The Crawford Fund Award, NSW: Professor Lee Baumgartner

November 23, 2023

(l to r) Richard Sheldrake, Chair NSW, Minister Tara Moriarty and Prof Lee Baumgartner.

The inaugural Crawford Fund Award, NSW was presented to Professor Lee Baumgartner at the final event in our Doing Well by Doing Good Campaign which was held in Sydney on Wednesday, 22 November. The award has been introduced to recognise Australians who our State and Territory programs feel have made a significant and sustained contribution to international agricultural research.

Doing Well by Doing Good in NSW was a fitting event at which to honour Lee’s contributions as it was a celebration of the benefits to developing countries, Australia, NSW and our researchers from international agricultural research for development, and a look at the opportunities ahead.

The Hon Tara Moriarty MLC, Minister for Agriculture, hosted the networking and refreshments at the event, and joined our NSW Chair, Richard Sheldrake, in presenting the inaugural Crawford Fund Award, NSW to Lee Baumgartner, Professor of Fisheries and River Management and the interim Director of the Gulbali Institute at Charles Stuart University. 

Others in the audience included Dr Wendy Umberger, CEO of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research which has also supported so much of Lee’s international work on the development and application of innovative technology to increase fisheries production and improve environmental outcomes; Mr Scott Hansen, Director General of NSW Department of Primary Industries; the Fund’s CEO, Dr Colin Chartres, and members of the Fund’s NSW Committee and NextGen they have supported.

The award citation reads:

In recognition of Lee’s work in improving food security for millions of people in southeast Asia and Australia by developing improved fisheries ecological management coexisting with irrigation and hydroelectric power in major river systems.

“Professor Baumgartner has led seven ACIAR projects, the last two on fish passage technology and hydropower. His work is benefitting thousands of villages and over 80,000 families in the Lower Mekong region. It has led to significant benefits to Australian farming communities NSW,” said Richard, who noted that Lee has written over 180 scientific publications and won and managed over $40 million in research grants. 

“Professor Baumgartner has had a long association with the Crawford Fund too. He has led a series of fisheries and irrigation master classes which have been delivered in seven countries and “graduated” over 250 students from partner government agencies. He also led a NSW Crawford Fund project to increase the understanding and reach of his research during the COVID pandemic, including a series of videos on fishtagging,” he said. 

“It is my pleasure to have Lee as the awardee of the inaugural Crawford Fund NSW Medal for outstanding services to fisheries and river management in Australia and in developing countries,” concluded Richard.

Our sincere congratulations to Lee!