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Media release. Nuffield scholarship a challenge

Media release. Nuffield scholarship a challenge

“Given the opportunity, go for it” is the advice Tasmanian 2013 Nuffield scholar Matt Pooley has for anyone considering applying for the prestigious program.

Nuffield Australia annually awards scholarships to primary producers to travel the world researching a topic of interest to themselves and of importance to their industry.

The program includes the Global Focus Program, a six-week tour of the powerhouses of world agriculture with fellow scholars, and then a further 10 weeks of individual travel.

Matt, from Pooley Wines in the Coal River Valley near Hobart, is in the last phase of his individual program, researching sustainable energy use in small-scale wineries.

“I’ve got four weeks of individual study remaining, and I’m planning to head to Oregon and Washington State in the USA, and then I’ll travel to central Otago in New Zealand. Earlier in the year I was fortunate to spend some time in California, where I saw a lot of cutting edge technology in solar generation and water re-use equipment,” he says.

Matt says the Nuffield experience, while challenging, has also been rewarding.

“It’s an experience that puts us outside our comfort zones, and in situations that we probably wouldn’t normally find ourselves in from a business and operational point of view.

A lot of the things might have seemed really left field for my current business, but later on when we put ourselves in a better business position we will be able to adopt them and certainly benefit,” he says.

Matt says the experience has been challenging and thought provoking, but a great opportunity.

“It probably came a little bit earlier than we as a business were quite ready for, but it’s made us really jump into gear and put us in a better position moving forward. I’d say to anyone considering applying, it’s a select few that get this opportunity and you’ve really got to run with it,” Matt says.

Matt’s scholarship is supported by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.

Keep up to date with the latest on Twitter from Matt (@MJPooley) and the organisation (@nuffieldaust) and like Nuffield Australia on Facebook.

Applications for the 2015 Nuffield Australia scholarship program close on the 30th June 2014, for travel in 2015.

There will be up to 25 scholarships offered by Nuffield Australia, sponsored by a range of Australia’s leading primary sector organisations, including one specifically for Tasmanian primary producers – for more information and selection guidelines please visit, email or call (03) 5480 0755.

For any media information or interview requests, please contact David Cussons at CussonsMedia e: m: 0404 853 827 t: @nuffieldaust

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