Department of Agriculture and Food WA
Sponsored by the Western Australian Committee
Julia has been working for the Department of Agriculture and Food WA as Research and Development office in the sheep industry in Albany since 2008. Her area of research has primarily been in ethical lamb marking including tail docking and the transition from mulesing. Julia has a Bachelor of Animal Science, a Masters in Agriculture and currently studying a Masters of Animal Welfare, Law and Policy through the University of Edinburgh. She hopes to focus on increasing welfare & production in production animals in developing countries. Outside of work Julia is a volunteer ambulance officer and loves travel.
Attending the conference was an extremely valuable and thought provoking experience, and has left me inspired to contribute more to international agriculture research and development in countries less fortunate than ours.”
I was fortunate enough to receive a Crawford Fund Scholarship to attend the 2014 Parliamentary Conference, “Ethics, Efficiency and Food Security: Feeding the 9 Billion, Well.
This conference provided me with the opportunity to meet other young like-minded people who are passionate about agriculture in developing countries. I also I also learnt a great deal about the current situation and I have been inspired to become more involved in international agriculture research and development.
There were many highlights from the conference. One of the most inspiring talks I thought came from Professor Catherine Bertini, both during the dinner and on the young scholars day. Hearing and speaking to her on how she led the efforts to end famine in North Korea, Afghanistan, and ensure food was delivered effectively during the Bosnian and Kosovo crisis was truly inspiring. Gaining an insight on what it takes to work for organisations like the UN was also very valuable.
International Food Policy Research Institute Director General Dr Shenggen Fan was fascinating, speaking on the elimination of hunger and malnutrition and how it was not just essential from an ethical perspective, it also posed a huge economic loss.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr Helen Szoke talk on how we already produce enough food to feed the 850 million hungry people but so much of it was wasted, was definitely an eye opener. Whilst I knew we produced close to enough food to feed the world, I didn’t realise was how much food is wasted, often to do with what we consider simple issues, such as on farm storage. It is daunting to think that affluent countries have the capacity and capability in storing food and preventing food wastage, yet in Australia we waste up to 20% of our household food purchases.
Capturing value in the growing Asian markets as discussed by Rabobank General Manager Luke Chandler was very relevant to my work. China is expanding their demand for Australian agricultural products and it was interesting to hear how this may potentially play out from a different perspective. Whilst Australian agriculture does have a role to play in helping to meet Asian food demand – we should not overstate this role or try and be all things to all consumers and focus on the quality of the market.
The scholar’s day, following the conference was excellent. It was great to hear from others who had volunteered and worked internationally and how they went about sourcing and applying for these positions.
Thank you to the Crawford Fund and the Western Australian committee for the conference award. Attending the conference was an extremely valuable and thought provoking experience, and has left me inspired to contribute more to international agriculture research and development in countries less fortunate than ours.