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2020 Rhodes Scholar studies sustainable agriculture

Published 30 Oct 2019
2020 Rhodes Scholar studies sustainable agriculture

Helping to achieve global food security is the long-term goal of the newest Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar Oliver Gales, announced yesterday at Government House.

Oliver, 22, is currently studying an honours degree in agricultural science at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA). During his degree, he has received numerous awards, including a New Colombo Plan scholarship to study in Sri Lanka and a Crawford Fund Student Award to work on a community development project addressing malnutrition in Timor-Leste.

The Rhodes Scholarship, which recognises leadership, community service and extra-curricular activities as well as academic attainment, will enable Oliver to study a master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Oxford.

By learning how development can help disadvantaged people worldwide, and combining this with his existing knowledge of agricultural science, Oliver aspires to find ways to meet the food production challenges of a growing world population.

"The Rhodes Scholarship is an amazing platform from which to contribute to food security in developing countries,” he said. 

“Oxford offers a unique international insight and inroads into efforts to improve international development. It is a huge honour and privilege to be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship which has such an amazing legacy."

Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner AC said: "The selection of the Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar was the most difficult in all the years I have been involved. All four finalists are exceptional leaders in diverse fields.”

Another Tasmanian candidate, jeweler Bella Dower, will travel to Canberra as a contender for the Australia-at-large Rhodes Scholarship round in early December. Bella is the 2019 Artist in Residence at the University of Tasmania’s School of Creative Arts and Media. 

The other Rhodes Scholarship finalists were:

  • Nikolai Sakov, a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Economics graduate currently undertaking honours in philosophy, interested in solving complex public policy challenges
  • Charlotte Jones, a Bachelor of Social Science graduate currently undertaking honours in geography, interested in how faith and spirituality are involved in people’s understanding of climate change

Pictured: Oliver Gales, Bella Dower, Charlotte Jones and Nikolai Sakov