News: Having a go at international agricultural research, April 2015

A special information and networking session was organised by the Crawford Fund’s Queensland Committee for young scientists and communicators. The well-attended event highlighted the range of options through the Crawford Fund, ACIAR, volunteer programs and professional networks for young agricultural scientists and communicators to broaden their opportunities for career and personal development in projects in developing countries or within international networks.

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Attendees heard from young scientists with international experience. Madaline Healey, former Crawford Scholar and AVID Volunteer (in Laos) and now working on an ACIAR research project in Laos with the Sunshine Coast University spoke about what it is like to manage research and training and to volunteer in a developing country. Skye Gabb, also shared her expeiences. Skye is another former Crawford Scholar and AVID volunteer (in Indonesia) who is now doing a PhD on Indonesian farming systems with CSIRO and is a member of the Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID) Network .

Dr Lee Hickey, Research Fellow, QAAFI, Crawford Fund Qld Committee member and former Crawford Scholar who is an emerging leader in international crop genetics research explained the benefits of hitting the international stage with new research.

In the communications field, Robbie Mitchell from Econnect Communication, explained the challenges and opportunities in communications work in a developing country. Robbie is a member of the Australian Science Communicators Assoc. and produced:

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The session also included Marijke Fotia from Scope Global Pty Ltd, which administers the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) Program. She discussed what agriculture for development projects currently exist through the Australian Government’s volunteer program.

The information session was followed by an informal reception to give people an opportunity to network.