Professional Development Activity Grant: Sibjan Chaulagain
Posted: 6 November 2023
In addition to their world-class university qualification, Australia Awards scholars have the opportunity to use their time in Australia to build their networks and capabilities. Nepali scholar Sibjan Chaulagain took advantage of a scholar grant to attend an agritech event to enhance his knowledge and complement his studies.
Sibjan Chaulagain was working in digital agritech before receiving an Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Master of Science in Agriculture Innovation at the Australian National University (ANU) in 2023. Sibjan was passionate about agricultural innovation in Nepal and wanted to further improve his knowledge of Australian agriculture innovation. He therefore applied for the Professional Development Activity Grant to participate in evokeAG. 2023, Australia’s largest agritech event, which this year was held in Adelaide. Organised by AgriFuture Australia, evokeAG. is a festival for farmers, researchers, innovators, investors and students who are keen on pioneering in agriculture.
Attending the event was an excellent opportunity for Sibjan to improve his professional network.
‘I attended different plenary sessions, visited booths of Agtech Solutions and reached out to expert participants,’ he says. ‘Since then, I am in touch with professionals who work in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and agritech companies. The network I have built through evokeAG. is crucial for my future career.’
At evokeAG Sibjan also met the coordinator of the Crawford Fund Annual Conference, which had the theme of ‘Global Food Security in the Riskier World’. In September, Sibjan was one of a few scholarship recipients selected to attend the Crawford Fund Annual Conference, and foresees opportunities to collaborate with the Crawford Fund to spread Australian innovation practices for the benefit of Nepalese agriculture.
Discussing his time in Australia, Sibjan is proud of his achievements so far within and outside the university. ‘I have completed my one year in Australia and I am absolutely loving this country, its people and my university life. Academically, I had a rewarding semester. I achieved High Distinctions in all four courses,’ he notes. In addition to his studies, Sibjan has been working as a Business Development Officer at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology. He is also working with Dr Steven Crimp at ANU’s Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions to support and learn from his ACIAR project to deliver agro-climatic advisories in Papua New Guinea.
Sibjan found the Professional Development Activity Grant vital to enhancing his professional journey. ‘It complements my regular coursework by giving me exposure to wider professional networks, knowledge and skills,’ he says. Speaking further about the grant opportunity, Sibjan adds, ‘I would like to thank the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology for co-funding to ensure my participation in evokeAG 2023. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the people of Australia and the Australian Government for giving me this lifechanging Australia Awards Scholarship where I could leverage my knowledge, skills and professional development.’