Department succeeds at national conference


Three Department of Primary Industry and Resources staff members recently travelled to Canberra for this year’s Crawford Fund Annual Conference.

The department’s Pastoral Extension Officer, Meg Humphrys and Senior Aquaculture Technician Paul Armstrong attended as part of the prestigious Crawford Fund scholarships, while Research Horticulturalist Maddison Clonan represented the researchers in Agriculture for International Development group.

The Crawford Fund is a non-profit organisation which seeks to increase Australia’s engagement in international agricultural research and development. It raises awareness of the benefits – for both Australia and developing countries – of investment and involvement in work for food and nutrition security and the many other impacts of agricultural research.

This year’s theme, Weathering the ‘Perfect Storm’ – Addressing the Agriculture, Energy, Water, Climate Change Nexus allowed participants the chance to tackle topical issues of balancing resource management, food security and economic development.

Ms Clonan said it was an important opportunity to delve into issues that are so relevant to the Northern Territory.

“I’ve gained an understanding of the global mechanisms affecting change in the agricultural sector today, as well as some practical examples for how to adapt to and weather them,” she said.

“The conference gave me insight into the interplay of social and economic systems with agriculture and food supply and how this is changing with resource scarcity and climate change.”

Ms Clonan hopes to take the inspiration from the conference back to her work in the NT to prepare us all for “the perfect storm.”

“I hope to impart a better understanding of the drivers for change, both in food production and food consumption systems, knowledge of international research and development programs that are currently in use globally and a strong network of Australian and international agricultural researchers from all areas of agriculture.”

Ms Clonan credits the Crawford Fund’s conference for providing a unique platform for making connections and sharing knowledge on the global and local challenges in agriculture, particularly beneficial to young researchers and industry stakeholders.

Paul Armstrong, Maddy Clonan and Meg Humphrys standing in front of Parliament House, Canberra
(left to right) Paul Armstrong, Maddy Clonan and Meg Humphrys in front of Parliament House, Canberra

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