The Nuffield Australia National Conference is the highlight of the Nuffield calendar. It’s a flagship event, offering a meeting point for Scholars, Investors and the broader agriculture industry.

The 2018 event was held in Melbourne, Australia’s cosmopolitan and exciting culinary capital.

The theme was 'Produce Change', inspired and encouraged by both the successes of Nuffield Scholars who are redefining agriculture in an age of unprecedented technological advances and globalisation.

Producing change goes straight to the heart of what we do at Nuffield. Scholars research and deliver practical change that adds real value to farm businesses and the Australian community more broadly.


Over 25 Scholars presented the findings of their scholarship studies, and themes include:

  • Industry representation and the importance of agriculture to rural communities
  • The transfer of farming businesses and their assets
  • World best practice in marketing produce directly to consumers
  • Reigniting Australian leadership in precision agriculture
  • The future of food, from lab to paddock to plate


Our conference has continued to grow over the last five years, with registrations reaching 360 attendees in 2016 and a similar number participating in 2017.

We thank our conference partners for their support of our 2018 event.

Program and Speakers

The conference opened with the stylish and distinguished Annual Awards Dinner on the first evening. Here the new 2019 Nuffield Scholars were announced, introducing the newest group of emerging leaders in Australian agriculture and agribusiness to industry and the Nuffield Alumni.

In addition to the presenting Scholars, the National Conference featured a strong program of additional speakers, providing the most current and up to date insights on agricultural commodities, practices, innovation and technology.

The final program is here

The conference continued with a new session titled, ‘Where are they now?’ Introduced in 2017, this session will focus on extraordinary members of the Nuffield Alumni including:

PETER NOTMAN, 1997 Nuffield Scholar, VIC

Peter and partner Elaine have two farming properties, milking 1,100 cows in Walcha Dairy (NSW) and Karoola Station (Guyra, NSW). They also run Notman Pasture Seeds, improving productivity and efficiency through enhanced growth in the paddock throughout Victoria and NSW. It has grown from a small business operating out of a tractor shed on the family farm to a large business working with hundreds of farmers annually to improve their pasture and crop potentials. Peter is a 1997 Scholar who focused on efficient dairy production, plant improvement and pasture management programs. Today, Peter is invited as guest speaker to agricultural events internationally, including Asia, Europe and New Zealand.

MICHAEL HASTINGS, 2005 Nuffield Scholar, VIC

Michael and partner Victoria are based at Winchelsea and their business includes beef cattle, Speckle Park Cattle stud, ostrich farming and agritourism. 'Hastings Ostrich Services' has been a pioneer and leader in the Australian ostrich industry for over 25 years. It manages over 3,000 birds and is now the last commercial ostrich farm in Australia from the original 3,000. They export meat to EU, USA, Canada and Japan and also skins to all majors purchasing countries as either wet salted, crust or finished. Live ostrich and eggs have been exported routinely as breeding stock. Michael completed his university honours thesis on ostrich farming, which went on to be published as a book in 1991. For his scholarship, he studied the use of producer structures and marketing tools to achieve better supply chain management and price stability.

Other speakers included:

TIM HUNT, Rabobank

Tim Hunt is the General Manager of Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) division across Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this role, he was the global strategist and team leader of Rabobank’s Dairy research team, based in New York. Tim is a professional economist with more than 20 years’ experience, gained through working with leading financial institutions and strategic consultancies in Australia, England and the United States.


There was a panel session focusing specifically on Victorian agriculture. 2007 Scholar and President of the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) David Jochinke will be part of this discussion, with current focus areas and priority actions to be highlighted. David is a third generation farmer who operates a family property near Horsham. In addition, four Scholars participating in this session focusing on Victorian agriculture. They included:

Regional Tour

The post-conference regional tour stimulated those keen to understand primary production in Victoria with a focus on horticulture, viticulture, dairy and grains.

Visits included:


Registrations are now closed.

Terms and Conditions

Cancellation refund policy: Before 15th August – 75% refund. Between 15th-30th August – 50% refund. After 1st September - no refund.

All events and functions must be pre-paid in advance.

Registrations must be pre-paid with a credit card, in Australian Dollars.

Bookings will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are limitations on bookings, particularly for the regional tour.

Nuffield Australia will not be responsible for any medical expenses, loss or accidents incurred during the event.

Plan Your Visit

Dress Code

Awards Dinner: Lounge Suit
  • Gentlemen: Suit and tie
  • Ladies: Formal wear, dress or evening pants suit
Conference Days: Business Formal
  • Gentlemen: Trousers, Shirt and Tie
  • Ladies: Smart casual, skirt or trousers
Networking Cocktail Function: Cocktail
  • Gentlemen: Trousers, Shirt and Tie
  • Ladies: Dress or an evening pantsuit
Regional Tour: Casual
  • Casual wear, with good walking shoes for farm visits

Childcare options in Melbourne

Melbourne Weather (September)

During spring average temperatures range from 10 - 20°C. The season is known as the most variable of the year, when weather can quickly change from calm and sunny to cold and windy – so pack a jacket and your umbrella!

Exploring Melbourne

Spring certainly arrives with a flourish in Melbourne. September in the city offers good food experiences and festivals, live music, spring fashion events, the AFL Finals Series and Spring Racing Carnival. There is no better time to visit this convenient and exciting city. For those wishing to explore, click through to the 'Visit Melbourne' website here.

Some ideas might include:


If you have any questions, please contact Nuffield Program Operations Manager Nicola Raymond by emailing here