Development and Extension Officer, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture – Dairy Centre
Sponsored by the Tasmanian Committee
Alison works as a Dairy Industry Development and Extension Officer at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA). Her role involves working closely with farmers, industry representatives, stakeholders and service providers, on a range of topics from pasture management and agronomy, to animal health and business management. In addition to Alison’s current roles in delivering extension programs and project management, she has developed a great interest in increasing her social research and extension and development capabilities, particularly in the context of international development projects. She hopes to be involved in developing a dairy focused international development project in the future for the TIA Dairy Centre.
It has also given … me some valuable contacts and a greater idea of what direction our centre should be headed, and the confidence to continue building our capacity and skills in the area of international development.”
The Crawford Fund Conference was a great introduction into the world and possibilities of international research, development and extension work. As someone with a newfound interest in international development, the conference was an inspiring and motivating experience that provided an excellent introduction to the projects that are currently being undertaken, the importance of this work, and the exciting possibilities going into the future. It was a privilege to hear from the wide variety of speakers and leaders in their field of work and organisations, and to learn from and meet them in such an environment.
The strong message around the increasing need for combined research, development and education required in order to be able to meet the global food demand in a sustainable and effective manner were both motivating and extremely important and valuable. While the content the conference delivered was inspiring and very informative, the most benefit gained from attending as a scholar was the opportunity to meet and talk to these people, and the other delegates and attendees that have been working in this area.
Though I have not yet been involved in any international development work, I have a keen interest in assisting the TIA Dairy Centre develop their capacity and potentially a project in the area of international development. My University of Tasmania colleague, Lydia Turner, and I were excited to receive the scholarship to attend the Crawford Fund Conference as it has become clear to us that meeting and development a relationship with others working in this area and hearing about their knowledge and experience, and making contacts going forward, were going to be very important for both of us personally, and the TIA Dairy Centre as a wider group, in order to pursue greater involvement in the area of international development. The conference was a great forum to do this through, and I feel we are well on our way to developing these important connections in order to develop this opportunity further.
The conference gave us a great opportunity to discuss with others the different projects, goals and challenges of working in this space, and meeting the larger challenge of meeting global food demand. There were excellent opportunities to do this throughout the conference and through the formal and informal dinner functions, Researchers in Agriculture for International Development launch, and the informal networking that occurred over lunch and through the shared accommodation arrangements, and also the Scholars’ Day. The preparedness to share ideas, experience and knowledge from other delegates was invaluable; in addition to the encouragement they provided to continue to develop ideas for our group. The Scholars’ Day in particular helped give us the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about how individuals have gone about the process of developing projects and the challenges and opportunities involved. For me, this day, combined with the RAID launch, were two of the highlights of the conference. The opportunity to meet and discuss international development work with other likeminded, enthusiastic people was a really motivating experience. The people at these events, both early career researchers and those more experienced, were very willing to share their knowledge and experiences, which made me feel more confident to ask questions, seek advice, and explore future opportunities.
The conference and associated events was an invaluable experience, and something I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend through the sponsorship. It has also given both Lydia and me some valuable contacts and a greater idea of what direction our centre should be headed, and the confidence to continue building our capacity and skills in the area of international development.