NextGen Needed for Reshaping Food Systems After COVID-19

Our CEO, Dr Colin Chartres, made a zoom presentation to postgraduate students and some of their supervisors who are based at the Dookie Campus of the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences on 5 May. His slides are here.

This follows his recent opinion piece which attracted significant online attention.

The presentation addressed “COVID-19 and Global Food Security,” an extremely important topic for the whole of humankind as there is little doubt that the pandemic brings into sharp focus that future food and nutritional security cannot be taken for granted.

The outreach is part of the Crawford Fund’s ongoing NextGen program, to encourage the next generation into study, careers and volunteering in agriculture for development.

“It is highly likely that today’s cadre of students will be tomorrow’s ‘hunger fighters’ as they bring to bear their research, knowledge and training onto these global challenges,” said Professor Tim Reeves, who is Professor in Residence at the campus, and also a Crawford Fund Board Director.

Colin also informed the Dookie group of the Fund’s NextGen opportunities, including the current Student Awards that enable young Australians to get research experience in a developing country context.

“Colin is very well qualified to speak on this subject given his vast international experience and his role at the helm of The Crawford Fund,” said Professor Reeves, who in 2019 was awarded the Farrer Medal for his lifetime contributions to agricultural science.

Dr Chartres’ presentation is one of a weekly series of educational talks that have been organised for the Dookie Campus scholars’ group by Professor Reeves.

“In these very challenging times, it is critical to keep our students not only connected – which is very important in itself – but also connected in ways that enrich their learning experiences,” said Professor Reeves.

The presentation from Colin follows on from zoom presentations on how to conduct a meta-analysis review, including the statistical methods; and a Q & A session with Professor Robin Batterham, former Chief Scientist for Australia.

“Even if the research programs of our scholars are disrupted by the COVID-19 restrictions, we need to ensure that we are still equipping them with knowledge that will be useful in their careers and in their lives and that is what we at the University of Melbourne are endeavouring to do with presentations by specialists like Colin,” concluded Professor Reeves.