Frequently Asked Questions for Schools
Victorians love fish and fishing. Recreational fishing offers terrific opportunities for people of all ages, skills, abilities and backgrounds to enjoy a fun and healthy activity and build social connections. Our aboriginal heritage is also deeply linked to fishing, with thousands of years of indigenous fishing history in Victoria.
The Victorian Government is committed to increasing the number and diversity of people fishing and enjoying Victoria’s local seafood, growing healthy and sustainable fisheries sectors and contributing to Victoria’s social and economic prosperity. Every Victorian should have the opportunity to fish.
Q. What has the Victorian Government committed?
A. The Victorian Government committed $1.5 million over four years at the 2022 State election to provide 60,000 primary school aged children with Little Angler Kits that will include a fishing rod, tackle tray, some tackle and a kids guide to fishing.
The aim of this commitment is to continue to grow recreational fishing participation in Victoria by actively encouraging primary school aged children to learn more about the art of fishing, marine life and the natural environment.
Q. Why is the government giving away free fishing rods to Grade 5 students?
A. The Victorian Government is keen to get more children outside and active, connecting with nature and enjoying time in the great outdoors. Fishing is a great way to do that, which is why the State Government is investing $96m to improve fishing, boating, piers and aquaculture.
Little Angler Kits are the perfect way for primary school aged children to try fishing. They include a rod, reel with line, tackle tray, some tackle and information on how to use them all. The kits are being offered to Grade 5 students for FREE through primary schools in the latter half of 2023. Grade 5 students have been selected based on the Victorian Curriculum focus, movement and motor development, and safety considerations.
All students in Specialist schools will be offered a Little Angler Kit regardless of their age.
Q. How are the free fishing rods being funded?
A. The Victorian Government is investing $1.5 million from the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust Fund to provide up to 95,000 Little Angler Kits to primary school aged children in Victoria, exceeding its commitment to provide 60,000 kits. A significant return on this investment will be realised when these junior fishers become adults and commence paying for a Recreational Fishing Licence, with their licence fees going into the Trust Fund to be reinvested into further improving recreational fishing for all Victorians to enjoy.
Q. How does the school apply to receive the kits?
A. They don’t. Schools are focussed on educating our children. The Victorian Fisheries Authority has sourced the kits via a public procurement process, in line with the Victorian Government’s procurement policy, and will distribute the kits to all Victorian primary and specialist schools.
A school can opt out of receiving a kit for any reason by advising the Victorian Fisheries Authority via email (email@example.com) that they do not wish to receive any kits by no later than Thursday 7 September 2023.
Q. When will schools get their kits?
A. The roll out of kits will occur through the second half of 2023 (16 October – 4 December) as suppliers provide kits to the Victorian Fisheries Authority. It’s not possible to distribute all the kits across the State in one go however they will be in the hands of those who want one by the summer school holidays. Your school will be contacted closer to the time of distribution to confirm the week the kits will arrive.
Q. When should schools distribute their kits?
A. Please distribute a kit to each grade 5 primary student to take home as soon as practicable to enable them to commence fishing and to reduce the storage impost on the school. Encourage students to take the kits home unopened, and to read the kids guide to fishing with a parent/carer which explains the kit’s contents, the aims of the initiative and where parents can get more information including instructional videos and online resources about fishing.
Specialist schools will receive a kit for ALL primary school students regardless of age. Specialist schools can apply discretion to adapt distribution to their students based on local needs.
Please note that the tackle tray does include fishing hooks. The tackle tray will be wrapped in cardboard and placed inside a pocket, inside the kit bag, which will be cable tied to discourage students from opening their kits until they are under the supervision of a parent or carer, however schools are requested to emphasise that students not open the kits until they are safely at home under the supervision of a parent or carer.
The Victorian Fisheries Authority intends to provide each school with one or two spare kits to ensure all eligible students are offered a kit.
Q. What size are the kits and what do they contain?
A. Little Angler Kits include a fishing rod, tackle tray, some tackle and a kids guide to fishing. The kits are approximately 3 foot long.
Please note that the tackle tray does include fishing hooks. The tackle tray will be wrapped in cardboard and placed inside a pocket, inside the kit bag, which will be cable tied to discourage students from opening their kits until they are under the supervision of a parent or carer. Please also tell students not to open the kits until they are safely at home with a parent or carer.
Q. How should schools take reasonable steps to prevent misuse or harm?
A. Please note that the tackle tray does include fishing hooks. The tackle tray will be wrapped in cardboard and placed inside a pocket, inside the kit bag, which will be cable tied to discourage students from opening their kits until they are under the supervision of a parent or carer. Please also tell students not to open the kits until they are safely at home with a parent or carer.
Each school is requested to run a parent opt out process, providing parents and carers with the option to choose to opt out of receiving a kit. Alternatively, a parent may request that an adult pick their child’s kit up from the school.
The draft newsletter text and frequently asked questions you share with parents and carers include information about the contents of the kits and potential safety risks, and how they can opt out of receiving a kit.
Q. Do parents/students have to accept one?
A. No. Each school is requested to run a parent opt out process, providing parents and carers with the option to choose to opt out of receiving a kit.
If a parent does not wish to accept the offer for any reason, the school should not provide the child with a kit.
Q. What should the school do with any spare Little Angler Kits?
A. We expect some students/parents will not want one, which is fine. Those kits can be reallocated within the school, or you can contact the Victorian Fisheries Authority to collect the kits for redistribution to other schools.
To return kits, or request more if the delivery is unexpectedly short, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Where do I learn more about how to use the Little Angler Kit?
A. The Victorian Fisheries Authority will create a Little Angler hub on their website, which will be live by 10 October 2023. It will have useful information, instructional videos and online resources about where and how to fish linking to existing resources from Fishcare Victoria and new resources to be produced just for the Little Angler Kit program. The web address will be www.vfa.vic.gov.au/littleanglerkit
Q. Are there events our students can attend to learn more from experts about fishing?
A. Yes, the Victorian Fisheries Authority runs several free VicFishKids events through the year, as does Fishcare Victoria. Kids can learn new skills, talk to experts and try to catch a fish knowing help is on hand. Visit www.vfa.vic.gov.au or www.fishcare.org.au for more information.
Find out more
For further enquiries contact Chris Padovani, Manager Stakeholder Engagement, Victorian Fisheries Authority:
- phone 0427 353 233
- email: email@example.com