July 9, 2020

National Science Week – TAS Event

Science for Food Security: Making a Global, Professional and Personal Difference

When: Monday, 17 August 11am – 12pm
How: Free and online via Zoom
Register: Here to attend – either as an individual or as a group
Download: Here’s a flyer to help spread word of the event


Be inspired. Explore countries and cultures. Have a rewarding career AND make a difference. Interested? 

If you want to be motivated by the work of young Tasmanian scientists or are looking for study,  career or volunteer opportunities delivering global, professional and personal impacts, join our free live interactive 60 minute panel and Q&A during National Science Week. Hear from a group of passionate scientists talking about their diverse and rewarding work in developing countries and how you can get involved too – whatever your age. 

“We want high school and university students and the general public to know about the impact of science in global food and nutrition security, and the broad range of study, career and volunteering pathways to get them on their way,” said Cathy Reade, Director of Outreach for the Crawford Fund and manager of their NextGen program. The Fund is an Australian NGO that engages Australians in training scientists in developing countries to improve food and nutrition security.

“Our NextGen program has been providing young and not-so-young Australians with awards, scholarships, volunteering and mentoring opportunities in developing countries to encourage their interest in related studies, careers and placements but we want more of them to know about the enormous impact they can have. It’s great to be able to spread the message during National Science Week,” she said.

The Fund is working with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID) Network and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), for this free online event on Monday, 17 August from 11-12pm. Live chat and Q&A will be elements of the event.

The event is timed to provide the best opportunity for high school teachers to have their students attend as a group from the class room, but it will also interest university students working out where they want to take their science and members of the general public who want to be inspired, possibly volunteer overseas or with an interest in science related to food and nutrition security. It’s possible to register as individuals or schools can register full classes.

The Crawford Fund will be releasing free cross-curricular teaching materials at the event, focused on food and nutrition security. By signing up for the event, the schools will automatically be provided with access to the materials.

The speakers have all been using their science skills for a global impact in a variety of countries. They have landed in their careers through different journeys – one panellist, passionate about the importance of agriculture to improve the standard of living globally, has become the first ever agricultural science Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar working in sustainable agriculture; another has swapped life as a bushwalk guide in Tasmania for lab and field work in Southern Laos after multiple stints there; while our third panellist is now undertaking further study while working as an agricultural consultant following research experience in Vietnam’s livestock sector.

Award winning senior ABC journalist, Sarina Locke, will be our moderator. Sarina brings her own experience having reported on Australia’s international agricultural aid programs in Indonesia and East Timor and covered issues such as climate change, environmental stewardship, agri-business, international development and trade and biosecurity for the ABC and BBC.

Introducing our speakers:

Oliver Gales became passionate about the importance of agriculture to improve the standard of living globally after completing a course at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Wanting to turn that passion into reality and contribute to capacity development was helped during his undergraduate degree at the University of Tasmania when he won a Crawford Fund award and found himself amongst food security specialist in Canberra and working with small holder farmers in rural villages of Timor Leste. Wanting to maximise the impact he can contribute to improving the standard of living in developing countries, he is now waiting to travel to the UK to complete a Masters degree to better understand the policy and governance behind the impacts of agriculture globally. On receiving the first awarded the 2020 Rhodes Scholarship for Tasmania, he will be the first ever agricultural science Tassie Rhodes Scholar, working in sustainable agriculture.

Jillian Lyall recently swapped bushwalk guiding in Tasmania for lab and field work in Southern Laos as a plant pathology volunteer in the Crawford Fund’s long-term project there, as a volunteer with the Australian Volunteer Program. COVID-19 means her expedition ended up being much shorter than expected but has an ongoing impact. She first visited Laos in 2016 as a New Colombo Plan scholarship holder, growing peanuts in lowland Laos. She later pursued an honours program with the same project with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. The step from carrying enormous packs for long distances, to sitting in a lab staring down a microscope was daunting but her time in Laos is still having an impact on her and on her Laos colleagues and friends.

Olivia Woodiwiss is a graduate agricultural consultant with Macquarie Franklin after graduating from the University of Tasmania in 2019 with a Bachelor degree in applied science, majoring in agriculture and business. Olivia travelled to Vietnam to join a research project in 2017 with a Crawford Fund Student Award. This resulted in several extracurricular opportunities and further research, career pathways and important networks that will be invaluable in pursuing her passion to contribute to international agricultural development. Olivia is continuing her studies in 2020, undertaking an honours research project in conjunction with the same project she visited in 2017. She will be working to reduce poverty, encourage ecological sustainability and farming longevity.  The results from Olivia’s honours project will be used as a basis for developing outreach and extension models for livestock production at a local and international level. 

Oliver Gales in Timor Leste, Jillian Lyall in Laos and Olivia Woodiwiss in Vietnam are looking forward to highlighting rewarding global opportunities for other Tasmanians in international agriculture for development.

Be entertained, hear the impact YOU can make and get involved.

Please register here to attend – either as an individual or as groups. 

Follow the Crawford Fund’s social media channels @CrawfordFund and website www.crawfordfund.org for more info.

This initiative has been supported by Inspiring Australia as part of National Science Week.