2014 Alumni Awards

The Faculty Alumni Awards for 2014 were presented by the Dean, Professor Alex McBratney at the Annual Awards Cocktail Reception held on Friday 23 May in MacLaurin Hall.
On behalf of the Faculty and the Agriculture Alumni Association we congratulate the following recipients.

The 3 recipients were:

2 Alumni Awards for International Achievement

Peter Carberry
(BSc Agr ‘82 PhD ‘87)

Peter Carberry

Dr Peter Carberry receives the Faculty Alumni Award for International Achievement for career accomplishments in changing industry farming practice and pioneering a participatory action research approach that is being adopted nationally and internationally by researchers and leading international crop research centres.

Peter is a distinguished graduate of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment awarded with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with first class honours in 1982 and later with PhD in Agriculture in 1987.

As a trained agricultural systems scientist, Peter devoted the early years of his career to the establishment of research network and quantitative systems research tools. He was a founding member of the Nation’s first multi-agency agricultural systems research group (APSRU) and provided much needed intellectual leadership and vision that ultimately lead to the development of the world’s leading agricultural systems simulation platform, APSIM.

Peter is a Chief Research Scientist in CSIRO and leads the Theme in the Sustainable Agriculture Flagship responsible for research for development in international agriculture. His disciplinary expertise is in crop physiology and in the development and application of system models – he has been a key developer of the APSIM systems model. He has led major RDE projects aimed at increasing the participation of farmers and advisers in research and in development projects in south Asia and Africa.
He is an internationally acclaimed scientist and this is exemplified by the following awards; Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Agriculture and Technology, Medal of “Officier de l”Ordre National du Burkina Faso” for his contribution to improving agricultural production and food security and finally the Australian Medal of Agricultural Science from Ag Institute Australia.

As a scientist, Peter has published more than 100 papers in international journals and has presented widely in national and international conferences. A feature of his work is his ability to integrate science into other contexts such as policy frameworks, industry development and community acceptance.


Jim Woodhill
BSc Agr ‘86 PhD ’99 (ANU)

Jim Woodhill

Dr Jim Woodhill receives the Faculty Alumni Award for International Achievement for his extensive international consulting experience across cultures and boundaries of business, government, research and civil society.

Jim was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1986 and later completed his PhD in Human Geography (Political Economics) at ANU. Following his studies he directed a market orientated research, consultancy and training organisation of 60 staff with assignments in over 50 countries that link scientific research to development programmes.

Known as a highly experienced trainer and facilitator of multi-stakeholder processes, Jim applies a deep understanding of systemic thinking, social change, learning processes and monitoring and evaluation to help teams and organisations improve performance and achieve results.

Jim is currently Principal Sector Specialist Food Security and Rural Development with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Prior to this appointment he worked in the Netherlands in the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) at Wageningen University and Research Centre. He has also spent 7 years lecturing in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management at UWS.

With invaluable on ground experience in Sri Lanka, East and Southern Africa and Europe, he continues to be passionate about creating the insight, leadership and new forms of innovation needed for sustainability. He shares this knowledge by writing on diversity topics including value chain development, institutional analysis, agri-food innovation systems, multi-stakeholder processes and monitoring and evaluation.

Alumni Awards for Professional Achievement

Frank Crofts
BSc Agr (Hons) ’51, MSc (Oregon) ’60, DSc Agr (honoris causea) ’98

Frank Crofts

Professor Frank Crofts receives the Faculty Alumni Award for Professional Achievement for his career long advocacy in conservation tillage, sod seeding, direct drilling and no-till farming as means of ensuring more sustainable and more profitable agriculture for Australia.

After completing his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with first class honours in 1951 he worked on the problem of declining pasture production on the Far North Coast of NSW.

In 1954 he was appointed Lecturer in Agronomy at the University of Sydney. He undertook a heavy load of teaching and postgraduate research student supervision. Awarded with a Rockefeller Foundation in 1960, he obtained a Master of Science with honours at the Oregon State University for his work on the effects of nitrogen on the growth patterns of a range of grass species.

In 1966 Frank was promoted to Associate Professor and appointed acting head of the University of Sydney’s Department of Agronomy. In 1969 he was given the added task of directing the University’s Livingston Farm at Moree. It was converted largely to no-till farming and was the foundation of the conservation farming revolution in the Australian grains industry.
Frank is regarded as an inspiring and dedicated teacher, greatly respected for his combination of scientific and practical knowledge. Many of the fundamental agronomic concepts that he formulated are still used in teaching programmes today. Furthermore, many of his graduates have gone on to become leaders in agricultural research.

Recognised for his professional work, he was awarded CM Donald Medal by the Australian Society of Agronomy in 1984 and was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science the following year. In 1998, he was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Science in Agriculture (honoris causea) by the University of Sydney.

In retirement, Frank continues to give practical advice and counsel to many farmers, Agribusiness companies, and University colleagues on aspects of conservation agriculture, pasture improvement, and dairy cow nutrition.