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ABOUT

About the Hub

The SA Drought Hub is one of eight Hubs established across the nation through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Led by the University of Adelaide, the SA Drought Hub comprises the core Hub at Roseworthy in the Mid North and five regional Nodes at Minnipa on Eyre Peninsula, Port Augusta in the Far North, Orroroo in the Upper North, Loxton in the Riverland, and Struan in the South East.

A Stakeholder Advisory Group comprising regional partner organisations and industry leaders is attached to each Node.

The Hub has an Advisory Board to advise the Director on strategic directions and meeting the needs of local agricultural industries. The Advisory Board has an independent chair and includes representation from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), the University of Adelaide, Ag Excellence Alliance, key agriculture commodity representative groups, Local Government Association, Landscape SA and appropriate State Government Agencies.

Download the Hub flyer

Meet the SA Drought Hub team.

SA Drought Hub – Node Co-Design Workshops Report

The South Australian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub conducted a series of regional co-design workshops in August, September, and October 2021, in order to identify each region’s priorities for strengthening their drought preparedness and resilience.

The hybrid in-person and online Node workshops at Wudinna, Port Augusta, Loxton, Orroroo, Roseworthy, Naracoorte, and Coober Pedy attracted 279 participants and generated a total of 991 ideas.

This PDF report provides a comprehensive summary of the activities, objectives, and contributions.

Node Co-Design Workshops Report

Our Partners

The Hub consists of a comprehensive and dynamic network of 59 industry partners, including: grower groups; the three South Australian-based universities; government agencies; Indigenous partners; agribusinesses; research, development and extension partners; and various industry organisations.

The partners are injecting into the Hub $11.47 million of cash and in-kind support – in addition to the initial $8 million of funding over four years from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Watch this video to find out more about the SA Drought Hub

Where are the SA Drought Hub Nodes?

The University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus houses the Hub headquarters, interacting with the University’s Waite and North Terrace campuses. The Roseworthy site is a central meeting point between Nodes and where both the Director and Knowledge Broker are based.

Nodes are located at Minnipa, Port Augusta, Orroroo, Loxton and Struan. The location of the Nodes ensures state-wide coverage of all pastoral, low, medium and high rainfall agricultural production zones.

The Nodes are a shopfront where farmers and community members can connect with drought resilience expertise.

The Nodes are an important part of the extension and adoption strategy of the SA Hub to achieve its vision of increasing adoption of drought preparedness tools, strategies and practices by primary producers.

Node Coordinators are based at each of the Nodes to enable them to be on the ground, working directly with our partners and primary producers to deliver project activities. Our Node Coordinators live in the communities, enabling them to have a greater understanding of the evolving needs of local partners and primary producers.

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The Team

The leadership team is made up of people who are passionate about the future viability and vibrancy of the State’s farmers and regional communities. They will be supporting the Nodes and working with the Hub’s partners to ensure the SA Drought Hub’s activities have enduring impact.

Stephen Lee

Director
Dr Stephen Lee has a wealth of expertise and experience in developing collaborative research and development programs that drive productivity and profitability within the livestock industry, and is eager to extend that experience to agriculture more broadly. Stephen was previously Partnerships Manager for the University of Adelaide’s Davies Livestock Research Centre.

E stephen.lee@adelaide.edu.au
M 0421 570 630

Rhiannon Schilling

Deputy Director
Associate Professor Rhiannon Schilling is the Program Leader of Agronomy at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), a division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), and is an Affiliate Lecturer at The University of Adelaide.

E rhiannon.schilling@sa.gov.au
M 0407 815 199

Tony Randall

Knowledge Broker
Tony Randall has more than 20 years of experience working within agricultural and natural resources management industries in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Tony has worked extensively in the not-for-profit sector as both a project officer and in leadership and management roles.

E tony@agex.org.au
M 0402 245 747

Kylie Piper

Manager
Kylie Piper has worked for more than 15 years in not-for-profit management in science and natural resource management across Australia. She has extensive experience in project management and administering state and federal government grant programs.

E kylie.piper@adelaide.edu.au
M 0410 555 651

Lucy Porter

Regional Soils Coordinator
Lucy Porter will be working with regional soil service providers to develop a plan that identifies regional soil issues, activities and capabilities, barriers to adoption, and opportunities to collaborate to deliver more integrated and targeted soils services to farmers and regional farming communities.

E lucy.porter@adelaide.edu.au
M 0488 551 731

Rachel May

Systems Specialist – Adoption Officer
Rachel May has extensive experience working in agriculture and landcare across Eyre Peninsula and the Murray Darling Region of South Australia. Rachel has worked closely with many landcare and farming groups in project management, research and extension roles.

E rachel@agex.org.au
M 0457 929 998

Penny Schulz

Livestock Technical Specialist Adoption Officer
Dr Penny Schulz is an expert in AgTech adoption, livestock genetics and sustainable farming systems. She has worked as a lecturer and livestock consultant, delivering projects to industry and holding a range of board and advisory roles. Penny also runs a sheep and cattle operation in the Limestone Coast region with her husband Jason.

