Congratulations to our 2024 Crawford Fund Conference Scholars

July 10, 2024

Crawford Fund is very proud to announce today the 40 Annual Conference scholarship winners from universities and organisations across Australia.

The Conference Scholar Program is a unique learning, networking and mentoring opportunity for young students and scientists with a genuine interest in international agricultural research and development.

The Crawford Fund has been supporting the next generation of Australians with an interest in food and nutrition security and agricultural science and development to attend our annual conference and special Scholars’ Days activities through our Conference Scholar Program for 14 years. This year’s group takes the total of scholarships to almost 450 since the program commenced in 2010.

The Scholar Program is an integral component of our ‘nextgen’ activities to encourage students and early career researchers in their study, careers and volunteering in agriculture for development.  

With a keen interest in learning more about international agricultural research, these dynamic and enthusiastic recipients come from degrees and work areas involving agriculture, forestry, agricultural biotechnology, international relations, environmental science, food science, aquaculture, horticulture, economics, biology, and food security.

The tremendous support for these highly regarded scholarships continues to grow with fantastic feedback received year after year from the scholars, their supporters and conference attendees.

Our past scholars have found this conference scholarship experience to be both personally rewarding and professionally valuable. You can read the reflections of our 2023 cohort here. A key component of the success of the scholar program is matching the scholars with a dedicated and experienced mentor who helps them make relevant and interesting connections at the event and shares experiences of benefit to the scholar’s research and career.

We are so pleased to find that many scholars pursue careers as ACIAR graduates, or working on developing country projects, or as volunteers in our own or other overseas projects.

Special Thanks

37 recipients are being supported by the Crawford Fund’s Committees, with a further 3 scholars funded by external Scholar Sponsors, acknowledged on our website.

The Fund also thanks those individuals who have made donations to our scholar program as they registered for our conference, listed here.

Once again, we are lucky to have members of the Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID) Network to help run the scholarship activities on 12 and 14 August, and a special thank you to them all, especially Mikayla Hyland-Wood and Jessica Fearnley, President and Vice President of RAID.

And another special thank you to those who have put up their hand this year to mentor one of the scholars! If you haven’t yet registered for the conference and would like to be considered as a mentor to a scholar, please make sure you ‘tick the box’ to do so. You will be needed in Canberra by 12pm on Monday, 12 August and be on hand for your scholar through to 5pm on Tuesday, 13 August. Not sure? Contact [email protected]

Drum Roll..

The successful 2024 Crawford Fund scholar recipients are listed below, under the Crawford Fund Committee or other institution supporting their involvement: 


ACT Committee
Lucy Darragh, Australian National University
Arifah Hidayati, Australian National University
Mariane Johnstone, Australian National University

NSW Committee
Samantha Currie, Western Sydney University
Danielle Fordham, University of Newcastle
Dinesh Jamarkattel, Southern Cross University
Emma Kiup, University of Sydney
Amelia Ross, University of Sydney
Tom Swan, University of Sydney

NT Committee
Pablo Arriaga Velasco Aceves, Charles Darwin University
Waseem Ahmed, Charles Darwin University
Birendra Kunwar, Charles Darwin University/NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade

QLD Committee
Duc Bui, University of Sunshine Coast
Leandra Fernandes, Griffith University
Megan Moran, James Cook University
Shanice Van Haeften, University of Queensland
Trevor Volp, University of Queensland

SA Committee
Mackenzie Coopman, University of Adelaide
Hayley Grigg, University of Adelaide and Van Schaik’s Biogro
Simon Michelmore, South Australian Research and Development Institute
Bikram Nepali, University of Adelaide

TAS Committee
Grace Campbell, University of Tasmania
Bharath Dinakaran, University of Tasmania
Irhamnie Fawzie, University of Tasmania
Mohitkumar Kumbhani, University of Tasmania
Phuc Vinh Ngo, University of Tasmania
Thuy Duong Nguyen, University of Tasmania
Apeh Omede, University Of Tasmania/Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Trisha Striker, University of Tasmania
Muhammad Zeshan Ahmed, University of Tasmania

VIC Committee
Laura Steel, La Trobe University
Tessa Consedine, RMIT
Russell Woodford, Monash University
Dylan Male, University of Melbourne

WA Committee
Jane Brownlee, University of Western Australia/CSIRO
Chaiyya Cooper, WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
Sudarshan Kharel, WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development


Dasuni Dayananda, Griffith University

Gardiner Foundation
Emily de Haan, University of Melbourne
Luke Molinaro Rathsmann, University of Melbourne