LONGERENONG College staff and students were blown away by crowd numbers at the college’s annual open day on Sunday.
The day – aimed at students wanting a career in the agriculture industry – included tours of the college, farm and student accommodation, a show steer demonstration, and course presentations.
College business development manager Donna Winfield said the college was busier than ever.
“We are not sure on the final numbers yet, but I have never seen this many people here. People rocked up at 9.30am,” she said.
“It’s been an amazing day – the weather was superb.
“People came from far and wide, which was outstanding to see, and they’ve made some really positive comments.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
Mrs Winfield said people travelled from across Victoria and interstate.
She said Certificate Four in Agriculture and the Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management were popular course preferences among prospective students.
“We’ve also had people here looking at the apprenticeship program,” she said.
Mrs Winfield said people were impressed by the college’s programs, and its accommodation for students particularly.
The accommodation was upgraded in a $4.47-million project completed last year.
“We’ve had lots of wonderful comments about that and the whole campus,” Mrs Winfield said.
She said the open day was stage one in the process of attracting and enrolling students for coming years.
“There is a formal follow-up process. We will follow up with every single person who was here today,” she said.
“I’ve been travelling the state promoting agricultural careers, and we’ll be following up with people who expressed interest on those days as well.”
Students Julia Ash, Chloe Wheeler and Bonnie Kenner helped organise the event, and said the college was a hive of activity all day.
“Someone came from Bathurst and flew down from Sydney, and we had about 15 people from South Australia,” Miss Wheeler said. “It’s really positive for the college.”
Paul and Sue Malcolm travelled from Melbourne with their sons for the open day.
“Longerenong is well-known and has a very good reputation,” Mrs Malcolm said.
“We’ve been really impressed with the tutors and their passion and concern for the students, and their commitment to ensuring they become capable, skilled people.”
Gippsland year 11 student Katherine McNeilly hopes to study an advanced diploma at the college.
“I like that you get to do a bit of everything here – there is such a wide range of things,” she said. “The students showed us around, which was great. It was nice to meet them and the tutors.”
Katherine’s mum Jane said the college offered a good balance of practical skills and theory.
Lucindale’s Kevin and Jacki Baker and their son Mitchell sought information about Certificate Four in Agriculture, and were impressed with the college.
“It suits Mitch down to the ground,” Mrs Baker said.