Fellowship allows for fishing

17 Dec 2013

 RESEARCHED: Churchill Fellow Craig Copeland of the Wollongbar Agriculture Institute of the Department of Primary Industries has been researching the restoration of fish habitat around the world.
Photography: Patrick Gorbunovs

Article courtesy of Northern Star newspaper (Northern NSW) and also appeared in The Daily Examiner

Applications for a Churchill Fellowship are open for NSW residents.

It is a scheme that lets you design your own research, travel the world, expand your skills and make a contribution to Australia.

The prestigious Churchill Fellowships each year see more than 100 Australians awarded a travel fellowship worth an average of $20,000 each. Australians are being urged to apply for the fellowships that fund accommodation and travel for Australians aged over 18 to go overseas for 6–8 weeks, gather information in their field of work or endeavour, create networks and return to share their findings.

A memorial to Sir Winston Churchill and endorsed as a concept before he died, the fellowships are designed to perpetuate his memory and provide an opportunity for people who, like Churchill, are determined to make a difference.

Lennox Head man Craig Copeland was awarded a Churchill Fellowship this year and it allowed him to travel to the US, Ireland and Britain to look into the motivations for recreational fishers to restore fish habitat.

He said the Churchill Fellowship journey for him was a fantastic one that he was very grateful for.

“I met lots of people, saw many different places that I wouldn’t normally get to see – like beautiful little rivers in Idaho, for example,” Mr Copeland said.

He is very involved in the restoration of fish habitat in Australia and said the issue was pertinent to make sure fisheries were maintained well into the future – ensuring that fish don’t die out in years to come.

“I think part of the problem is people don’t realise what’s been lost,” Mr Copeland said, noting that a century ago rivers were described as “swarming” with fish, unlike they are today.

The co-operation of recreational fishers is very important to make sure that fish have a good habitat to thrive in for the future.

None of this would have been made possible without the Churchill Trust, he added.

To find out more or get an application package, go to churchilltrust.com.au or phone 02 62478333.

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