May 2, 2023
It was a somewhat different ‘wraparound’ student award experience for UTAS student Lucy Cooper. Having her original student award plans thwarted by COVID-19 and in the meantime having taken a position as a journalist with ABC Rural before returning to complete her Masters, Lucy’s award experience was a visit to Fiji developed by Cathy Reade, our Director of Outreach, with the agreement of her employee, her UTAS supervisor and our TAS Committee coordinator.
The program was timed around the 2023 Pacific Week of Agriculture and Forestry, with additional field visits to projects supported by Australian agencies. Lucy’s interviews included the Fijian Minister for Agriculture, the CEO of ACIAR, Australia’s Special Representative for Australian Agriculture and a variety of agricultural researchers from Australia and the Pacific Islands.
Her field visits covered projects focused on challenges to beekeeping, efforts to develop the Fiji quality chocolate industry and the impacts of protected cropping – so she also managed to get her boots dirty after some cyclonic rain at the beginning of the trip with Cathy.
In addition to two live national TV crosses on her experiences in Fiji, Lucy has since had national coverage for reports headed Wild Fijian coffee, agritourism embraces ‘paddock-to-plate’ concept while supporting women and Fijian beekeepers keen to export high-quality honey, but face pollen shortage with more reports to come.
One way the Crawford Fund supports and encourages the next generation of Australians in study, careers and volunteering in international agricultural research is through our highly sought after Student Awards, funded by our State and Territory Committees and made possible by organisations including ACIAR, international centres, Australian and overseas universities and NGOs.