Students tuck into a FEAST of career options at UQ Gatton

3 Jul 2023
FEAST students donning lab coats in a University of Queensland plant pathology workshop.

High school students from the Lockyer region, and from throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales, descended on The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Gatton campus last week to participate in the annual FEAST program.

The Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology (FEAST) program provides Year 11 and 12 students with a taste of university life and careers in the agriculture, animal, food and environment sectors.

“FEAST is about helping secondary school students make sound decisions about their future,” Program Coordinator Nitika Davies said.

“Some students have had very little exposure to these industries and use this experience to learn more about the range of university and career options available.

“Others use it to focus their decision making on what to aim for, what to study at school or which program to enrol in at the end of Year 12.”

The students participated in problem solving and hands-on activities, rubbing shoulders with veterinarians, agricultural scientists, current UQ students and graduates now working in industry.

“They’ve learned about plant tissue culture, animal anatomy, wildlife tracking, parasites, career and course options and university life,” Mrs Davies said.

Students learning about animal anatomy in a University of Queensland lab.

“Graduates in agriculture, agribusiness and veterinary science are in high demand and have global career opportunities, which students may not realise.”

Local Year 11 Lockyer District State High School student Rhianna Pearson agreed that she had learned more than expected at FEAST.

“I wanted an in-depth experience of the facilities UQ provides and I thought it’d be a good chance to meet people with similar interests to me,” Ms Pearson said.

“I've learned that there are so many areas I could specialise in once completing a degree, and I also didn’t know just how big the campus is or the number of labs and lecture rooms available.

“I’d love to work within the agriculture industry, specifically with large animals, as I've always had an interest in animals – FEAST has confirmed that I'm mainly interested in cattle.

“The highlights of this program have been meeting new friends, and getting an insight into what a day would look like as a uni student.”

Media:  Faculty of Science Media,, +61 438 162 687.