Find out about research in rural practice change from experts presenting at two major Symposiums in Melbourne (2008) and Perth (2009). Addressing questions such as What drives practice change? When is adoption of a new practices likely or unlikely? What can be done to influence the extent of practice change?

The following information has been captured on this page:

  • Melbourne Symposium 14th November, 2008 - video presentations
  • WA Symposium in Perth 8th July, 2009 - list of presenters and topics


Melbourne Symposium 14th November, 2008


Andrew Campbell

Setting the Scene: Introductory Perspectives

David Pannell

Understanding Practice Change by Rural Landholders

Roger Wilkinson

The Many Meanings of Adoption

Frank Vanclay

Understanding extension and practice change over time

Geoff Kaine

Identifying the Potential Adopters of an Agricultural Innovation

Rick Llewellyn

Identifying cogs in the adoption wheel: opportunities to target extension


Graham Marshall

What “community” means for farmer adoption of conservation practices: Some logic and evidence

Neil Barr

Joining the Dots: Climate Change, Supply Chains, Rural Restructuring and Rural Practice Change

Allan Curtis

Property Turnover in Victoria: Trends and Implications for Natural Resource Management

David Pannell

Policy Perspectives on Rural Practice Change


WA Symposium in Perth 8th July, 2009

Understanding Practice Change by Rural Landholders

Understanding the process of practice change by rural landholders is crucial for policy makers, agricultural researchers, extension agents, environmental management bodies, NGOs and consultants.

There is a vast research literature on the subject, but it is often under-utilised in practice. One aim is to provide the key insights from past and current research and make them available in an understandable and useful form. A second aim is for some groups involved in encouraging rural practice change to present their insights based on practical experience. We expect a diverse and highly engaged audience.

This event follows a highly successful symposium on the same topic that we ran in Melbourne on 14 November 2008. That event attracted around 400 delegates, including delegates from the public sector, regional natural resource management bodies, private consultants, media, agricultural input suppliers, universities, CSIRO and students. The symposium in WA will include several speakers from the original event, supplemented by a range of additional experts.


  • Roger Wilkinson (Department of Primary Industries, Victoria) "The many meanings of adoption"
  • Rick Llewellyn (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, South Australia) "Targeting extension effectively"
  • Romy Greiner (River Consulting, Queensland) "Motivations, risk perceptions and adoption of conservation practices by farmers"
  • David Pannell (University of WA) "Overview: Understanding and promoting adoption of new practices by rural landholders" and "Policy aspects of rural practice change"
  • Sally Marsh (University of WA) "Using incentive payments to promote rural practice change"
  • Frank D'Emden (Department of Agriculture and Food WA) "Adoption of conservation tillage"
  • Karen Barroga (University of WA) "Constraints on adoption of complex technologies"
  • Perry Dolling (Department of Agriculture and Food WA) "Constraints to the widespread adoption of lucerne in Western Australia"
  • Peter Sullivan (Avon Catchment Council), Justin Bellanger (South Coast NRM) and Rolan Deutekom (Northern Agricultural Catchments Council) "Regional NRM bodies’ experiences in pursuing farmer practice change"
  • Michael Robertson (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems) "Multiple methods to understand practice change"
  • Kevin Goss (Future Farm Industries CRC) Chair and wrap-up session "Key points and implications"