Karen’s passion is the science of plants. She aims to produce plants that can reduce input costs, disease resistant plants, climate tolerant plants or that produce higher yields per hectare. Karen also partners with others to teach under developed countries about plant tissue culture.
Karen’s dedication to team enhancement flows from the top, working with her husband Tim through to a diverse team of six team members who create up to 1 million plants a year for the horticulture industry.
Karen will use the Westpac bursary to understand new plant culture technologies using Temporary Immersion Systems enabling production horticulture access to a more prompt and economic plant supply chain.
Celia is committed to encouraging and enabling a resilient, profitable farming industry that regenerates the land while producing food and fibre. Celia aspires to increase and maintain the uptake of regenerative farming practices now and for future generations.
In conjunction with a professional researcher specialising in whole of farm research and adult learning, Celia will use the Westpac bursary to develop a survey for farmers to identify the barriers they face when transitioning to regenerative farming practices, and adapt farmer training to address these barriers, be they physical, financial or personal. The results of this survey would be shared with farmers, educators and advisors to facilitate training that ensures the farmers are consistently successful.
Robyn’s international career as a researcher and author has been about helping people in rural regions. Robyn’s goal is to bring the global knowledge resources of universities to regional communities, to empower local people to create the futures they want.
Robyn will use the Westpac bursary to establish a low-cost, replicable framework for enabling practical engagement between universities and rural regions. By working with rural people from a wide range of backgrounds, Robyn aims to recognise and grow their knowledge and skills on issues that matter to them. Robyn works with and acknowledges an amazing group of colleagues at the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology, who support her vision for sustainable community-led prosperity in rural regions.
Louise is a farmer and food producer who does things differently. Louise has started Tasmania’s, and Australia’s, first premium edible insect farm for human food that uses waste streams as the feedstock for her micro-herds.
By producing premium edible insects for a growing customer base, Louise is farming and making premium “brand Tasmania” food products grown to world best standards and appealing to high value state, national and global markets. The Rebel Food Tasmania protein nut butter ranges will be featured at The Tasting Australia event to be held in Adelaide.
Louise will use the Westpac bursary to expand opportunities for people to start farming micro-herds in smaller spaces and incorporating local food and beverage businesses needing a waste solution.
Brooke Croft, AgriFutures Australia, Manager, Communications & Capacity Building
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