CARMEL Fraser is a secondary school teacher and co-ordinator of the year 9 Bridges to Country program for the students at Kilbreda College.
She is passionate about food security and enabling students to both produce food and learn about the contribution farming makes to our society.
The program leads to increased respect for the work of our farmers, as the students have direct personal contact with real working farms.
The program is now in its fourth year and has seen more than 500 city girls learn about Australian agriculture and have firsthand experiences of farming.
A relationship is established with rural colleges in Echuca and Ararat in Victoria.
The students correspond for a semester before meeting each other during an agricultural study tour. The tour includes visiting working family farms, orchards and a commercial food processing plant.
Carmel believes that our much urbanised society has seen a complete disconnection occur, from all things agricultural. Most students now have absolutely no idea where their last meal came from.
Carmel sees it as an essential service to make students and their families aware of the critical issue of food security.
Previous positions held by Carmel include, being an education officer at Melbourne Zoo and a senior environmental consultant in waste management and the Sustainable Schools program.
She was awarded an International Teaching Fellowship to Canada and a service award from the International Teaching Association.
Carmel has been the recipient of awards for energy reduction and school gardens, she has served in leadership roles for the Victorian Association for Environmental Education and the International Teaching Association.
Carmel believes now that the most important work she has to do, is establish links between city and agriculture/country.