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 availalbe on our Funding 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), Professor Wayne Hein (The University of Adelaide), Professor Eugeni Roura (The University of Queensland), Dr Tony Peacock (APRIL Chair and CEO, CRC Association), and Professor John Pluske (APRIL CEO/Chief Scientist).

Industry Placement Program

APRIL is pleased to announce a call for applications for its Industry Placement Program (IPP)

The Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL) supports an Industry Placement Program (IPP), similar to that successfully initiated in the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork. The Pork CRC’s IPP placed more than a dozen highly credentialed young people in industry positions where they engaged their academic skills and qualifications, and have added value to their workplaces. As part of an IPP Award, APRIL will provide the successful business applicant with $70,000 over the first two years to help cover salary and other costs associated with training the awardee for three years.

In February 2019, APRIL supported its first IPP awardee.

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at the SunPork Group

August 2020: APRIL is pleased to announce that Lauren Staveley has commenced her Industry Placement Program with the SunPork Group in South Australia.

a young woman dressed in a dark blue coverall holding a piglet on a farm
IPP awardee Lauren Staveley

Lauren began her interactions with the pork industry in her second year of undergraduate Animal Science studies at The University of Adelaide through the Pork CRC student placement program, where she was placed at the McMahons McPiggery in Lameroo. After a brief detour into sheep parasitology (Honours project), Lauren worked as a Technical Officer at The University of Adelaide for Dr Will van Wettere, spending most of her time on sow reproduction and welfare projects. This eventually led to Lauren commencing a PhD focussed on the potential use of a suite of early (pre-weaning) indicators to aid in the selection of replacement gilts, titled Conception to culling – effective management of the gilt to optimise reproduction and longevity. The main aim of her postgraduate studies is to reduce the high replacement rate of sows in Australian breeder herds. Lauren plans to submit her PhD thesis within the next 6 months.

Lauren currently works for the SunPork Group as a production Management Trainee based at a 5,000 sow breeder farm. Lauren has already been exposed to many aspects and production stages of the business; however, Lauren said that the  APRIL Industry Placement Program awardwill allow her to gain more in-depth knowledge of pork production whilst facilitating her involvement in reproduction and welfare experiments. The Industry Placement Program will provide Lauren with the opportunity to question and evaluate current production practices, and she looks forward to developing a greater understanding of pork production and research.

APRIL Industry Placement Program starts at Rivalea

APRIL IPP Jessica Craig, Rivalea, New South Wales

March 2019: Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL) has announced Jess Craig, Rivalea, New South Wales as the first recipient under its Industry Placement Program (IPP).

APRIL’s IPP program is similar to that successfully initiated in Co-operative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork and complements future APRIL student support in education and training. The APRIL IPP program places graduates with employers able to give them hands-on experience, with specialist mentors, on-farm and in production.

APRIL CEO and Chief Scientist, John Pluske said the IPP program created career enhancing opportunities for graduate and post graduate students.

“By partnering high achieving, motivated graduates and post graduates with industry for three years, we’re fast tracking the professional development of talented young people, while enhancing productivity for businesses,” Professor Pluske said.

“After three years, the IPP providers and APRIL expect the IPPs to be more rounded and grounded in their understanding of the pork industry and how they can best impact it due to their on-the-job mentored training.

“It’s a win-win situation for the future of a more robust, sustainable pork industry and APRIL is delighted we’ve been able to partner with Rivalea for our inaugural IPP placement,” he said.

Ms Craig, who has a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience and is studying a Doctor of Philosophy at Murdoch University, is mentored at Rivalea by Rob Smits, Cherie Collins, Rebecca Morrison and David Henman.

She will work on two new APRIL funded projects addressing porcine chronic respiratory disease under field conditions and, with the use of DXA technology, the relationship between energy intake and protein deposition in 60-100 kg pigs.

Additionally, Ms Craig will coordinate and facilitate experiments as principal investigator in a new APL-funded project at Rivalea examining gilt progeny.