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Food Bowl Connection

Food Bowl Connection is an adaptable teaching unit for Years 5, 6, 7, and 8 covering agriculture, geography, technological and applied sciences, humanities and Social Sciences which is aligned with the NSW and Australian syllabus outcomes. It's designed to help young people understand where their food comes from – and that food source matters.

"Education is the most powerful tool that can be used to change the world."
- Nelson Mandela

Why is food security a problem?


Statistics show people today are three to four generations removed from the farm and don’t know where their food comes from. As population grows, so does the need to be able to produce enough food for everyone. Food Security is key.

How do we address this spiralling problem?

We must look to tomorrow’s influencers and decision makers. The future of agriculture depends on the next generation. By setting educational tasks that require a deep understanding of the food bowl, a relationship progressively builds between the student and their food source. We believe that connecting with a place is fundamental to caring for it.

Our Food Bowl Connection Program focuses on large scale food production in the world-class Liverpool Plains.

The program culminates in a branding design task, to test the effectiveness of the unit, and our philosophy. It uses the concepts of design to bridge the gap and engage teachers and students who may have no connection to large-scale agriculture. This allows students to showcase a creative response to environment, and can be devised around the unit focus area of the Liverpool Plains, the student’s local area or a focus area of the teachers’ choice.


To add an additional level of class engagement, teachers may choose to run a branding design competition. In past years, Food River Station has run the Brand Muster Challenge competition. You can see past student logo designs and find inspiration for your own competition here.

Learn about the importance of the unit's focus on Australia’s world-class Liverpool Plains Region of NSW, where Food Bowl Connection's creator Dr Robbie van Hemert resides, by watching the video below.

Key features include:

  1. Topic of great social, cultural and political importance (food security, mining etc.) and relevant to children’s lives.

  2. Dynamic and challenging unit and one that teachers and students will find both engaging and rewarding.

  3. Introduces new skills in research and design, and new concepts - What is agriculture? What is a food bowl? What is a broadacre food bowl? And how does it affect me?

  4. Based on four years of comprehensive research with environmental scientists, farmers, and local community. This research was showcased at National Trust in Sydney as an exhibition of artworks in 2015, giving the unit a body of unique resources of high quality. 

  5. Developed with Year 6 Quirindi Primary School students adding appeal to the similar-aged targeted school groups.

  6. Written by Angela Colliver, renowned curriculum writer and education consultant. (Angela’s commissions include PIEFA, George the Farmer, Dairy Australia, Art4Agriculture, Australia Pork LTD).

  7. Aligned with both latest Australian, NSW, Vic and WA Curriculums, so you can check it fits your curriculum

  8. Trialled and proven in schools to ensure the unit is both teacher and student friendly, and an easy to use online course.

  9. The Food Bowl Connection Unit was presented at the recent International PIEFA Conference in Canberra in May 2016 and is now supported by PIEFA through the Prime Zone Portal.

The program has a unique structure which fosters a united front with a shared vision for sustainable Australian Agriculture with a current sponsor and supporter base of 15,000 people generating strong city-country connections.

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We currently  have 5000 students undertaking unit, & we are heading to 7000 by end of 2022.

Thankyou to our 2021 sponsors.

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Silver Supporters

Jack's Creek

Carmyle Veterinary Services

Jan Cree - Miller's Creek Station

Bronze Supporters

Connamara Partnership

Tom Bailey

Liverpool Plains SOS

Blacktown City Council

Jane Giles

Quirindi Pharmacy

Dave and Liz Brownhill and Family

Di Skalla

Plains Pantry

I’ve just had a look at the teaching unit. It certainly is comprehensive and of excellent quality. It has lots of options for activities and teachers like this as it allows them to tailor it to their needs/students’ needs. It’s got the creative side of things covered too, which is a real plus. I’m sure the unit will get a positive response. It’s great to see good ideas coming from people outside of teaching.

Kerry Goonan, HSIE Department, The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS)
See what other teachers have to say about the unit
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