Registrations are now open for the Nuffield Australia National Conference, the highlight of the Nuffield calendar. It’s a flagship event, offering a meeting point for Scholars, Investors and the broader agriculture industry. Click on the "Book Now" tab at the top of the screen to register your place.

Join us in Melbourne, Australia’s cosmopolitan and exciting culinary capital.

The theme is '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 will present 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


The opportunity exists for your organisation to partner with Nuffield for the National Conference in Victoria, Australia’s largest and strongest producing agricultural state. Melbourne is also the culinary capital of the country, a rich and diverse destination for the alumni, industry investors, conference partners and a broadening array of industry attendees.

The conference offers a unique opportunity for organisations to highlight and promote products and services to a highly targeted and engaged national agricultural industry audience.

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

We look forward to welcoming you as a Nuffield Australia National Conference Partner in 2018.

Please contact the office to enquire about partnering with Nuffield for the National Conference.
Call 02 9463 9229 or email

Program and Speakers

In 2018, the National Conference will open with the stylish and distinguished Annual Awards Dinner on the first evening. Here the new 2019 Nuffield Scholars are formally 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 will also feature a strong program of additional speakers, providing the most current and up to date insights on agricultural commodities, practices, innovation and technology.

Current program is available here

The 2018 National Conference will continue with a new session titled, ‘Where are they now?’ Introduced in 2017, this session will focus on extraordinary members of the Nuffield Alumni who will present and share stories and experiences since completing their scholarship. They will discuss the opportunities and challenges faced along the way, what this taught them and how the Nuffield experience has contributed to their success. Speakers include:

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.

Among the 2017 Nuffield Scholar presentations are:

  • Matthew Gunningham, TAS: People management and motivation. Building great teams in agriculture
  • Daniel Meade, VIC: Industry representation and the importance of agriculture to rural communities
  • Claire Booth, NSW: The transfer of farming businesses and their assets
  • Brendan Hehir, VIC: Maximising spread between the price paid for milk and cost of milk production
  • Toby Bekkers, SA: World best practice in the marketing of fine wines directly to consumers
  • Luke Bradley, QLD: Reigniting Australian leadership in precision agriculture
  • Matthew Fealy, QLD: How the use of robotics in horticulture has the opportunity to revolutionise the industry
  • Lara Ladyman, WA: The future of food, from lab to paddock to plate. Technologies and change drivers that will shape how, and what, will be farmed and eaten in the future

Tuesday 18 September – Annual Awards Dinner, Conference Hall, Crown Metropol, Melbourne, from 6pm
Wednesday 19 September – Conference Day One, Conference Hall, Crown Metropol, Melbourne, from 8am
Wednesday 19 September – Networking Cocktail Reception, Hopscotch Urban Bar, Southbank, Melbourne, from 6.30pm
Thursday 20 September – Conference Day Two, Conference Hall, Crown Metropol, Melbourne, from 8am
Thursday 20 September – Social Evening at Bavarian Cafe, Eureka Tower, Southbank, Melbourne, from 6.30pm
Friday 21 and Saturday 22 September - Regional Tour, Outer Melbourne, Yarra Valley and Goulburn Valley, Northern Victoria

Thursday – Bavarian Cafe

Following the formal close of the conference on Thursday, 20 September, delegates can attend a social evening at the Bavarian Cafe at the base of Eureka Tower in Southbank. This function will provide an elegant and relaxed space for delegates, family and friends of Nuffield and a chance to unwind after conference week formalities.

Regional Tour

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


Registrations are now open!

In the words of attendees from our 2017 National Conference in Darwin:

Plan Your Visit


The conference is being held at Crown Metropol and there is now limited accommodation availability during conference week. However, there are a number of alternative options within walking distance, including:

  • Experience Bella Hotel Apartments, approx. $160 a night. Click here
  • Imagine Marco, approx. $140 a night. Click here
  • Waterfront Melbourne Apartments, approx. $210 a night. Click here
  • Quest Grand Hotel, approx. $185 a night. Click here
  • Aria Style Southbank, approx. $170 a night. Click here
  • Urban Central, approx. $120 a night. Click here

    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

Three options for consideration are:

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! More information here.

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