Qld Conference Scholar’s Reflections

December 5, 2016

As part of the Crawford Fund’s Conference Scholarship initiative, each sponsored scholar is required to write a short report containing their reflections/impressions/take-home messages of the conference.

Now that the reports have been collated, we would like to share with you some of our favourites for 2016. This time our focus is on Queensland, and conference scholar Rebecca Cotton from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

2016 Qld Committee sponsored scholars
2016 Qld Committee sponsored scholars

About Rebecca Cotton

I have just completed my Undergraduate Science Degree, majoring in Sustainability at the University of the Sunshine Coast. My passions lie in sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation. Last year, I spent 10 months abroad working on a number of sustainability-based projects, ranging from organic farming, to hybrid Adobe building, to animal ecology research. My journey began at The University of Qld, where I completed 3 years of a Biomedical-science Degree before following my heart and becoming an environmentalist! I have now commenced my Honours year, where my focus is on organic-agriculture in the Pacific Islands Countries (PICs). It is my hope to follow this research by tackling my PhD.

The following excerpts are from Rebecca’s conference report. To view her report in full, and to read the reflections of the other Qld Committee and University sponsored scholars, click here.

A Conference Initiate

Being invited to take part in the 2016 Crawford Conference as a Crawford Scholar was both exciting and intimidating. For a 24-year-old honours student, fresh from undergrad, with NO conference experience, the idea of interacting with highly respected academics, world leaders, and even potential employers, was pretty daunting. However, these feelings were soon put to rest when the first Scholars day commenced. It was a great introduction to the scope and feel of the conference. Throughout the day we heard from peers and mentors, invited speakers and organisations, which really opened my eyes to so many exciting prospects.

On the Memorial Address

That evening we attended the Sir John Crawford Memorial Address and networking dinner which brought with it my second highlight of the conference: Dr Louise Fresco. Dr Fresco addressed the audience with grace and passion. She instantly became a significant role model to me. She was a strong, intelligent WOMAN with the ability to command and to hold an audience spellbound with the stories of her research and her life.

On the Conference Experience

I benefitted from the conference in so many ways. I gained experience in large networking events, which helped me develop the skill of succinctly explaining/talking about my research to different audiences. It also broadened my horizons of potential future pathways and got me in contact with others in my research field. Finally, it threw me into a pool of like-minded people who are either going through the same motions as I currently am or have survived their post-grad experiences. This was the encouragement and motivation to know I am not alone, to continue on the journey I am on, and to follow a career in international sustainability. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Visit our 2016 Conference Scholar page for a full list of this year’s scholars, and watch this space for more conference scholar reflections.