NT Committee Sponsored Scholars
The Northern Territory Committee was very pleased to support two promising women Young Scholars to attend the conference in Canberra this year; Megan Williams from Melbourne University and Johanna Nielsen from Queensland. To view their bios and conference reports, click here.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the parliamentary conference and networking events however my highlight event of the conference was the Crawford Scholars’ Day; simply because it was the most applicable to me as a current student, but also to hear how the highly reputed industry leaders got to where they are now was encouraging and reassuring” – Johanna
“The Scholar’s day in my opinion was a highlight of the Crawford fund Scholarship as I have not as yet decided how best to enter into a career in international development and research and I find the ability to chat and network with other like-minded industry representatives as well as students gives me a greater ability to develop an idea of how I want my career to progress” – Megan
Click on the links below to view scholar bios and conference reports.
Johanna Nielsen is a final year Bachelor of Science student at the University of Southern Queensland, majoring in Biology, Environment and Sustainability. Her involvement in the agricultural industry has primarily been in cotton, having completed agronomy and plant pathology placements. Through the CRDC she also had the opportunity to complete a summer research project in plant pathology. Her professional interests lie in the economic, environmental and cultural sustainability of our agricultural system.
Being selected as one of the Crawford Scholars to attend the 2015 Crawford Fund Conference was an immense privilege and an exciting opportunity to meet some of the influential agricultural scientists involved in research in developing nations.
I have previously thought that what I enjoy most about attending conferences, seminars and the likes is not so much about what you learn from speakers, but leaving feeling inspired to continue towards a career in agricultural science, which proved true once again. Her Excellency Gerda Verburg from the United Nations; Dr Cary Fowler of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and Dr Martin Kropff of CIMMYT all spoke with a true passion for their work which was exemplary. And the effort that delegates put into seeking out scholars to speak to is commendable, as it provided a wonderful opportunity to learn more about their work and experiences working in developing nations.
The mixture of young scholars from undergraduate students in the final stages of their degree, such as myself, to PhD students and post-doctoral scientists beginning out in their careers, was a great mixture. Not only were we able to learn from the delegates but I found for myself that more experienced Crawford Scholars were extremely interesting to speak to and were happy to provide guidance regarding future study and career options. I thoroughly enjoyed the parliamentary conference and networking events however my highlight event of the conference was the Crawford Scholars’ Day; simply because it was the most applicable to me as a current student, but also to hear how the highly reputed industry leaders got to where they are now was encouraging and reassuring.
Before attending the conference I was very interested in pursuing a career that would contribute to the development of a food secure world, without really thinking on the global scale. Rather what can be done to improve yields and farming practices locally in Australia. Nor had I thought of completing volunteer research work where it is need most; in foreign, developing nations. As a result of attending the conference I feel that my eyes have been opened to the long road ahead of developing nations to secure their food supply. And I would definitely be open to volunteering overseas for a period of time.
While having learned an immense amount of information about the financial sustainability of a food secure world, for myself, the take home message from the conference was, ‘No one disciple can solve this issue.’ Nor can one single organisation. But for a food secure world to become a reality it will require an integrative approach from scientists, businesses, non-governmental organisations and policy makers with the same goal in mind. Attending the Crawford Fund Conference truly broadened my view to the opportunities and requirements in the area of ‘food security’ and I aim to be one of those individuals contributing to the creation of an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable food secure world.
My name is Megan Williams and I am in my third and final year of the Bachelor of Agriculture degree at Melbourne University. I have a great interest in both the cropping sector of agriculture, as well as beef and sheep production, and have sought out many work experience opportunities to complement my theoretical knowledge from my university studies. I have spent time working in South Australia and the Northern Territory on beef cattle stations and in Victoria with sheep and cropping. I have also pursued opportunities to understand the business side of agriculture and currently work part time at Glencore Grain, where I have been for the past 2 years. I have also travelled to China with my university studies to work with vegetable farmers, alongside a group of university students from across Australia.
I believe the Crawford Fund Scholarship will enable me to develop a greater understanding of the issues and potential solutions to global food insecurity. It is an aspect of global agriculture that I am extremely passionate about and hope to continue to be able to contribute my knowledge as my career develops.
As I am in my final year of the Bachelor of Agriculture at Melbourne University I am faced next year with the task of deciphering through all the jobs, graduate programs and opportunities to determine exactly how my career will initially begin and the way in which I want it to progress. I have always possessed a strong passion for the developing nations and strived throughout my early learning at high school to make a contribution to the struggles they face that we are lucky enough to be spared. Until completing my degree I didn’t have any clue how it would be possible for me to somehow give expertise and knowledge into a global issue I am passionate about. Receiving the Crawford Fund Scholarship has opened my eyes to possibilities and the best opportunities to get into international development in developing nations. This insight I have gained from both the conference and the scholar’s day has definitely set me in good stead to pursue a career in international agriculture.
The Annual Parliamentary Conference enabled us to listen to some of the world’s most influential and pivotal leaders in the food security difficulties that we are faced with globally. Of a particular highlight was Her Excellency Gerda Verburg, Chair of the UN Committee in World Food Security and her opinion of there is “no sustainability without profitability.” As well as Gerda, Dr Cary Fowler was an absolute inspiration to myself and the agricultural industry as a whole. Hearing him talk about his global development of the seed vault in Svalbard and watching his motivational movie “Seeds of Time,” were an absolute highlight and honour to be a part of at the conference and Scholar’s day.
The Scholar’s day in my opinion was a highlight of the Crawford fund Scholarship as I have not as yet decided how best to enter into a career in international development and research and I find the ability to chat and network with other likeminded industry representatives as well as students gives me a greater ability to develop an idea of how I want my career to progress. As well as international agriculture I also met many individuals that work in Australian based roles particularly within the beef industry who gave me valuable guidance in how best to enter into the industry as a graduate and pointed out the highlights and struggles they have faced throughout their careers. The words of wisdom I received from almost everyone was to put your hand up for everything and take risks. Those that are passionate about the industry and achieving long-term goals will have the ability to think outside the square and as Chris Brett said from Olam “If you don’t ask the right question, you won’t get the right answer.”
It is great as a student working part time in the agricultural industry but wanting to pursue a career in this field to attend the Crawford Fund Scholarship not only to learn and gain important information from people already working in the industry but also to network with the other likeminded students that most likely I will be working alongside sometime throughout my career. It is great to see where other people’s passions lie and have this passion rub off on me. I am certain that many students I met I will remain in contact well after we graduate and their different areas of expertise that they will develop in their careers in the agriculture industry will assist me in my career development.
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