Matthew Champness

Agriculture Scholar


“I have one simple ambition in life; to live in a world where everyone has access to sustainably produced, safe, nutritious, and affordable food. Unfortunately, this is a long way off, but playing a part in achieving this is certainly a long-term goal of mine. To do this, we must make science-based, rather than emotionally driven decisions.”

Matthew Champness is one of our 2021 BBM Australian Industry Scholars. In 2019 he was awarded a BBM Global Industry Scholarship in agriculture, but when COVID shut down all international travel, we took the opportunity to offer him a chance to pursue professional and personal development here in Australia.

“As a professional working in the agricultural sector, I want to assist farmers in making better on-farm decisions to enhance productivity in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner. More specifically, as an irrigation researcher, I am focused and committed to developing and implementing on-farm irrigation practices to enhance water productivity producing more crop per megalitre of water.”

“As water scarcity and global food demand continue to increase, greater pressure will be placed on water. If mismanagement of water continues, it is inevitable that there will be less drinking water, more civil unrest, and greater famine in many parts of the world.”

We’ve asked scholars like Matt to take every step to become practical, holistic leaders of the future who are aligned to the United National Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), supporting our vision of a sustainable, significant Australia.

“I’ve committed to UN SDG #2 – Zero Hunger. To feed 10 billion people by 2050, we must make radical, transformational changes to the food system. A key component to achieving a food secure world is the elimination of wastage; food, energy, and water.”

“Finding solutions that can be adopted on-farm to increase water productivity will free up more water to be used for drinking and sanitisation. Whilst simultaneously working towards zero hunger, it will also better life on the land and lead to enhanced health and wellbeing.”

“Shifting from a standalone entity mindset to a circular economy mindset will drive efficiency in the use of raw materials and land, therefore improving profitability and reducing negative environmental impact. I want to collaborate with entrepreneurial leaders from within and from outside the agricultural sector, learning about how different sectors can work together to increase efficiencies.”

We look forward to supporting purpose-driven industry leaders like Matthew in their journey towards leading the future.

“I don’t believe in planning a lifetime career. However, I do believe in equipping myself to adapt to the changing nature of the industry. This means continued professional development and networking to put me in good stead for a successful, rewarding career in the industry.”

Leighton Smith Legacy

Leighton Smith Legacy

Matthew’s scholarship journey has been made possible with the generous donation from Rosemary Filewood, wife of the late Leighton Smith, who came to Australia as a young man with the Big Brother Movement youth migration scheme.

BBM Youth Support and the BBM Global Industry Scholarships are built on the foundation of the Big Brother Movement, and our heritage lives on in our agricultural scholarships. Leighton dedicated his life to farming, and through this scholarship his legacy lives on to contribute to a future without hunger through sustainable agriculture.

Leighton Smith

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