The inaugural Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub (GTFIH) Hackathon event was held last week, where students helped resolve some of the major challenges in the forestry sector.
More than 120 Mount Gambier High School Year seven students participated with Hub member companies in the three-day event, held in conjunction with Nature Glenelg Trust and UniSA.
The session intended to expose students to the many career pathways offered in the forestry industry.
Students ventured out to a OneFortyOne plantation estate in Mount Burr for a full-day industry excursion followed by conservation activities at Mount Burr Swamp with a barbecue lunch, donated by the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier West.
A two-day Hackathon was then held at the UniSA Mount Gambier Campus, hosted by social enterprise group Young Change Agents, where students invented and presented their solutions to resolve challenges.
Various solutions included raising revenue to plant more trees, new solutions for fire management and strategies to recruit more female foresters.
GTFIH executive general manager Liz McKinnon said the Hub recognised the need to generate greater engagement with the broader community and this started with the next generation.
“Whilst most of these students live surrounded by plantation estate, for many they have never had the opportunity to go behind the scenes to meet the people managing our forests,” Ms McKinnon said.
“Seeing first-hand the new technologies and innovations that are used to grow and harvest our trees including the extensive efforts made to enhance and protect our environment.”
Mount Gambier High School assistant principal Josh Praolini said the partnership with the forestry sector was an exciting opportunity to lift aspirations and awareness of opportunities in the region.
“Active learning connected with local and relevant industry and community organisations allows for students to stretch their knowledge and skills,” Mr Praolini said.
“Giving students the change to experience a world class industry, in a regional setting, highlights how many amazing opportunities are available in emerging industries, ensuring our students have been exposed to the knowledge and skills to continue to grow the Green Triangle’s future capacity.”
GTFIH member companies Tabeel Trading, OneFortyOne, PF Olsen, SFM, Timberland and ABP directly hosted the industry excursion along with conservation partners Nature Glenelg Trust.