FEAST or famine? Uni of Qld FEAST Program set for June

A group of 100 senior school students will explore global issues such as food security, fuel production and animal welfare at The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Gatton campus at the end of June.

The five-day Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology residential program (FEAST) highlights career paths and opportunities available within agriculture, science and technology.

Students will participate in a range of activities related to animal and veterinary science, biosecurity, plant pathology, soil science, parasitology, genetics, food security and the environment.

Past NYSF and FEAST participant, Sasha Laws-King, is now working at Toowoomba Veterinary Hospital.  She says, “I still remember that feeling of not knowing what it was that you wanted to do for the rest of your life. So many decisions, people always asking you what you want to do. I found myself looking for opportunities … asking people for advice. When the opportunity to apply for NYSF came along, little did I know that it would be a truly life changing experience. Upon returning from NYSF with my eyes more wide open to the possibilities that my future could hold, the head of science encouraged me to apply for FEAST at the University of Queensland, Gatton campus. FEAST again opened my eyes and cemented my passion to study the Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree. I also got a feel for the UQ campus, met MANY people and again was motivated to cruise through year 12 and get excited about University. Now, some 7 years on, still keeping in touch with friends from both NYSF and FEAST and working as a veterinarian, what can I say – I am just so lucky to have had both of these amazing opportunities and I love what I do – a dream come true.”

FEAST co-ordinator Karli Kollegger said the program is designed to give students a full university experience, learning from UQ Academics, researchers and industry experts who share their science experience and knowledge through practical workshops and plenary sessions.

“Each morning we will hear from UQ experts and industry guests covering new developments in science and research in the agriculture, animal and food sectors,” she says.  “The workshop activities are held throughout the day. The night program consists of career talks from recent UQ graduates, sporting challenges, trivia and a semi-formal dinner.”

The FEAST program offers students in years 11 and 12 unparalleled access to the university.  They stay on campus at the Halls of Residence and tour facilities such as the Dairy, Wildlife Facility, Queensland Animal Science Precinct and the Veterinary Medical Centre as well as visiting UQ’s St Lucia campus.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for students to make new friends, chat with current students and researchers and really hone in on their interests,” Mrs Kollegger said.

“After the completion of the program, we feel that students are more confident about pursuing tertiary study and are more aware of the rewarding careers in the agriculture, animal and food industries.”

Participant Matthew Rogan, who also attended both the NYSF and FEAST, says, “FEAST is an amazing program that opened up many windows about the experiences of living on halls at UQ Gatton, courses available, back doors and also meeting fellow students that are also interested in studying the same degree as you. NYSF opened up the same windows and I also gained life experiences that wouldn’t come by in everyday life. The FEAST program helped me finalise on what degree I wanted to study and the location to where I should do my studies. Both NYSF and FEAST are great opportunities that helped my decide on what I wanted to do with my studies and looking back now, I’m glad that I took those opportunities to help me decide.”

For more information on the UQ FEAST residential program visit www.science.uq.edu.au/feast or contact Karli Kollegger (07) 5460 1279.