Sir John Crawford Memorial Address 2019

August 21, 2019

This year’s Sir John Crawford Memorial Address was presented by Professor Ross Garnaut AC, Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne. As former Chairman of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Professor Garnaut brought decades of experience to his address as part of the Crawford Fund’s Annual Conference “Weathering the Perfect Storm,” on the 12th of August in Canberra.

We were particularly privileged to have Professor Garnaut deliver this year’s Address as he worked closely with Sir John Crawford as a mentee and colleague for two decades.

To Sir John Crawford, the role of economics was to illuminate real world conditions and improve policy options. At a time of historic change in climate and Australia’s international environment, we need Crawford’s approach to economics as never before.

In his address, Professor Garnaut gave the audience an insight into how climate mitigation through agriculture and land use change and innovation, and through decarbonisation of bioenergy can transform Australia’s global role in reducing emissions, particularly if we incentivise carbon farming. 

A key takeaway from his address, as highlighted in the Vote of Thanks, is that policy and climate mitigation must be context specific and developed on sound principle. Additionally, there needs to be better coordination between countries and sectors to create a strategic national and global approach for transformation.

The Vote of Thanks was presented by Dr Madaline Healey, RAID Network Executive Member, Crawford Fund mentor in Laos and former conference scholar. Dr Healey was also one of this year’s Keynote Listeners.

The Sir John Crawford Memorial Address has been held annually since 1985 in honour of the remarkable Australian in whose name the Crawford Fund was established. Sir John contributed at the highest levels to the development of Australia and other countries, and passionately supported international agricultural research for development.