1990-2006: Even High Standards
The 1990’s saw much change related to the rapidly advancing technology, reducing commodity prices, increasing production costs and the need for increasing production costs and the need for increasing management and marketing education. Muresk’s alternative entry allowed for increasing numbers of students to access tertiary education. The college embarked on a curriculum and delivery improvement program which would extend for some 8 years. The purpose was to create delivery strategies which engaged student promoted learning. The old 14 subject Agriculture course gradually gave way to two education and training programs – Agriculture and Trades. Within each of these programs much more choice is available to students pursuing particular careers. The enterprise focused programs engage students more readily as they can pursue reading, writing and maths in areas of interest. Students are linked closely to industry as increasing partnerships develop. Structured workplace learning is a major industry area in which students actively participate in industry. Many students achieve employment through the program.
Accommodation for the girls improved in 1990 and by 1993, 11 girls were housed in accommodation behind one of the staff houses. Shannon Barraclough of Laverton became the first female dux of the college. Buttfield dormitory named after Mr Monty Buttfield was opened at the Field day of 1994.
Max Shooter was farewelled on the same evening after 34 years. Max played a significant role in developing the colleges motor mechanic section and involved in the planning of the Manual Arts building in the 1980’s.
As in previous decades building improvements continued, a new Principals house instigated by Principal Terry McLaughlin was built east of the original principal’s house. The building construction section has continued the tradition of improving college facilities and a raised shearing shed board was built by the students in 1994. Other structures built include the Limousin Cattle shed in 1994 and the Building Construction workshop in 1996.
On the farm the Limousin stud began to receive some major awards both at local and national level which testified the excellence of the breeding programme over the previous 20 years or more.
The School Ball replaced the school socials and is now held annually in a five star hotel in Perth. Country week continues to be a major sporting and social event of the year.
The Ag Wing Carnival has become too small even for the expanding Agricultural Colleges and is more of a fun games weekend. The ANZAC Cup keeps alive the NAC versus Cunderdin Agricultural College rivalry on the football field. The cup was implemented in 1991 and Cunderdin won that year and Narrogin has won every year since.
The students are involved in weekend sports in sporting clubs in Narrogin, this has helped develop a sense of community, club spirit and a mature sense of sportsmanship.
Graduation Day is now a grand affair modelled on an awards night with a formal luncheon.
The college has become a Registered Training Organisation in its own right and undertakes research and trial partnerships with the Agricultural Department, CSIRO, universities and private companies.
Narrogin Agricultural College continues to grow and develop. Students are keen to enrol in new and evolving courses. The College is a trendsetter for cutting edge education and training and as such has a real future in the 21st century.