Sir Winston Churchill famously referred to gardening as the ‘natural occupation of man’ with Fellowships to be offered in his name to encourage innovation within Australia’s horticulture industry.

Under an ongoing partnership with Hort Innovation, three Churchill Fellowships will be offered again this year that will provide recipients with the opportunity to travel the world to access knowledge not readily available in Australia, harnessing it and growing the nation’s collective knowledge by sharing it.

Some of Australia’s foremost horticulturalists are Churchill Fellows including long-time Gardening Australia host Peter Cundall, citrus grower and expert Ian Tolley and rose petal industry pioneer Sarah Sammon to name a few.

“As an industry, horticulture represents an important contributor to our nation’s economy, and the Trust is excited to see how these Fellowships can have a positive impact in Australia,” Churchill Trust CEO Mr Adam Davey said.

“There are only two prerequisites for a Churchill Fellowship – the first is creating a research project that will provide benefit to the Australian community.

“The second is disseminating all of the skills, insights and knowledge gathered from world experts on the Fellowship when returning home.”

Belinda Hazell from Tasmania was the proud recipient of the Hort Innovation Churchill Fellowship in 2018 and will travel to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands this year to investigate the use of horticultural quality assurance standards to stay ahead of social license demands.

Mr Davey said that the Churchill Trust is looking for Australians just like Belinda, with even just a seed of an idea, to apply for these Fellowships that are designed to drive innovation and transformation in the horticulture industry.

Hort Innovation is one of the nation’s 15 Rural Research and Development Corporations, focused on supporting primary producers and growing the future productivity and profitability of Australia’s fruit, vegetable, nut, plant and tree industries.

A recent study commissioned by Hort Innovation and conducted by the University of Queensland suggested the Australian horticulture industry outperforms the average Australian business in the innovation field – with almost 80 per cent of horticultural producers reporting some form of innovation, whether it was new to the farm or new to the industry.

Apply now for a 2019 Churchill Fellowship, applications close 30 April 2019. To find out more visit www.churchillfellowships.com.au