Issue 13
Monday, 14 August 2017
Charles Darwin University
Kim Hunnam in Timor-Leste, helping fishers pull their boats up the beach
Kim Hunnam in Timor-Leste, helping fishers pull their boats up the beach

Scholarship to further food security research

By Leanne Miles

A PhD student investigating small-scale fisheries in Timor-Leste has been awarded a travel scholarship from the Crawford Fund to attend the WorldFish Symposium on Resilient Small-Scale Fisheries in Penang, Malaysia in September.

Kim Hunnam, who is studying through the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, is investigating the distribution and availability of fish and fisheries in Timor-Leste, as well as local supply chains and consumption patterns, focusing on sardines.

She has spent the past eight months living in Timor-Leste, learning from fishers and fish traders about how the local sardine fishery operates, to identify ways these fisheries could be improved for better food security, nutrition and livelihoods.

“Improving food security and addressing malnutrition, particularly among women and children, is a critical issue in Timor-Leste,” Kim said.

“Small pelagic fish, such as sardines, are highly nutritious. They are also relatively cheap, can be easily divided among household members, and are a popular food among Timorese people.

“The WorldFish Symposium will be an exciting opportunity to be part of discussions on current small-scale fisheries research with experts in fisheries, nutrition and gender,” she said.

As part of the scholarship, Kim also recently attended the Crawford Fund Conference 2017 at Parliament House, Canberra, where she was paired with a mentor and took part in the Scholar Program. The theme for this year’s conference was "Transforming lives and livelihoods: the digital revolution in Agriculture".

The Crawford Fund aims to support young Australians with an interest in food security and agricultural science. Kim is part way through a joint PhD at CDU and the Australian National University, in partnership with WorldFish.