Local Fulbright Scholar to honour US-Australia alliance
Monday, 19 March 2018
A Toowoomba academic will take part in the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship program and contribute to a five-decade long tradition that has helped forge closer relations between Australia and the United States.
Member for Groom Dr John McVeigh said Professor Geoff Cockfield from the University of South Queensland will travel to Kansas State University to conduct agricultural research with the support of the $72,000 scholarship.
“I congratulate Professor Cockfield on this significant achievement. It will no doubt be a career-changing experience and he will do the people of Toowoomba proud,” Dr McVeigh said.
“And while it will have an indelible impact on their lives, the Fulbright Scholarship program also has a significant effect on us all through the vital and leading research that is undertaken in areas of public importance.
“I wish them the best of luck with their endeavours in the United States.”
The Fulbright Scholarship Program was the first treaty level agreement between the United States and Australia and aims to increase cultural understanding, collaboration and the exchange of ideas.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said since 1964 around 2700 Australian and 2300 American scholars have taken part in the program, which is backed by funding from the Turnbull Government.
“Without exaggeration, this is the largest and most prestigious academic scholarships of its kind in the world,” Minister Birmingham said.
“This year, 58 individuals will push the boundaries of academic knowledge. From agricultural policy, head injuries in rugby players, to nuclear disarmament, and theoretical physics.
“The quality of this year’s participants is particularly high and building on the shoulders of the giants who have gone before in the Fulbright Scholarship.”
Professor Cockfield will leave for Kansas in September for a six-month stay before returning to Toowoomba in February.
“This trip will give me a chance to undertake a comparative study of agricultural policies between the United States and Australia, considering a number of issues,” Professor Cockfield said.
“The United States has a number of similar issues to Australia such as retaining family farms, managing water allocations for irrigation, ensuring food security and our desire for cheap food on our dinner tables. These are issues we are struggling with in Australia as well,” he said.
“We expect a lot from agriculture and I am hoping to explore different policy settings and how they contribute to achieving a range of these goals. I hope to learn from a different way of doing business and compare how different policy settings in areas such as natural resource management, business co-operatives and trade regulations can be used.”
“For more information on the program, visit www.fulbright.org.au
Above: Member for Groom Dr John McVeigh met with Professor Geoff Cockfield to discuss the agriculture research he will undertake at Kansas State University later this year as part of his Fulbright Scholarship win.