Our Next NextGen Event Coming Up! Making a Global Difference

February 15, 2021

We have held almost 20 events since our ACIAR-funded NextGen project commenced towards the end of 2019 – that’s better than one a month! Our first 2021 event, Science for Food Security, produced for the CSIRO Vacation Scholars Program in late January this year, is being followed with “Making a Global Difference” for high school teachers and students from around Australia on 25 February.

The online audience is being brought together for a special ‘High School Showcase” by Virtual Excursions. Other sessions are being produced by the Australian Museum, Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney Water and Fizzics Education.

“Our NextGen panel is made of members of the RAID Network to raise awareness of what’s possible in studies and careers in global food and nutrition security, and provide a great opportunity for us to alert more teachers to our free high school teaching materials,” said Cathy Reade, the Fund’s Director of Outreach, who manages the Fund’s NextGen suite of activities. Cathy will moderate the event on 25 February.

“The panel will talk about their diverse and rewarding work in developing countries and Australia for food and nutrition security; its impact to Australia and our neighbours; its benefit for them personally and professionally, and how they got there,” she said. 

A very big thank you to our panel members:

Sam Coggins has a degree in soil science, won The Horizon Scholarship, a New Colombo Plan Scholarship, and a Crawford Fund Student Award. Sam became passionate about working with smallholders following an internship at the International Rice Research Institute and a semester in Sri Lanka during his undergrad ag science degree. Sam’s main interest is leveraging digital tools (apps) to support scaling of extension services in developing countries. Sam, with two friends, is further developing RiseHarvest, a smartphone app designed to help farmers in Myanmar use fertiliser more effectively. Sam was then employed as a graduate at ACIAR and is now involved on a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation digital project. He’s also doing an interdisciplinary PhD aiming to help alleviating climate risks for farmers abroad and at home. 

Laura Macfarlane-Berry is a veterinarian with the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, working in the Epidemiology and One Health Section as an epidemiologist or a “disease detective”. She provides advice and analyses to support animal disease control and prevention. Laura was a volunteer with the Australian Volunteer Program and Food and Agricultural Organization in Bangladesh where she worked on animal disease surveillance for emerging pandemic threats. She later worked with FAO on similar projects in Viet Nam and in Myanmar. Laura is waiting to travel for her Churchill Fellowship to investigate on-the-job applied veterinary epidemiology training programs which will involve travelling to Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. She is passionate about using epidemiology to improve animal and human health and support international trade.

Harry Campbell-Ross is Graduate Research Officer in Livestock Systems at ACIAR and was a 2018 Crawford Fund conference scholar. Spurred on by a concern about future global food insecurity, Harry completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and studied mungbean agronomy in lowland Cambodian rice systems in his honours program. His primary research interests are in the methods to increase the agricultural capability and resilience to climate change of small-scale farmers in low- and middle-income countries. Harry has a strong belief in the power of education and the role of agricultural extension. He has had multiple trips as part of the ACIAR graduate program to places like Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Brazil. Harry is starting his PhD at the ANU next month looking at farming community resilience to climate change.