Learning platform and game to help prevent deaths and injuries on Australian dairy farms

Death and injury is a major issue for dairy farmers and their families. Farm-related fatalities are a burden on both the individuals involved and the broader community. A better understanding of health and safety amongst farmers will improve productivity and save lives. Portable partnered with Dairy Australia to design a learning platform and game to prevent deaths on farms.

The challenge

Dairy Australia came to Portable with a very large problem. How do you prevent deaths of children on farms around Australia?

Farming has been rated as Australia’s second most dangerous worksite. This is scary because it’s also one of the few that has young children onsite. Dairy Australia lacked a central resource digitally, but just creating another website wasn’t going to push the needle on such a wide spread cultural issue. 

Reducing work-related fatalities occurring on farms was set as a primary aim by Dairy Australia as a result. However this means getting individuals who are practicing farming and agriculture, including their families and colleagues, to understand the inherent dangers.

To make broad sweeping behavioural change, we knew that we had to find the right drivers of change. There are already a range of great programs that work to change the thinking of school children in schools through analogue programs and activities. Could you take these resources and transform them into something digital that could be widely spread and easy to scale?

Our approach

Portable embarked on a discovery process, working directly with teachers and students in the Australian town of Timboon in Victoria. Our research and design teams used a series of co-design workshops to develop concepts that could actually drive changes in behaviour.

Portable workshopped and developed a series of modules with the intent of tying directly into curriculum and activities that could be run in schools. This framework would allow for anything was was designed to be easily taking into schools across Victoria. 

As part of the prototyping process, which was ran in conjunction with Year 9 students, we started to explore the notion of game play to help display current behaviour and reward users for exhibiting desirable behaviour. Through several iterations we developed the concept of a game, linked to coursework and learning modules (LMS), that could work to help kids learn about farm safety and spread beyond a classroom environment.

The design process was iterative and completely user centred. We worked directly with the student cohort at Timboon to drive all elements of the design process including game design and branding. We also developed clever interactions to drive repeat usage of the game on a wide range of devices.

To make broad sweeping behavioural change, we knew that we had to find the right drivers of change.


The game, FARM (Friendly Alien Rescue Mission) Adventure, is now being rolled out across Victoria with a small group of pilot schools. We’re using data from this to drive design improvements and learning outcomes and we continue to work on the platform to increase flexibility and scale.

An online portal that has games, interactive assets, and resources that are used in engaging an educational environment and school children

A learning process allowing for modules, progress tracking and the ability to test and refine one’s understanding

Promoted the farm safety agenda in regional communities

An interactive space for learning and developing an understanding of farm safety

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