UniSchools Steer Challenge showcases the passion and energy of agriculture at Hawkesbury

UniSchools Steer Challenge Group

Western Sydney University’s 20th UniSchools Steer Challenge has commenced, with students from Sydney high schools and TAFE coming together to learn about livestock agriculture and the art of ethical cattle handling with the Western Livestock Team.

Founded in 2001, the UniSchools Steer Challenge program has provided immersive experiences for high school students and celebrates the rich, enduring legacy of animal production at the University’s Hawkesbury campus.

The program has proven transformative for one particular group of undergraduate students who found the program so engaging that they decided to pursue animal science and agriculture degrees at Hawkesbury.

UniSchools Steer Challenge Group
Andrew Scarsbrook

“The energy and community I found through the UniSchools Steer Challenge made choosing to study at Western an easy choice for me,” said Andrew Scarsbrook, who went through the program while at school at Oakhill College. He is now in his second year of an animal science degree at Western.

“I’ve made lifelong friends in this program. It has helped me understand the amazing opportunity that livestock agriculture can offer, especially when I look at how successful many of the careers of the program’s alumni have turned out,” Andrew said.

UniSchools Steer Challenge Group
Beth Simmonds

Beth Simmonds found the UniSchools program the ideal platform for building her skills, knowledge and vision as a future agricultural leader.

Beth is now one of four student leaders in the Western  Livestock team. She helps to coordinate the annual UniSchools Steer Challenge, which starts in May, and then through to the Live Show day in August and the final awards ceremony in September.

“I am so incredibly proud of my student colleagues in this program. We are a tight-knit team with a common goal of advancing experiences for students in animal sciences and promoting opportunities and innovation in Australia agriculture,” Beth said.

Together with my fellow female colleagues, Tiana Pienkosz, Alannah Mills, Brittany Jones and Amber Gray, we advocate for women who see the same incredibly bright future as we do – opportunities to shape a new future for Australia’s multi-billion livestock industry.”


19 May 2021

David Thompson - Media Officer (0429 951 552)

Photography by Daniel Kukec