In April, Kristen Lovric presented a proposal of her MPhD research to the ACCELL research team. Kristen’s research is focused on understanding the factors that attract and retain agriculturalists to jobs in Australia’s agriculture industry. Continue reading “ACCELL April Meet-up”
Veterinary Practitioners’ Career and Wellbeing
Working within the veterinary industry is not for the feint-hearted. Despite the perception that veterinary professionals get to play with cute puppies and kittens all day, the reality is very different. Veterinarians endure high levels of work stress and their profession has one of the higher rates of suicide—about four times higher than the general population and twice as likely as other health professionals. Put another way, this rate equates to roughly one every 12 weeks (Hamilton, 2016). Despite the pressures of the profession, it can be as rewarding and personally satisfying as any other. My research focused on developing supportive strategies for veterinary practitioners to enhance their work engagement and well-being. Continue reading “Veterinary Practitioners’ Career and Wellbeing”
THE COTTON INDUSTRY – NEXT GENERATION
An innovative industry needs an innovative workforce. With its reputation for advanced technology and continuous innovation, the Australian cotton industry draws on the expertise of a range of workers, including on-farm workers and contractors, agronomists and consultants, and research scientists, to name a few. Yet, there is the very real potential for disruptive new technologies to demand changes to workforce profiles of the industry. This challenge raises the question, what is the expertise—the personal strengths, knowledge, skills—that the future workforce needs to maintain and improve the cotton industry’s strong production outputs in a competitive market?
ACCELL and CRDC postdoctoral research fellow, Dr Nicole McDonald, is researching and developing practical strategies to support the cotton industry to attract and develop the next generation of expert workers. Continue reading “THE COTTON INDUSTRY – NEXT GENERATION”
Vocational Psychology for Agriculture
As the human population continues to grow, the demand for food continues to outstrip the security of its supply. This conundrum is not a problem of any single nation state; it is an international problem—a problem for humanity. Its importance is manifest in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Despite halving the prevalence of extreme hunger since the inception of the MDGs, the rate of improvement is decelerating and more effort is required to maintain the downward trajectory of the prevalence of hunger (United Nations, 2014). Regular access to nutritious food is not just a problem of production and supply, as there are other causes such as conflict and corruption; however, sustainable and equitable production of food is a vital part of the solution. ACCELL has the SDGs within its vision and aims to conduct R&D that is useful and, moreover, vital.
As a branch of applied psychology, vocational psychology has the scientific and professional capability to make a substantive contribution to agriculture. To that end, the three objectives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) succinctly capture the intent of the research agenda for the Vocational Psychology of Agriculture—Farming Food and Fibre (VPA—FFF; McIlveen, 2015; McIlveen & McDonald, 2018) that is advanced by ACCELL:
- the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition;
- the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and,
- the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations (FAO, 2015).
Thus, the VPA—FFF is motivated by an ethical mandate to contribute to the social and emotional well-being of the world’s population. Continue reading “Vocational Psychology for Agriculture”