Move over, Rover! Drone vs Dog trials at Muresk

More than 190 students from nine Western Australian secondary schools attended this year's Muresk Institute's Drone versus Dog trials on Wednesday 16 May.

The Drone versus Dog trials were established in 2017 at Muresk Institute, Western Australia's skills hub of modern agriculture, to expose secondary school students to the rapidly advancing agriculture industry and the career opportunities it provides. The event teaches students how modern technology such as drones and robots or 'agbots' are applied in the industry, and showcases the sector to students who might not otherwise think about a career in agriculture. The program also allows Muresk to demonstrate clear pathways to employment through the educational courses at Muresk, including Curtin University's Associate Degree in Agribusiness.

This year, Archie Le Grice from John Curtin College of the Arts won a drone for his school, beating the other student pilots with a time of 17.42 seconds. The dog, Jay, had the best time but missed the final hurdle. This is the second win in a week for Archie who also took out the Under-18 Junior Boys division at the HIF WA Longboard Titles, and will represent WA at the Australian Surf Festival on the Tweed Coast, New South Wales in August.

Archie Le Grice from John Curtin College of the Arts (L), with Prue Jenkins General Manager Muresk Institute

Jay the kelpie cross goes through the course for the Drone vs Dog trials at Muresk Institute on 16 May

The agricultural industry is booming with free trade agreements and emerging markets creating growth in the industry. Ensuring WA is best placed to take advantage of industry resurgence, the McGowan Government is investing in contemporary training and skills development for the agricultural sector through education and training programs such as Drone versus Dog at Muresk.

"The Drone versus Dog trial is a unique way to show school students the role technology plays in a modern farm. It's been a big hit with students and highly effective in changing their perceptions about jobs in agriculture." said Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery. "The trials demonstrate the McGowan Government's commitment to the agriculture sector. We understand the importance of growing agricultural skills in the State, as the industry offers an opportunity to diversify and strengthen the Western Australian economy."

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Page last updated July 28, 2020