E penny.schulz@adelaide.edu.au
M 0417 853 094

Hannah Griffiths

Livestock Technical Specialist Adoption Officer
Dr Hannah Griffiths is a registered veterinarian with a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture. Through the Livestock Research Centre at the University of Adelaide, Hannah works on livestock health, wellbeing and productivity, and relationships with management of soils and pastures within a farming system.

E hannah.griffiths@adelaide.edu.au
M 0458 403 390

Sean Miller

Innovation Broker (AgriFutures)

Dr Sean Miller works closely with farmers, farming systems groups, advisors and researchers to harness innovation for drought and climate resilience. Sean was previously a University of Adelaide Research Fellow for the Advanced Livestock Measurement Technologies project (ALMtech), helping Australian meat supply chains adopt objective carcass measurement.

E sean.miller@adelaide.edu.au
M 0407 363 046

Marni Griffiths

SA Drought Hub Officer – Traineeship
Marni Griffiths has a Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management and an Honours degree in Physical Geography from the University of Adelaide. Her Honours research explored the use of diatoms as indicators of water quality and drought. Marni works with researchers to facilitate on-ground activities that increase extension and adoption of research findings.

E marni.griffiths@sa.gov.au
M 0432 214 173

Kaidy Morgan

Regional Intern,
Hart Field-Site Group

Kaidy Morgan has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Adelaide and in 2022 completed her Honours at CSIRO. Having grown up on a family farm on the Eyre Peninsula, Kaidy is passionate about soil care strategies and promoting soil health with a ‘bottom-up’ perspective.

E kaidy@hartfieldsite.org.au
M 0409 390 558

Node Coordinators

Zoe Starkey

Node Team Leader and
Loxton Node Coordinator

Zoe brings expertise in agricultural facilitation and engagement. Previously a Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator with the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, she has extensive networks in the region. Living on a cropping/sheep property with her husband and two sons, Zoe has first-hand experience of managing mixed farming enterprises during dry times.

E zoe.starkey2@sa.gov.au
M 0456 752 953

Fiona Tomney

Minnipa and Port Augusta Nodes

Before joining the Hub full time, Fiona Tomney was a Research Officer with SARDI, focusing on dryland farming systems, especially annual legume pastures. Living on a sheep/wheat property with her husband and two sons, Fiona has first-hand experience of managing drought conditions. She is driven by sharing her knowledge to help others in a practical way.

E fiona.tomney@sa.gov.au
M 0459 857 691

Joanne Ridsdale

Orroroo Node

Joanne Ridsdale has a background working in the arid pastoral environment and is passionate about livestock management and increasing adoption. Having lived and worked on properties in the Upper Mid North and arid lands, she understands the issues faced by the pastoral and farming communities and the impacts of drought.

E joanne.ridsdale@sa.gov.au
M 0447 132 268

Tamara Zerk

Struan Node

Tamara Zerk has an Honours Degree in Agricultural Science specialising in grains research and plant breeding, and has worked in science education. Having lived in a farming community for over 15 years, Tamara is keen to develop networks with our partners, researchers and farmers, and providing opportunities for education, extension and adoption of drought-resilient practices.

E tamara.zerk@sa.gov.au
M 0400 765 043

Rachel May

Roseworthy Node

Rachel May has extensive experience working in agriculture and landcare across Eyre Peninsula and the Murray Darling Region of South Australia. Rachel has worked closely with many landcare and farming groups in project management, research and extension roles.

E rachel@agex.org.au
M 0457 929 998

SA Drought Hub

This program received funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund

About the Future Drought Fund

The $5 billion Future Drought Fund provides secure, continuous funding for drought resilience initiatives. It will help Australian farms and communities prepare for the impacts of drought.

The FDF is part of the government’s Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan, supporting Australian farmers and communities to be sustainable and productive.

Find out more about the Future Drought Fund

About the Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program

The Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program is one of eight programs established through the Future Drought Fund to support Australian farmers and communities to prepare for and become more resilient to the effects of future drought.

Future Drought Fund

Drought Resilience Self Assessment Tool

Climate Services for Agriculture Program

Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program

Drought Resilience Research and Adoption

Networks to Build Drought Resilience

Drought Resilient Leaders

Regional Drought Resilience Planning

The Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program has been allocated funding of $117.3 million to 2023-24.

The objective of this program is to invest into collaborative research, development, extension, adoption and commercialisation (RDEA&C) activities. These activities will help primary producers and rural and regional communities to become more prepared for, and resilient to, future droughts.

The program has the following interconnected elements: innovation hubs, innovation grants, research and adoption investment plan, and a science to practice forum.

Adoption and Innovation Hubs

Eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs in regional Australia.

Hubs will be located in regions within major climatic and agricultural zones across Australia.

Hubs will facilitate transformational change through co-design of RDEA&C activities.

Opportunity for farmers, researchers, local entrepreneurs, Indigenous groups, NRM practitioners, and industry and community groups to work together.

Collaboration will enable user-centred innovation, research and adoption where it is needed.

Innovation Grants

Drought Resilience Innovation Grants are available for research organisations, the private sector, industry, not-for-profit organisations and community groups.

Grants will support development, extension, adoption and commercialisation projects co-designed to deliver targeted solutions to drought resilience priorities.

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or contact us at sadroughthub@adelaide.edu.au