March 26, 2014
The enthusiasm and energy of a group of young and not so young ag scientists and the supportive words of Senator Mason, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Foreign Affairs, were just part of what made our Brisbane event about international agricultural research one to remember.
Over 80 participants at our first of a series of “Doing Well by Doing Good” events this year, heard Senator Brett Mason explain (see here) that “We, Australians, are leaders and innovators in this field. We help others but, in doing so, we also help ourselves – something that the “Doing Well by Doing Good” report speaks so eloquently about.”
In explaining ACIAR’s work and launching the ACIAR Strategic Plan 2014-18 he noted “The reason why I see ACIAR as such a fantastic initiative is that it takes the practice even further – to build on the analogy, it doesn’t give our friends across the Indo-Pacific fish; and it doesn’t just teach them how to fish. What it does is it teaches them how to build fish farms, so that not only they will be fed for a lifetime, but they will have enough money to send their kids to school, they will be able to create jobs for their neighbours, grow their communities, and bring prosperity and stability to the regions in which they live.”
Nick Austin, Chief Executive of ACIAR, then explained the benefits to Queensland from involvement in agricultural research. This was supported by a special brochure International Ag Research working for QLD developed for the event which provided just a few examples of how Queensland benefits from current and pipeline ACIAR projects involving Queensland organisations. He explained they account for a total expenditure commitment of approx $192 million for 118 projects.
In her address as outgoing chair of the Queensland Committee, Sallyanne Atkinson noted the important work being done, with more to follow, on spreading the word about international agricultural research and the work of the Crawford Fund; which was later explained by Dr Kep Coughlan, coordinator of the Queensland Committee.
Participants heard from panel members on their experience in study and careers in international agricultural research, which we hope produced real interest in the young delegates in pursuing careers in agriculture for development.
The Fund’s next ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’ event will be in Sydney on 18 March. Watch this space for more info.