All Reflections from the 2017 Crawford Fund Student Award Recipients

April 13, 2018

As part of our efforts to support and encourage young Australians in study, careers and volunteering in international agricultural research, our Crawford Fund Student Awards from Crawford Fund State Committees supported 14 Australian tertiary students to gain agricultural research experience and expertise.

Throughout 2017 and into the early part of 2018, the 14 successful Student Award recipients travelled to their host countries to research and explore their chosen topic areas. The successful applicants participated in agricultural projects and gained valuable experience in developing countries.

Below you’ll find highlights from their reflections and links to their blog pieces.

Applications for the 2018 Crawford Fund Student Awards have been received and the winners will be announced in May.

Fynn in Ladi village, preparing meat for a wedding ceremony.

Tasmania Crawford Fund Student Award Recipients

Jo Talbot, University of Tasmania
Visited: Vietnam
Research: Intensification of beef cattle production in upland cropping systems in northwest Vietnam
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Intensification of beef cattle production in upland cropping systems in Northwest Vietnam

“Looking back on the trip to Vietnam, I am very grateful to The Crawford Fund for the opportunity to visit working farms and meet local farmers. Without their support I wouldn’t have been able to get such a valuable insight into beef-production in Vietnam.”

Olivia Woodiwiss, University of Tasmania
Visited: Vietnam
Research: Intensification of beef cattle production in upland cropping systems in northwest Vietnam
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Intensification of beef cattle production in upland cropping systems in Northwest Vietnam

“With thanks to the Crawford Fund, I was able to take part in this research trip. Being able to participate in this project allowed me to gain valuable insight into beef-production work already underway in Vietnam by ACIAR.”

Western Australia Crawford Fund Student Award Recipients

Kendra Travaille, University of Western Australia
Visited: Honduras
Research: Fishery improvement project for the Honduran spiny lobster fishery
Institute: WWF
Project: Fishery Improvement Projects: Honduras Lobster

“Being able to visit these areas and speak with local people in the fishery has greatly increased my understanding of how the fishery operates and some of the issues impacting Fishery Improvement Project progress. I also gained first-hand experience with some of the challenges faced when trying to implement a FIP or similar program in a developing region, including working with minimal resources and balancing complex stakeholder interests.”

Laurelle Neugebauer, Curtin University
Visited: Timor Leste
Internship with UNDP with a focus on the Food-Water-Energy Nexus
Institute: UNDP Timor Leste

“Throughout my visits to many other farmers and associates I grew to understand the large complexities faced by these people. This was often confronting whether their constraints were related to colonisation or current issues such as climate change.”

New South Wales Crawford Fund Student Award Recipients

Natalie Ratanawongprasat, University of Sydney
Visited: Tanzania
Research: Monitoring Newcastle disease community vaccinator performance in Nkuku4U project areas in Tanzania
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Strengthening food and nutrition security through family poultry and crop integration in Tanzania and Zambia

“I am very grateful to the Crawford Fund for their support and this opportunity to travel over to Tanzania to spend some time in the field. It has been a very rewarding experience and I have really enjoyed learning about the Tanzanian culture, food, language and people”

Annie Warren, University of New England
Visited: Cambodia
Research: Investigating farmer knowledge and awareness of best practice and alternatives for sustainable cassava production systems in Cambodia
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Uptake of agricultural technologies amongst farmers in Battambang and Pailin provinces, Cambodia

“Spending two weeks living in Pailin was a fantastic opportunity to learn about Cambodian culture and cross-cultural communication in a town that sees few westerners.”

Katherine Ashley, University of Sydney
Visited: Cambodia
Research: The socioeconomic benefits for smallholder households from improved livestock health and biosecurity
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Village-based biosecurity for livestock disease risk management in Cambodia

“I would like to acknowledge the NSW Crawford Fund Committee for their generous support which has provided funds to travel in-country, conduct this research and develop my skills as a young agricultural scientist.”

Queensland Crawford Fund Student Award Recipients

Sarah Sutcliffe, James Cook University
Visited: Solomon Islands
Research: The media portrayal of fish for Pacific island food security
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Improving community-based fisheries management in Pacific island countries

“By conducting interviews with these stakeholders, I was able to determine the context around media coverage and explore the mechanisms currently used to communicate to the public around the subject of fisheries and food security.”

John Fasi, University of Queensland
Visited: Solomon Islands
Research: Living with your enemy: could sweet potato benefit from the little fire ant?
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Integrated crop management strategies for root and tuber crops: strengthening national and regional capacities in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga

“Understanding how subsistence farmers in the Solomon Islands manage their sweet potato farms without the use of insecticides can be of vital information for Queensland sweet potato industry. The purpose of this study is therefore to understand the role ants (native or introduce) play as biological agents on sweet potato.”

Fynn De Daunton, University of Queensland
Visited: Vanuatu
Research: The ceremonial market for cattle in Vanuatu and implications for small-holder productivity and marketing
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Increasing the productivity and market options of smallholder beef cattle farmers in Vanuatu

“I would like to sincerely thank the Crawford Fund, as I would not have been able to conduct this research without them. The financial support received allowed me to remove the monetary barrier and explore this area of interest.”

Lydia O’Meara, Central Queensland University
Visited: Fiji
Research: Food Security in Pacific Island Farming Communities
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Integrating protected cropping systems into high value vegetable value chains in the Pacific and Australia

Northern Territory Crawford Fund Student Award Recipient

Maddison Clonan, Charles Darwin University
Visited: Cambodia
Institute: ACIAR
Project: Building a resilient mango industry in Cambodia and Australian through improved production and supply chain practices

Not only have I been able to utilise this opportunity to positively impact agricultural research in Cambodia and Australia, but the impact on my personal, professional and career growth has been immeasurable and will continue to impact my life as I go on to find more opportunities to work within agricultural research fields. I am immensely grateful and hope to continue to remain associated with the Crawford Fund in the future.

Kim Hunnam, Charles Darwin University
Visited: Malaysia
Research: Resilient small-scale Fisheries Research program
Institute: ACIAR
Project: The contribution of small-scale fisheries research to a food secure world

“Importantly, this opportunity has given me valuable insight into the broad range of research that is being undertaken in the research for development field within the small-scale fisheries sector. Furthermore, it has given me new confidence in the role of my own PhD research and a renewed enthusiasm for pursuing a potential career in this field.”

Australian Capital Territory Crawford Fund Students Award Recipient

Emily Lamberton, Australian Center for International Agricultural Research
Visited: Philippines
Training: Comprehensive three-week training on each aspect of the rice production system
Institute: IRRI
Training: Rice production system

“I would also like to express my thanks and gratitude to the Crawford Fund for enabling me to take up this opportunity. It has been incredibly rewarding and enriching, and has really given me more insight into how research is conducted on a global scale and has thus given me more confidence in how I can make a relevant contribution”.