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10 October 2012
St Michael’s new pecking order 

Oct. 10, 2012, 7:28 a.m.

A NOWRA school’s move towards sustainability has taken another leap forward with the official opening of its chicken coop.

St Michael’s Catholic Primary School has been developing a sustainability walk around its grounds.

The project began around three years ago with a vegetable patch, then a sustainability outlet, The Rainbow Shop, was established and an orchard recently planted.

The next step, according to principal Paul Crocker, was to establish a chook house to allow the school to further reduce its waste.

“It’s all part of us being a sustainable school,” he said.

“The students are learning about sustainability and being able to further reduce our waste by feeding it to the chooks is fantastic.

“And, of course, they will produce organic waste we can use throughout the school on our various gardens and our orchard.

“It is all part of our environmental education program.

“The students have formed an environmental team and have undertaken energy, waste, rubbish and water usage audits around the school.

“They are really getting into it.”

Parent Brett McConville of B-Mac Joinery, along with some of his employees donated time to build what Mr Crocker has described as the “best chicken coop in the Shoalhaven, if not the world”.

The structure was worth about $6000 in donated labour, while the funds for the materials to build the pen were donated from proceeds of the Shoalhaven Poultry Group from its highly successful chook auctions at Berry.

Shayne Tiplady of the Shoalhaven Poultry Group said when she heard about what the school was trying to achieve, it was easy to become involved.

“The school is teaching the students about the environment and sustainability so it was fantastic to be able to help,” she said.

Mrs Tiplady and her husband Brad did not only donate funds from the auction. A chicken fancier and breeder, she also donated five Pekin bantams to the school to start the chicken brood and it sounded like there were more to come.

Mr Croker said the whole project has been a wonderful community effort.

“The school’s P and F has come on board, we have parent Brett McConville and his workers, parent Jodie Simms was also involved, as was Wes Lochrin who donated the tin for the coop. Bishops at South Nowra came on board with feed and water containers, Peter Harvey from Vella Stock Feeds donated feed and one set of grandparents are set to donate a water tank as well,” he said.

A number of students presented speeches during the official opening, using descriptive words such as eggcellent, eggciting, eggsactly, eggspert workers and an eggfective way to reduce the school’s waste.

School environmental team co-ordinator Amanda Lloyd said there would be a competition within the school to name its new chickens.

The official opening was concluded with the whole school, teachers included, joining in for an informal rendition of the chicken dance.

The Shoalhaven Poultry Group’s next auction at Berry will be held on October 28, with more funds again to be donated to the school for its chicken coop program.

14 June 2012

Thanks to a good friend, we had 2 bus loads of over 70 kindy kids plus teachers and parents drop by to check out the incubator shed and Cluckingham Palace as part of their understanding of "Paddock to Plate". It was a great day! The money raised at the 12 th of August Auction is going to be donated to the School in order for them to build a chicken coop and run.


28 July 2011

On the 27th of July Shoalhaven Poultry attended the Berry Garden Lovers Fair with a stall selling garden items, chickens, baby chicks, brooders, Chicken coops, free range eggs and meal worm kits. With part of the profits going to Hands Across NSW. It was a perfect sunny winters day and heaps of people stopped by to look, say hello and buy. The baby chicks were a hit with the kids as was Billie my Pekin Rooster with this girls.

Here are some pics of the day.

Billie and his girls in the coop we sell                        Nath Selling chooks                               Brad, Loran and Ash setting up for the day

28 June 2011

Wow what a beautiful day we had for the Auction on Sunday 26th of June. The weather was perfect, the food and coffee was great and the line up of birds for auction was outstanding. Once again we were able to raise $1000 for Hands Across NSW who support farming families in NSW who have been affected by drought and floods

A big THANK YOU goes out to all our fantastic volunteers who make the day possible. Without your generous support we would not be able to hold such a successful event.

Another big THANK YOU goes out to our sponsors.

Berry Co-op for supplying all the feed, accessories and advice for your new birds.

Nowra Fresh Seafood and Meat Market for the fantastic sausages, bacon and free range eggs.

North Nowra Bakery for the yummy bread rolls.

23 May 2011

The Shoalhaven Poultry Group will be at the Berry Celtic Festival with Hands Across NSW on Saturday 28th of May at the Berry Showground. We will have a display of backyard chicken coops with a number of different chicken breeds to look at. Come and see us and if you have any questions on keeping poultry or our auction we would be more than happy to talk with you.

23 March 2011 

Thank you once again for all those people you attended our auction on Sunday 20th of March. Depsite the horrible weather we were still able to raise $1000 for Hands Accross NSW.

Thank you also to our volunteers and our sponsors, Berry Co-Op, Alternate Pet Food and Local Liquor in Bomaderry.

We are looking at having another auction in June or July so stay posted for the new dates.

The money raised from this auction and the last two, which totals $3500 is going to help the farmers of Grafton as per the press release below from Hands Across NSW

" Hands Across NSW Inc is a Shoalhaven Local Registered Charity dedicated to assist the Rural Communities in NSW affected by Bush Fires, Drought, Floods and any other natural disasters.

Recently Grafton, in Northern NSW was affected by flood and the dairy farmers are feeling the impact by not having sufficient fodder to feed their stock, not only losing stock but dropping in the production of milk.

Unfortunately, as there were many other problems in other parts of Australia in addition to the earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan, this sad effect in the Rural Community in Grafton was quickly displaced in the news by the grave situation in other parts of the world. However, the situation of damages in Grafton still remain.

Hands Across NSW have not forgotten Grafton and have raised funds to send bales of fodder to the dairy farmers to keep their stock alive and milk production.

The project Bale a Farmer Out is to send 600 bales of silage or hay and Hands Across NSW has already organised 10 Big Double trucks capable of loading about 60 large bales each. Raising of funds was helped by three generous donations by the Shoalhaven Poultry Group lead by Mrs Shayne Tiplady.

In addition to this project, eleven Dairy Farmers in the Clarence Valley have been selected to received a Voucher of $200 each to purchase groceries from the local stores "

11 February 2011


Hands Across NSW are the recipient of $1,400 donation by the Shoalhaven Poultry Group, presented by Poultry Group President Shayne Tiplady at Nowra Showground today. 

" As a patron of the Hands Across NSW, I was delighted to be present to witness this generous donation being given by the Poultry Group.” Mrs Gash said.
The Shoalhaven Poultry Group have been a long time supporter of Hands Across NSW, with all the proceeds of their poultry auctions going to Hands Across NSW worthy cause.

Hands Across NSW plays an integral role in supporting our struggling farmers and their families, and the donations of the Shoalhaven Poultry Group are just one example of local community action making a difference.

Mrs Gash said she encourages anyone who would like to get involved to attend the Group’s next auction in March.

Their next auction will be at the Berry Poultry Pavillion next Sunday 20th March 2011and if you want to participate, this is a terrific chance to do so, Mrs Gash said "


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