Issue 2
Monday, 13 March 2017
Charles Darwin University
John Dillon Fellows from left: Aneela Afzal, Hillary Agaba, Dang Kim Khoi, Bun Chan and Veronica Gawi Bue
John Dillon Fellows from left: Aneela Afzal, Hillary Agaba, Dang Kim Khoi, Bun Chan and Veronica Gawi Bue

International scholars explore CDU research

By Leanne Miles

A group of senior agricultural scientists from around the world has toured Charles Darwin University as part of a program that provides career development opportunities for outstanding agricultural scientists or economists.

The five John Dillon Fellows from Cambodia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and Pakistan attended workshops and met with research staff as part of the Northern Territory leg of the six-week Australia-wide tour.

Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods Director Professor Karen Gibb said the three-day visit to CDU was an opportunity for the scholars to gain an insight into research across plantation forestry, fisheries, and Indigenous livelihoods and market access.

The visits form part of the overall program to develop leadership skills and provide exposure to Australian agriculture across a range of best-practice organisations involved in research, extension and/or policy making.

An academic at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Veronica Gawi Bue’s research focus is on gender issues and women’s involvement in agribusiness. She is also the post-graduate student co-ordinator.

“At CDU I have gained an insight into what other researchers are doing in my field of social sciences and where we can collaborate in the future,” she said. “It has also enabled me to see the bigger picture in terms of how to engage post-graduate students and get them involved in meaningful research with industries and stakeholders.”

Director of the Forestry Resources Research Institute in Uganda, Hillary Agaba said the visit had several impacts both in improving his leadership skills, and in informing research collaborations and priorities.

“In Uganda 90 per cent of energy for households is produced using firewood,” he said. “We are interested in finding out more about Eucalypt plantations and how the species compares to our native Khaya tree in terms of growth rate and understanding biosecurity and pest issues.”

The fellowships are funded through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to provide career development opportunities for agricultural scientists or economists from ACIAR partner countries who are involved in a current or recently completed ACIAR project.