Dookie Day a big hit

By Ashlea Witoslawski

D-Day arrived at Dookie on Sunday, September 22, with about 1000 people attending the University of Melbourne’s annual Dookie Day.

Representatives of local industries, college alumni, and prospective students were invited to view the college facilities and displays centred around the theme Planting Seeds Today for Tomorrow.

University of Melbourne student ambassadors Issy Christie and Clare Jensen said the day showcased the Dookie campus and the wonderful agricultural work being done in the region.

“It gives us the opportunity to show people exactly what we do up here,” Ms Christie said.

“We get the chance to show people agriculture is more than just farming.”

Ms Jensen said the event attracted many people interested in studying at the campus.

University alumni Sarah Crow returned to the campus for the event, after graduating with a Bachelor of Agriculture last year.

Growing up on a dairy farm at Kyabram, Ms Crow said she enjoyed the hands-on learning environment and the opportunity to study close to home.

“It's great coming back and being a part of the day,” she said.

The event included a panel discussion on Agriculture Victoria’s on-farm Internet of Things trial which involves four regional areas and industry sectors driving change in food and fibre production.

Research displays included innovative microwave weedkiller demonstrations, robotic dairy farm tours and thermal sensing exhibits while other areas explored advances in sustainable food and animal production and the connections between indigenous culture, arts and the land.

Other events included a showcase on the humble meal worm and its ability to break down plastic and turn it into compost; activities involving indigenous culture, art and sport; and butter-churning and fruit smoothie workshops.

University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Duncan Maskell welcomed attendees to the campus and spoke highly of the connection between the university and the region.

“Dookie Day is an opportunity to celebrate this great campus but also recognise the important work we do here,” he said.

“This is a place with a very bright future.”