The Farrer Memorial Medal is awarded annually to perpetuate the memory of William James Farrer, Plant Breeder, and to provide encouragement and inspiration to those engaged in agricultural science.
The medallist is chosen by trustees of the Farrer Memorial Research Scholarship Fund from the ranks of those persons who have rendered distinguished service in agricultural science in Australia in the fields of research, education or administration. The recipient of the medal is invited to deliver an oration on a topical subject of his or her own choice.
Following the death of Farrer in 1906, a committee was formed to raise subscriptions for the establishment of a Memorial Fund, control of which was transferred to a Trust under a set of instructions dated 16 October 1911.
The Farrer Memorial Oration was arranged originally by a local committee at Queanbeyan. The originator of the idea was Mr Frank J. Gallagher MA, who was then Principal of the Queanbeyan Intermediate High School.
The first oration was delivered by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Rt Hon J.A. Lyons MP, on 3 April 1936 (the anniversary of the date of Farrer's birth) at the Star Theatre, Queanbeyan, when a silver medallion was presented to him by the children of the school as a memento of the occasion. This medal has been donated to the Adolph Basser Library, Canberra, where it is on display.
At the request of Mr Gallagher, the trustees assumed responsibility during 1941 for arranging an annual oration and presentation of a medal. The oration is now published in the Trust's Annual Report.
The Farrer Memorial Travelling Scholarships are designed to support overseas travel to include attendance at an international conference at which a paper or poster is being presented.
The Farrer Memorial Trust welcomes donations from those with a commitment to the Australian rural industry to help it fund:
The Trust is required by an Act of Parliament to fund these activities totally from investment income, and not from capital. Escalating costs, however, are making it difficult to keep the awards at an acceptable level and continue the medal presentations.
Cheques in favour of the Farrer Memorial Trust may be sent to the Secretary, Farrer Memorial Trust, GPO Box 5477,Sydney NSW 2001.
For more information about donating to the Farrer Memorial Trust, contact the Secretary .
Dr Alison Bowman, Group Director Plant Systems, Agriculture NSW, Department of Primary Industries, and Secretary, Farrer Memorial Trust.
(02) 9338 6666
Secretary, Farrer Memorial Trust
Annual reports for the Farrer Memorial Trust can be found on the DPI web publication archive.