WA Symposium



Understanding Practice Change by Rural Landholders

8 July 2009, 8:30am – 5:00pm
University Club, Hackett Drive, University of Western Australia


Understanding the process of practice change by rural landholders is crucial for policy makers, agricultural researchers, extension agents, environmental management bodies, NGOs and consultants.

There is a vast research literature on the subject, but it is often under-utilised in practice. One aim is to provide the key insights from past and current research and make them available in an understandable and useful form. A second aim is for some groups involved in encouraging rural practice change to present their insights based on practical experience. We expect a diverse and highly engaged audience.

This event follows a highly successful symposium on the same topic that we ran in Melbourne on 14 November 2008. That event attracted around 400 delegates, including delegates from the public sector, regional natural resource management bodies, private consultants, media, agricultural input suppliers, universities, CSIRO and students. The symposium in WA will include several speakers from the original event, supplemented by a range of additional experts.


  • Roger Wilkinson (Department of Primary Industries, Victoria) "The many meanings of adoption"
  • Rick Llewellyn (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, South Australia) "Targeting extension effectively"
  • Romy Greiner (River Consulting, Queensland) "Motivations, risk perceptions and adoption of conservation practices by farmers"
  • David Pannell (University of WA) "Overview: Understanding and promoting adoption of new practices by rural landholders" and "Policy aspects of rural practice change"
  • Sally Marsh (University of WA) "Using incentive payments to promote rural practice change"
  • Frank D'Emden (Department of Agriculture and Food WA) "Adoption of conservation tillage"
  • Karen Barroga (University of WA) "Constraints on adoption of complex technologies"
  • Perry Dolling (Department of Agriculture and Food WA) "Constraints to the widespread adoption of lucerne in Western Australia"
  • Peter Sullivan (Avon Catchment Council), Justin Bellanger (South Coast NRM) and Rolan Deutekom (Northern Agricultural Catchments Council) "Regional NRM bodies’ experiences in pursuing farmer practice change"
  • Michael Robertson (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems) "Multiple methods to understand practice change"
  • Kevin Goss (Future Farm Industries CRC) Chair and wrap-up session "Key points and implications"

Detailed program available here (270K pdf file)






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