Associate Professor Shirley Reushle writes:
This year’s Digital Rural Futures conference to be held at USQ’s Toowoomba campus from the 25th-27th of June, promises to be a significant event.
Key speakers will travel from across Australia, the UK and New Zealand to share, with conference delegates, their insights, new ideas, and their passion for invention and innovation.
Dr Wendy Craik is a Commissioner of the Productivity Commission. Wendy is currently heading up an inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning. Wendy was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to the natural resource sector of the economy, particularly in the areas of fisheries, marine ecology and management of water reform, and for contributions to policies affecting rural and regional Australia.
Neil Gardyne and his son, Mark, will talk about their activities on their sheep/beef and cropping farms in Southland, New Zealand, particularly the use of “digital aerial eyes” to keep track of their stock. The two farms, operated by Neil and his wife Phillipa, are in the top 2% for their class of farming.
Neil won the Australasian Rabobank Executive Development programme in 2010 and was a finalist in the Lincoln south island farmer of the year. Mark, their 13-year-old son, is the technologist who suggested turning to technology to monitor stock movements and potential issues through the use of remote-controlled drones.
Professor John Traxler, the University of Wolverhampton’s Professor of Mobile Learning, will travel from the UK to share his insights into the use of mobile technologies to benefit communities and economies across the globe, particularly those in developing countries.
John has co-written a guide to mobile learning in developing countries and is co-editor of the definitive book, Mobile learning: A handbook for educators and trainers, with Professor Agnes Kukulska-Hulme.
Dr Alison McCarthy is an irrigation and mechatronic research engineer within the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture at USQ. She has been involved with research projects in the cotton industry for seven years and her research has led to the development of real-time adaptive irrigation control and plant-based sensing systems.
In March 2014, Alison received two major awards, including the top honour at the Federal Government’s 2014 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture.
Janelle Reimann is Principal of Willunga High School, situated in the McLaren Vale wine growing area of South Australia. Willunga High School became the first government secondary school connected to the NBN on mainland Australia.
The school is involved in two National programs: a virtual classroom about astrophysics and nanotechnology operating in a shared environment with other students across Australia and a “Mars Lab”, where students manipulate the Mars Rover, learning about space exploration through hands-on experiences. Janelle has been described by students as “an awesome principal”!
Professor Snow Barlow is a plant physiologist and agricultural scientist, whose research interests include plant water use efficiency, viticulture and the impacts of climate change on agriculture, water management and global food security.
Based at the Melbourne School of Land and Environment, he chairs the Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation, the Expert Advisory Panel of the Department of Agriculture, Carbon Farming Futures RDE program and is a board member of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
Together with his partner Winsome McCaughey, Snow operates a vineyard in the Strathbogie Ranges in North Eastern Victoria and markets premium wine under the Baddaginnie Run label.
Join us at the Digital Rural Futures conference in Toowoomba! For more information about the Conference, visit the website.
Earlybird registrations are available until 30 April 2014!