Sir John Crawford

sirJohnCrawford_normalThe Crawford Fund was named in honour of Sir John Crawford. Sir John was a remarkable Australian who contributed at the highest levels to the development of Australia and other countries, and was a passionate supporter of international agricultural research for development.

He was one of the architects of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) – a Statutory Authority that commissions collaborative international research into improving sustainable production in developing countries. Sir John was the first Chair of ACIAR’s Board.

He was also a strong advocate for the development of the CGIAR – the global partnership that unites organisations engaged in research for a food-secured future. Sir John was the first Chairman of CGIAR’s Technical Advisory Committee.

Sir John Crawford – Buying Time

We proudly launched a special account of Sir John Crawford’s contribution to international agricultural research at the National Press Club in February 2024.

“Buying Time: J.G. Crawford and International Agricultural Research explains Crawford’s embrace of agriculture, and specifically of the promise of the Green Revolution, not only as a simple solution, but a means of ‘buying time’ while other pressing issues might also be addressed, and thank goodness we were given that time,” said The Hon John Anderson AC, Chair of the Crawford Fund.

“2024 is the 40th anniversary of Sir John’s passing. Through the impact of his intellectual vision and advocacy to see that vision in place, he has done much to increase agricultural productivity, expand international education and training programs as well as improving economic policy capacity of governments – a legacy that the Crawford Fund is proud to continue,” said John.

Hard copies of this publication are available for purchase from the Fund.

The Sir John Crawford Biography

The Crawford Fund is pleased to be a research partner in the ARC Linkage project on Sir John Crawford and the shaping of Australian government policy and nationhood. The Fund is interested to see a comprehensive analysis of Sir John’s life and times and of lessons that can be learned from his approach to policy and practice that may have application to modern times, particularly in relation to diabolical policy issues that challenge present day policy makers such as the impact of climate change on agriculture and vice versa, global food policy, and international research for development. The biography is being written by Associate Professor Nicholas Brown and we look forward to its launch.

The Sir John Crawford Fellowship

The Sir John Crawford Fellowship is awarded once every year. The aim of the Crawford Fund Fellowship is to provide further training of a scientist in agriculture, fisheries or forestry from a selected group of developing countries, whose work has shown significant potential.

The Sir John Crawford Memorial Address

The Sir John Crawford Memorial Address has been held since 1985, in honour of the distinguished Australian civil servant, educator and agriculturalist in whose name the Crawford Fund was established.

Past addresses and presenters are listed below, with links where available:

2023 Food and Nutrition Security: the Climate, Food Systems, Agroforestry and Forestry Nexus
Dr Éliane Ubalijoro, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Director General of World Agroforestry (ICRAF).

2022 Food and Nutrition Security in the Pacific and the Road Ahead for Small Islands and Developing States
Dr Audrey Aumua, Chief Executive Officer, Fred Hollows Foundation NZ and Member, ACIAR Policy Advisory Council.

2021 Food & Nutrition Security – The Biosecurity, Health, Trade Nexus
Dr Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit.

2019 Weathering the ‘perfect storm’
Professor Ross Garnaut AC,  Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne

2018 Food, Climate Change and National Security
Ms Frances Adamson, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

2017 A New Narrative for Ending Hunger
Lindiwe Sibanda, Vice President for Country Support, Policy, and Delivery of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and Member, Policy Advisory Council, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

2016 The Future of Our Food
Professor Louise Fresco, President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University and Research Centre, and member of the Steering Committee of the FAO High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition.

2015 Facing the uncomfortable challenge of food security
Dr Cary Fowler, crop diversity advocate who has overseen the development of the Svalbard Global ‘doomsday’ Seed Vault

2014 Effective, Efficient, Ethical Solution to Feeding 9 Billion: Invest in Women
Professor Catherine Bertini, Senior Fellow, Global Agricultural Development Initiative, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University; former Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (1992-2002)

2013 Sir John Crawford Memorial Address
Dr. Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture – Liberia

2012 Agriculture; the challenges of the 21st century
Professor Sir John Beddington CMG FRS, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser

2011 Food security in the Asian century
The Hon. Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade

2010 Plant diversity at a turning point
Professor Stephen D Hopper FLS, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

2009 Sir John Crawford Memorial Address
The Hon Bob McMullan, Parliamentary Secretary, International Development Assistance, Member for Fraser

2007 The great use-it-or-lose-it intelligence test
Dr. William H. Calvin, Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry and Behaviour Sciences, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle

2006 Food for all: a challenge for the 21st century
The Hon Anne-Marie Lizin, President, Belgian Senate; Chair, Senate Foreign Relations and Defense Committee, October 2006

2005 The dimension of science and technology for development: perspective from the Maghreb
Dr (Ms) Zohra ben Lakhdar, Professor of Physics, University of Tunis

2004 The mystery of capital: the role of property rights in creating wealth and alleviating poverty
Mr Hernando de Soto, President, Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Lima, Peru

2003 Fulfilling the promise: the role for agricultural research
The Hon Susan Whelan, Minister for International Cooperation, Canada

2002 Ecological sustainability and food security: challenges and opportunities
Dr Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Global Environment Facility

2001 Feeding the world, sustaining the earth: the critical importance of population issues
Dr Nafis Sadik, Special Adviser, United Nations Secretary-General, October 2001

2000 Genomics: from microbes to man
Mr J. Craig Venter, President, Celera Genomics

1999 Reviving global poverty reduction: what role for genetically modified plants?
Dr Michael Lipton, Research Professor, Economics, Poverty Research Unit, Sussex University, UK

1998 Harnessing science to solve global poverty and hunger
Professor Peter Doherty, Member, Department of Immunology (Michael F. Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research), St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee

1997 The challenge of development and poverty reduction in Africa
Mr Omar Kabbaj, President, African Development Bank

1996 The CGIAR at twenty-five: looking back and looking forward
Mr Maurice F. Strong, Senior Advisor to President of the World Bank Group

1995 Global governance and new dimensions of human security
Sir Shridath Ramphal, Co-Chair of the Commission on Global Governance

1994 Agriculture and food needs to 2025: why we should be concerned
Dr Alex F. McCalla, Chair, Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), CGIAR; Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, World Bank

1993 Towards sustainable food security
Mr James Gustave Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

1992 Agricultural development in Latin America and the role of research and technological change: an overview
Dr Enrique Iglesias, President, Inter-American Development Bank

1991 The CGIAR at twenty: relevance reaffirmed, October 1991
A public symposium commemorating 20 years of the CGIAR. Speakers were Mr. Wilfiied P. Thalwitz, fifth chairman of the CGIAR and the World Banks Senior Vice President for Policy, Research and External Affairs: Mr. Robert W. Herdt, Director, Division for Agricultural Sciences, the Rockefeller Foundation; and Mr. E. Walter Coward Jr., Director, Rural Poverty and Resources Program, the Ford Foundation. Mr. Derek E. Tribe, Executive Director of Australia’s Crawford Fund for International Agricultural Research, presided.

1990 Changing nature of the food security challenge: implications for agricultural research and policy
Dr M.S. Swaminathan, Chair, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu, India

1989 The challenge of agricultural development in Africa
Dr Jacques Diouf, Special Adviser, Central Bank for West African States, Dakar, Senegal

1988 Agricultural development, growth and equity, forty years of experience
Helen Hughes

1987 Food and freedom
Professor Amartya Sen, Lament University Professor, Harvard University

1986 Hope for African agriculture
Dr Bukar Shaib, Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development, Nigeria

1985 The challenges for sub-Saharan Africa
Robert S. McNamara, (former) President, World Bank (to 1981)