The Donald Oration and Medal
In April 1980, at the inaugural Conference of the Society held at Garton, Queensland, Professor C.M. Donald gave an address reviewing his concepts of the ideotype.
In 1984, the Society instituted the C.M. Donald Medal and this was presented for the first time at the Hobart Meeting, when Professor F.C. Crofts gave the oration entitled 'Thirty years of pasture research which changed Australia'. It was also awarded retrospectively to P.G. Ozanne who gave an address at the 1982 meeting in Wagga, New South Wales on 'Plant nutrition in Australia - past, present and future'.
In 1987 it was awarded to R.J. French who addressed the conference on 'Future productivity on our farmlands'.
At the 1989 conference, held in 1990, the medal was awarded to Dr R.C. Rossiter who addressed the conference on 'Evaluation of genotypes of subterranean clover (T. Subterraneum L.)'
The 1982-87 medals were cast in Melbourne and fabricated in silver. The 1989 medal (and the next four) were made by Sheridans in Perth and are gold-plated.
1992 C.M. Donald Medallist - Graeme Wilson
Professor Graeme Wilson has had a distinguished career in Australian agriculture as a researcher, teacher, university administrator and member of many professional bodies.
He achieved the highest possible academic achievements in agricultural science. He was awarded an open Scholarship, based on his secondary school results, to attend the University of Queensland. At the University, he was awarded First Class Honours, a University Medal, and a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University.
He was appointed Lecturer in Botany at the University of Queensland in 1950, and he was Professor of Agriculture 1972-82 and Professor Emeritus since 1983. Initially, he taught mostly botanical subjects, and more recently crop physiology and horticulture. Perhaps his greatest contribution, however, was in his supervision of post-graduate students, with more than 25 Masters and 25 PhD students. Many of these students have themselves gone on to forge distinguished careers.
Graeme Wilson has achieved a brilliant research record. When he entered University life there were few opportunities for research as Australian universities were largely teaching institutions. Nevertheless, over the years he built-up a world-wide reputation in many areas. His PhD work with Blackman at Oxford produced classical papers on growth analysis which were followed by work on the physiology of leaf expansion with Milthorpe and Ludlow.
He supervised some pioneering work on the physiology of tropical pasture plants in the 1960s. From the mid-1960s, he turned his attention to crops where his greatest contribution has been on the physiology and agronomy of grain sorghum. His major advances in crop research were to show how economic yield was developed through production of dry matter and the partitioning of that dry matter into the economic product, and the ways by which environmental factors influenced these two production processes. He has also made important contributions to research on soybeans, cassava, and wheat.
Graeme Wilson has been a leader in the administration of teaching in agriculture and for the profession of agricultural science. He was Head of the Department of Agriculture, University of Queensland (1973-78), and Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Science (1981-82). He served on a number of University Committees and Boards as an academic and as a representative of agriculture and agricultural science. He is a past-president of the Queensland Branch of the Institute of Agricultural Science and a Fellow of the Institute.
In 1986, after four years of retirement, he undertook to become one of the two Editor-in-Chiefs of Field Crops Research. This Journal has become the leading international journal for research on field crops in the world. Much of its success can be attributed to his hard work, generosity and dedication to quality.
Graeme Wilson is a worthy recipient of the C.M. Donald Medal, because like Colin Donald, he will leave an everlasting impression on Australian agriculture. The high standard of Field Crops Research and the influence of his post-graduate students will continue to enhance agricultural science for many years to come.