients and organic amendments; and products that can be used in a complementary way. Currently he is looking at organic amendments being applied to local soils on a commercial basis. The various projects are assessing the long term value of manures, composts and conventional fertilisers in commercial operations over multiple sites, industries (cotton, citrus, pastures, horticulture and lucerne) and regions in Queensland.

    The workshops are being delivered at the following locations:

    • Mareeba (2, 3 September 2019)
    • Innisfail (5, 6 September 2019)
    • Townsville (9, 10 September 2019)
    • Mackay (12, 13 September 2019)
    • Rockhampton (16, 17 September 2019)
    • Gayndah (28, 29 September 2019)

    The registration cost is being covered by the Enhanced extension coordination project for those delivering extension services in the Reef catchments, with a maximum of three people from the one organisation being subsidised at each workshop location.

    As places are limited, apply first for the subsidy approval using the Reef extension T&D database and once you’ve received your approval email, you’ll be sent further details about the workshop.

  • Facilitation Skills for Extension Professionals

    100% subsidy available for those working in Reef catchments

    A one-day workshop to expand your skills to facilitate productive landholder workshops, training days, and meetings, large and small – including the tricky bits.

    This practical, enjoyable day covers:

    • Winning your licence to facilitate any group
    • Devising a perfect session, in any situation
    • Skilfully managing conflict and difficult personalities
    • Rapid processes for productive collaboration
    • The seven keys to being an effective facilitator
    • Hands-on practice in a safe environment.

    There’s a yummy lunch and invaluable 90 page manual.

     What is covered

    1. ‘On your feet’ practices
    • Starting well: ice-breaking, purpose statement, ground rules, and introduction methods.
    • Winning and maintaining your licence to facilitate
    • ‘Automatic practices’ including reflective listening, checking-off, and use of silence
    • Being responsive and rapidly adapting to the psychology and needs of the participants.
    • Participant safety: How to maximize peer-peer interaction, and participant comfort.
    • Dealing with conflict and difficult participants
    1. Creating a sound facilitation plan
    • We’ll use a Model Facilitation Template to design a comprehensive plan for a satisfying, productive workshop/forum.
    • Knowledge creation methods: We’ll practice effective methods to rapidly gather knowledge or views from groups, and for rapid prioritizing.
    • Practice: The workshop is hands-on. There’s plenty practice in a safe, friendly environment.
    • There is also time to discuss the social psychology of facilitation and share tips and methods that work in challenging situations.

    The workshops are being delivered at the following locations:

    • Mareeba (8 October 2019)
    • Innisfail (9 October 2019)
    • Ingham (11 October 2019)
    • Townsville (14 October 2019)
    • Mackay (16 October 2019)
    • Rockhampton (18 October 2019)
    • Gayndah (7 November 2019)

    The registration cost of $300 inc GST is able to be reimbursed for those delivering extension services in the Reef catchments, with a maximum of three people from the one organisation being subsidised at each workshop location.

    As subsidies are limited, if you’re depending on one to be able to attend, apply first for the subsidy approval using the Reef extension T&D database and once you’ve received your approval email, register and pay for the workshop.

    You can download a brochure and book online over here: www.enablingchange.com.au/extension.php

    Numbers are strictly limited.

  • APEN 2019 Conference

    100% subsidy available for those working in Reef catchments

    The APEN Conference, held biennially, is an international meeting for rural and community advisory practitioners, researchers, and academics who combine the best extension research and practice from developing and developed countries. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to share knowledge, learn new skills and improve extension.

    On 12-13 September 2019, Darwin will play host to our conference for the very first time. Opening a pathway for South-East Asia practitioners, researchers, and academics to network and liaise with Australian and New Zealand extension professionals. The conference will focus on Extending Horizons: Extension’s role in climate, rural industry, and community challenges.

    There will be two optional pre-conference workshops on 11 September from 10am to 4pm: Fearless Facilitation and Great Group Dynamics and Communication Skills for All Professionals. You can register for these workshops without attending the conference. Details of the workshops can be viewed here. 

    The registration cost of $699 inc GST members or $799 non-members is able to be reimbursed for those delivering extension services in the Reef catchments. A maximum of 10 people will be subsidised with a maximum of one person per organisation, with preference given to early-career professionals.

    As subsidies are limited, if you’re depending on one to be able to attend, apply first for the subsidy approval using the Reef extension T&D database and once you’ve received your approval email, register and pay for the conference.

    For all the details, visit https://aapevents.eventsair.com/2019apen/.