Deakin University will establish a new research centre in Griffith, NSW, to ensure vital research for the Riverina, the nation and the globe will continue to be driven from the region.
Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander has visited Griffith to make the announcement that a new branch of the university’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF) will be established, allowing for continuation of the world-class research the region is known for.
Professor den Hollander said CeRRF’s Griffith branch would be guided by two of Australia’s top irrigation and sustainable land use researchers, Associate Professor John Hornbuckle and Dr Wendy Quayle.
“Both researchers have been at the heart of transformations across the agricultural sector during the past 15 years, based right here in Griffith, so it’s exciting to be able to confirm that will continue, thanks to Deakin’s investment,” Professor den Hollander said.
“Thanks to their work, Australian rice farmers have been able to cut their water consumption by around 60 per cent and double yields, while cotton growers and vineyards have improved their productivity.
“This important new base in Griffith will help to position CeRRF as Australia’s premier research centre for agricultural productivity in areas ranging from food and food security, to smart agriculture, to sustainable industrial biotechnology.
“It is crucial that such a centre can collaborate with experts across sectors, including engineering, science, business, economics and the humanities, and that is exactly what Deakin offers.
“What is good for Griffith is good for Deakin and what is good for Deakin, is good for Griffith.”
Established in 2014, CeRRF employs 15 full-time researchers at Deakin’s Geelong and Melbourne campuses, with many other collaborators from across the university. The new Griffith branch of the centre will employ five additional researchers.
Professor den Hollander said that since Deakin was established in 1974 as Victoria’s first regional university, it has worked hard to create strong links throughout the communities it serves.
“It is our priority to ensure that our research is reflective of the needs of the community, at home and abroad, so that everything we do is relevant and can improve the world we live in,” Professor den Hollander said.
She added that the new centre cemented Deakin’s already strong commitment to the region through existing collaborations with local industry and education providers, including the Riverina Institute.