Building research networks with John Allwright Fellows

ACIAR JAF Fellows group photo with Prof Wendy Umberger, the ACIAR CEO

Vyta Hanifah, a first-year Ph.D. student at GFAR, recently visited Canberra (23-26 October 2023) as the recipient of the John Allwright Fellowship (JAF).

This fellowship, awarded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) under the Australia Awards Scholarship (AAS) regulations, is a result of her ongoing research project involvement. Vyta's success in securing JAF was notable, as she made two attempts, leveraging her participation in the now-completed IndoDairy Project in Indonesia.

Vyta’s research topic is women’s empowerment and agricultural extension in dairy farming. Her research topic was inspired by her involvement in IndoDairy Project from 2017 to 2021.Her research will contribute empirically to understanding: (i) the different roles of men and women in smallholder dairy farming; (ii) the relationships between production-related outcomes (for example milk production) and specific dimensions of women’s empowerment (resources, agency, and achievement); and (iii) the more gender-inclusive approach to be adopted by dairy cooperatives.

Vyta (left) with her research poster and  Wina (right), the assistant country manager for ACIAR Indonesia

Vyta (left) with her research poster and Wina (right), the assistant country manager for ACIAR Indonesia

Her visit to Canberra and the ACIAR office was primarily intended for meeting with JAF fellows from universities across Australia. This marked the inaugural meeting for these fellows, with ACIAR hosting the event. The gathering invited approximately 21 awardees from various states, including four from the University of Adelaide.

The event featured a research showcase through poster presentations. Attendees ranged from recent graduates to those who had just submitted their theses, as well as individuals in the first and second years of their doctoral studies. In addition, a workshop was held to explore the value of JAF partnerships with other stakeholders, both in Australia and their respective countries, from various perspectives.

This in-person meeting was highly valued for the opportunities it provided in establishing professional networks on research collaboration among the fellows. It also encouraged fellows to engage with both the ACIAR team and Country Office team. Significantly, during the same week, ACIAR hosted a meeting for all country office managers and officers, further enhancing the mutual benefit for JAF scholars. This engagement not only proves advantageous in their current roles but also holds promise for their future work upon their return to their respective countries.

Before returning to their university life, the fellows were taken on a visit to Parliament House and the National Museum of Australia. Everyone was highly impressed with the chance to connect with one another and eagerly anticipated the possibility of future collaboration.

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