Education and Training

A key part of APRIL’s Strategic Plan is education and training, to assist with human capacity building for the Australasian pork industry. APRIL will continue to support postgraduate and undergraduate activities as well as the Industry Placement Program.

When education-related funding opportunities are available, details will be available on our Education and Training Opportunities page.

All applications for education and training support through APRIL are assessed by the Education Advisory Committee. This comprises Professor Frank Dunshea (Chair; The University of Melbourne), Dr Rebecca Athorn (Australian Pork Limited), Dr Tony Peacock (APRIL Chair), Professor Eugeni Roura (The University of Queensland), Dr Stuart Wilkinson (FeedWorks), and Professor John Pluske (APRIL CEO/Chief Scientist).

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at Westpork

APRIL 2023: APRIL is pleased to announce that Samantha Sterndale has recently commenced an Industry Placement Program with Westpork Pty Ltd., Western Australia.

Samantha graduated with a Bachelor of Animal Science with Honours from Murdoch University, exploring supplementation of pregnant Merino ewes with vitamin E and selenium to improve immune function and welfare, and then worked as a Technical Officer with the WA Department of Agriculture and Food assisting in a variety of pig research projects related to weaner nutrition and grow-finish studies, meat science analysis, and body composition. Samantha then commenced a PhD at Murdoch University researching nutritional and pharmacological ways to reduce stress responses and improve production and welfare in weanling pigs and was later employed as a Research Fellow through Pork Innovation WA and Murdoch University conducting further research work in weaner and grow-finish nutrition and management. In 2022, Samantha commenced employment at Westpork, the largest pork producer in WA, as a technical officer focusing on production data management and different aspects of research and development.

Samantha Sterndale

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee commences at The University of Queensland

June 2022: APRIL is pleased to announce that Dr Maximiliano Müller has commenced an Industry Placement Program with The University of Queensland.

Dr. Maximiliano Müller has recently joined the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation Research Institute at The University of Queensland in the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He has a Bachelor’s degree (with an Honours equivalent) in Veterinary Science from the Universidad de Chile, and a PhD in Pig Nutrition from The University of Queensland. The main aim of his postgraduate studies was to test the effect of proteinogenic amino acids on appetite regulatory mechanisms and ultimately on feed intake and growth in pigs.

Maximiliano is currently participating in two APRIL-funded projects addressing (via nutritional interventions) industry problems related to back fat deposition and maintenance of pork quality in finishing pigs and the impact of heat stress in lactating sows. In addition, Maximiliano is involved in an ARC-Linkage project which aims at developing nutritional strategies (through maternal conditioning) that will boost the appetite and digestive capacity of piglets early in life to reduce the reliance on in-feed antimicrobials.

Via the recently awarded Industry Placement Program, Maximiliano will assist in developing a research program in the field of feed formulation, feed technology and feed analysis where a significant gap of expertise has been identified by the pork industry. Partners in Max’s Industry Placement Program are SunPork, Ridley and AusScan Online (through APRIL).

Dr Maximiliano Müller

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at Apiam Animal Health (Portec Veterinary Services)

May 2022: APRIL is pleased to announce that Dr Nandi Van Wky has recently commenced an Industry Placement Program with Apiam Animal Health, at Portec Veterinary Services, Western Australia.

Nandi graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and also has an Honours degree in Animal Science from the same university. Nandi has worked in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia as a mixed practice veterinarian, before transitioning into pig and poultry practice.

Nandi is currently assisting in service delivery to producers and education of DVM students in intensive industries at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

Dr Nandi Van Wky