Your Chance to learn at the Living Classroom

April 12, 2012

The Living Classroom has the potential to shape the future of Bingara. It is one of three trade training centres being developed within the Gwydir Shire. The other two are the Automotive project adjoining Warialda High School and the Hospitality kitchen adjoining the Roxy in Bingara.

The Living Classroom is located on the Bingara Common just to the southwest of the town. Its focus is on regenerative agriculture. It will provide a teaching facility and accommodation block to enable both local students and those from further afield to study agriculture within a living space.

A lunchtime community tour has been organised for Sunday, April 29 starting with a free barbecue at 12.30pm at the “bunkhouse” off Narrabri Road, south of the Showground. The tour will involve an overview of the project followed by a one kilometre guided walk around some of the features that have been constructed to date.

The tour is being organised by Gwydir Shire Council and Bingara and District Vision 2020. The Bingara Lions Club will cater for the event.

GSC Environmental Services Manager, Glen Periera, is keen to show off the project. “The Living Classroom is a revolutionary enterprise,” he said. “Not only does it provide an agricultural learning centre, but it will expand to become a major tourist destination, and a benchmark for sustainability, with local food, closed loop waste systems, water harvesting and integrated crop and livestock management, all featured,” he said.

Rod Smith, the GSC Education and Training Officer, has overseen the construction of the buildings on the site.

“While our focus is on training local people in the options for agriculture, the Living Classroom, can be developed to engage students from across the region, the state and beyond.” He said. “The bunkhouse can accommodate 24 students and up to four teachers, while the teaching can be delivered from within the classroom building, or from several outdoor learning spaces,” he added.

The Chairman of the steering committee responsible for overseeing the broad Living Classroom Project is the Secretary of Vision 2020, Garry McDouall.

“The walking tour of the site is a chance for community members to get a close up introduction to the Project and a clear understanding of how its various elements will blend together to make for a major employment generator for the town and a focus for future food production systems,” he said.

To help with catering, people intending to come for the barbecue at 12,30pm on Sunday, April 29 are asked to contact the Bingara Tourist Office on 67240066.