WA Committee

Established in 1995 with support from the Government of Western Australia and the private sector, the Western Australian Program invites submissions for training developing country workers in any field where WA expertise can make a significant contribution to food production. We especially seek projects for training Indonesian, African and Middle Eastern workers in plant breeding, pasture and animal production, grain storage, salinity problems, plant nutrition and fisheries management.

Western Australian farmers have benefited from the support provided to developing country trainees by acquiring valuable plant germplasm—Biserrula from Morocco, anthracnose resistant albus lupin from Ethiopia, and black spot resistant field pea from Russia—through the scientific network that the training courses have established. In addition, training in pest and disease diagnosis and control is reducing risks of introducing plant and animal diseases, and problems arising from faulty diagnosis of diseases in products that are exported from and imported into Australia. Commercial enterprises have benefited from their partnership with the Crawford Fund to support training projects for importers in the efficient use of their products, reducing marketing risks, and enhancing their image as good corporate citizens.

We invite new participants for projects on the basis that WA commerce will be “doing well by doing good.” A brochure summarising our activities is available here.

Crawford Fund Student Awards – Western Australia

As part of our efforts to support and encourage the next generation in study, careers and volunteering in international agricultural research, the Crawford Fund proudly supports our Student Awards. These awards have been developed specifically to enable university students to gain valuable experience and expertise by bringing an international component to their studies and research.

In Western Australia, applications are open to honours and postgraduate students interested in gaining international agricultural research experience in developing countries, with a maximum of $5,000 awarded.


Congratulations to the 17 successful applicants from around Australia who received our 2023 awards to experience international agricultural research and development first hand.

The WA award winner was:

Lucas Harwood, University of Western Australia
Location/Focus: Fiji
Research: Quantifying the economic costs of Coptotermes gestroi infestations and management strategies on urban horticulture, commercial forestry, and sugarcane plantations.
Other collaborating institutions: CSIRO Health and Biosecurity and Biosecurity Authority of Fiji.

International Training and Agriculture Awards

The Crawford Fund WA Committee has for many years supported targeted training of overseas scientists and extension officers either in ‘home country’ or Australia. Each year it offers a small number of competitive grants of up to a maximum of $15,000 each for short-term training activities. Such activities may include workshop attendance, short-term visits to other institutes, as well as areas of agricultural research, extension,  governance and management training for individuals or small groups.

WA Crawford Fund Scholars: 2023 Annual Conference

Each year, the Crawford Fund Committees offer Conference Scholarships for students and young researchers to attend the annual conference. The Scholarship provides funds to cover expenses such as travel, accommodation and registration.

We’re excited to announce our bumper crop of 36 2023 Annual Conference scholarship winners from universities and organisations across Australia, and for the second time, special guest scholars from Papua New Guinea! This takes our conference scholar alumni to almost 450 young students and researchers and industry representatives with an interest in reshaping agriculture to better address food security, the nutritional needs of a growing population, and the environment.

The 2023 conference scholars from WA are listed below.

  • Christophe d’Abbadie, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA
  • Harrison Keymer, The University of Western Australia
  • Md Shahinur Rahman, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA
  • King Yin Lui, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA
2022 conference scholars from WA (L to R) Daniel Kierath, Shell Xiao, Niamh Walsh and Alice Butler pictured with the Crawford Fund WA’s Chair Mark Sweetingham and Coordinator Lyn Abbot.

Training Activities and Events

The Western Australian Committee is involved in a range of training activities, such as managing stored grain pests, safe herbicide use and biosecurity; and events to provide networking opportunities for younger researchers.

Here are some examples: