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Annual RD Watt lecture

Commemorating our first lecture in agriculture

The annual RD Watt lecture commemorates the first lecture delivered to University of Sydney agriculture students in March 1911 by Australia’s first Professor and Dean of Agriculture, Sir Robert Dickie Watt.

2020 lecture

Sydney University’s Contribution to Agricultural Economics

The University of Sydney has a long history of teaching and research in agricultural economics which we celebrate in this year’s RD Watt lecture, Sydney University’s Contribution to Agricultural Economics. When Keith Campbell was appointed Reader in Agricultural Economics by the University of Sydney in 1951, he became the first full-time academic in his field in Australia, and subsequently in 1956 became the first Australian Professor in Agricultural Economics.

The development of many of the fields of applied economics in Australia arose, directly or indirectly, out of the research conducted at the University of Sydney in agricultural economics, or as a result of the work undertaken by the students in agricultural economics produced by the University of Sydney.

Our panel of University of Sydney Alumni in agricultural economics and resource economics will share insights into their work, what they think the future holds for the Australian agricultural economy, and how Australia contributes to the global agricultural sector.

When: Tuesday 10 March, 2020
Where: The Great Hall, Science Road, the University of Sydney
Time: 6pm, followed by drink and canapes 

The lecture will be introduced by Professor Robyn McConchie.

Click here to register

2019 lecture

Women in Agriculture

To celebrate International Women’s Day, and to commemorate our long history of agricultural education, research and outreach, we celebrated the diverse contributions at the 2019 Annual RD Watt lecture ‘Women in Agriculture’.

While not typically seen as the face of this industry, women play a vital role in enterprises and on farms to ensure the future of Australian agriculture continues to be innovative and productive. 

Making up around 32 per cent of Australia’s agricultural workforce, women take on a range of roles on and off the land. From agribusiness and innovation to government policy and ethical governance, three female leaders who are all University of Sydney alumni joined us to shine a light on women in agriculture.

Explore one of our nation’s largest industries as our panel of University of Sydney alumni in agriculture share insights into their work, what they think the future holds for Australian agriculture and how women continue to be key contributors.

The lecture was followed by a Q&A panel hosted by Dr Angela Pattison.

Download the 2019 RD Watt lecture: Women in Agriculture (MP3, 26mb) or listen at right.

Download the 2019 RD Watt lecture slides:

About the speakers:

Dr Angela Pattison Dr Angela Pattison (host) is a plant breeder and agricultural scientist based at the Narrabri Campus of the University of Sydney. Her primary role is improving the performance of chickpeas in hot and dry environments through field trials and genetic selection. She also manages projects on triticale, field pea and native grains and has extensive experience in field-based data acquisition. Angela graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Hons I) and the University Medal in 2007. 
Lucinda Corrigan Lucinda Corrigan has spent her professional life working in innovation across the livestock industries after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Hons 1) in 1981. Through many roles at a local, state and national level she has developed a deep interest in the ethical governance of public funds, transparency and accountability that enable change. She was named the WIAA Agribusiness Leader in 2014 and in 2016 was honoured to receive the Professional Achievement award from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Agriculture.
Evie Murdoch

Evie Murdoch is a Senior Agribusiness Consultant at KPMG Australia, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Hons I) and the University Medal in 2016. Since then she has been working across the agribusiness sector where she is passionate about meaningful, innovative change; most recently she worked with the National Farmers' Federation co-authoring their $100bn industry plan.

Caroline Wardrop

Caroline Wardrop is an agricultural policy specialist, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Hons II, Div 1) in 2003. She has spent the majority of her career working for the Australian Government delivering policy relating to natural resource management, soil, water infrastructure, meat and live animal exports, and agricultural and veterinary chemicals. Caroline is currently seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to review the Australian Public Service.