21 December 2017
This year the CATE (Careers And Transition Education) conference was held in Invercargill from 15 - 17 November. With one of its themes being ‘Changing perceptions of Trades and Primary Industries’, GrowingNZ’s presence at CATE was hugely important, for our brand, members, and teachers alike.
It was a real team effort to make GrowingNZ’s stand a success: Desrae Ngatai (GrowingNZ), Susan Stokes (DairyNZ), Tessa Appleby and Paulette Scrooby (Taratahi), Jaimie-Leigh Jonker and Vicki Compton (MPI).
“We achieved our objectives on many levels,” says Desrae. “Of the 400 teachers from 175 schools and 61 organisations who attended CATE, we engaged personally with 95-100 delegates and distributed 43 teacher resource packs. We had the chance to build on existing relationships and make new connections every day. Our new posters - a visual snapshot of who we are and what we do - impressed many teachers with some requesting copies for their school. It was also really positive to have so many teachers register their interest in receiving information about regional career expos in future.”
Susan Stokes, Industry Education Facilitator for DairyNZ is sure she wouldn’t have had a presence at CATE without GrowingNZ. “It’s not cost effective to attend as an individual organisation. Being part of the collective gave me a home base, the chance to build on old relationships and create new leads. We’re all in the same boat. GrowingNZ provides an identity for members wanting to send the same, clear message. Working together gives us the strength and support we need to change people’s perceptions of education, training, and career opportunities across the primary industries.”
Tessa Appleby of Taratahi agrees. “As a member of GrowingNZ, there are definite cost savings but many intangible benefits too. Being seen by the public as an alliance is really valuable. Changing people’s perceptions together can only strengthen the impact of our message.”
Jaimie-Leigh Jonker, Science Adviser for MPI, led a workshop for teachers and career advisors at CATE and was grateful for the support and structure provided by GrowingNZ. “I would have felt a bit lost and struggled to connect with so many interesting delegates about curriculums and work programmes. Being a part of GrowingNZ’s stand meant I could tell people where to find me. Many teachers took note of GrowingNZ’s banner that featured every member’s logo. The new GrowingNZ posters aimed at teachers were popular too - especially the poster highlighting the value of primary industry-related scholarships available every year. I’m looking forward to sharing some feedback I received about other statistics (featured in my workshop) with GrowingNZ soon. There is potential for such insights to be used in future marketing material and resources created for teachers at other events.”