GOTAFE General Manager for Education, Margie Fixter, met with Senator Bridget McKenzie at the GOTAFE’s Docker Street Campus, Wangaratta to discuss her recent visit to India.
Ms Fixter was part of a 400 -strong delegation that travelled to India to investigate opportunities in agricultural trade, education and training expertise with a focus on Dairy. Specifically she shared her learning in regard to educational opportunities with Senator McKenzie.
“Senator McKenzie and I have had a long running professional friendship. We are both passionate about expanding educational opportunities for our community, also we both understand the importance of pursuing international agricultural opportunities, especially from a regional perspective to promote diversity and growth,” said Ms Fixter.
“I was overwhelmed by the interest in vocational education in India, and I shared with Bridget my surprise and pleasure at the sheer strength of demand for Dairy education, especially in rural Indian communities.
“For GOTAFE that demand opens up the potential to extend its services in vocational education into international agricultural markets.
“I am always interested in looking at how other countries run their businesses and how other educational providers operate in a rural setting. Indians really value agriculture, and interestingly 70% of milk production is undertaken by local co-operatives – people in villages who have just one to two cows.
“Bridget and I also share a passion for India and its people. It was emotionally quite moving to come to understand how much the local communities contribute to milk production, and therefore the agriculture industry, dairy farming and education is a real vehicle for social change in India.”
Margie went on to say that the other 30% of milk production comes from medium-sized enterprises with perhaps 50 to 100 cows, and that just a few very large corporate farms exist.
The delegation was part of a trade mission to observe what Australian services could offer to Indian farmers. The partnership between GOTAFE and NCDE enabled Margie to attend in order to share her learnings with the GOTAFE community and beyond.