An innovative researcher, who has made significant contributions to the Australian grains industry, is the recipient of the GRDC's 2020 Northern Region Emerging Leader Award.
Rohan Brill was presented with the coveted award - which recognises, encourages and rewards leaders in the Australian grains industry - at the annual GRDC Grains Research Update in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales in February.
Mr Brill, who started as a technical officer with NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) in 2007, is now a well-respected research agronomist.
Accolade well deserved
GRDC Northern Region Panel member Roy Hamilton says the award, voted on by the Northern Region Panel, recognised Mr Brill's significant contribution to the successful Optimising Canola Profitability project - as well as his effective communication skills when working with researchers, agronomists and growers.
"GRDC established this award with the aim of supporting emerging leaders to establish networks, that leverage international knowledge, and to take up opportunities to help address research and skills gaps in the Australian grains industry," Mr Hamilton says.
"In recent years, Rohan has become a well-respected researcher in his field and shown he has the professional skills to manage research projects, implement agronomy trials, analyse trial data and effectively engage and share findings with his peers in the research world, as well as with growers and advisers in the paddock.
"He has now become a regular presenter at Updates for advisers and growers in NSW and Victoria."
GRDC established this award with the aim of supporting emerging leaders to establish networks, that leverage international knowledge, and to take up opportunities to help address research and skills gaps in the Australian grains industry.
Mr Hamilton says GRDC is excited about what Rohan brings to the Australian grains industry and is keen to recognise his talents and support and encourage his passion for the sector both now and into the future.
Experience benefits growers
Mr Brill started his working career as a technical officer with NSW DPI in 2007, before being promoted to the role of research agronomist at the Trangie Agricultural Research Centre. From there he become district agronomist in the Coonamble region - a position he held from 2008-2013.
From 2013 until 2019 he has worked from the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute and been closely involved in grains industry research and delivery outcomes to industry.
Mr Brill says he is honoured to receive the award, because it recognised the role of the whole multi-disciplinary team involved in the Optimising Canola Project.
"I believe the project and wider research work into canola over the past five or six years has really brought the crop into the twenty-first century, particularly the fundamental research on canola growth, development and yield," he says.
"This was fundamental research that was undertaken at a high level and able to be scrutinised by international scientists and, equally as important, was relevant and of practical value to growers across Australia.
"I personally place incredible importance on rigorous research - but it has to be meaningful for growers and engaging - and communicating the results and information to them is a critical part of the process."
The GRDC Emerging Leader Award may be used for travel or other agreed activities to:
- Build on established linkages or create new opportunities as agreed between the Northern Region Panel and the researcher/adviser/grower; and/or
- Exploit the knowledge and opportunities overseas for collaboration (and how they are addressing skills gaps) and build international linkages.
Mr Brill says he hopes the award and opportunities available to others in the grains industry will encourage other young people to venture into careers in agriculture.
"The grains industry has already opened so many opportunities for me, and I am passionate about continuing to encourage and support others interested in working in research agronomy," he says.
Mr Brill says he is still determining the best way to use his financial scholarship, but is interested in visiting regions within Australia and internationally that are pushing the boundaries when sowing crops into minimal moisture and maximising water use efficiency.