Hermidale Public School’s 85ha wheat-growing feat sees it win a new award.   

Story Kate Newsome   

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has introduced a new award that champions Hermidale Public School’s agricultural innovation. 

OUTBACK first reported on this little school’s big plans back in issue 143 (p131). After a paddock was donated to the tiny school for 3 years, the Hermidale community helped the school grow 85ha of wheat last year. The harvest raised $50,000 for the school, funding excursions for students to see different parts of the country and the agricultural sector. 

Hermidale Public School’s 2 staff members accepted the 2023 Agricultural Innovation in Schools Award in April, on the opening day of the Sydney Royal Easter Show. 

“To tell you the truth it still hasn’t really hit home,” says Skye Dedman, Hermidale Public School principal. The 11 primary school students were unable to attend the award ceremony as they were on the bus back to Hermidale, 50km west of Nyngan, following a project-funded excursion to NSW’s South Coast. “We’re accepting this on behalf of our students ... it’s them that we’re most proud of.” 

“They inspired the award,” explains Duncan Kendall, RAS head of education. After hearing about the project, Duncan worked with Murray Wilton, RAS general manager, to establish the award. Duncan says that in the award’s first year there was no question that Hermidale Public School should be the inaugural winner. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #149

Outback Magazine: June/July 2023