Dr Elizabeth Woods OAM

UQ has featured throughout my career – my first university, my employer and a partner in agricultural research, training and science investment.

Dr Elizabeth Woods OAM has contributed a lifetime of distinguished service to agriculture and science for The University of Queensland, the State of Queensland, Australia, and the world.

Dr Woods devoted her career to this service, primarily at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Queensland, where she led development initiatives to deliver an innovative, productive and sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector. She rose to the position of Director-General in 2016, having previously served as Deputy Director-General of Agriculture, and as Deputy Director-General, Science in the former Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.

Dr Woods’ career has included contributions of her expertise through a variety of national and international advisory roles, including on committees of the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the Policy Advisory Council of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the CSIRO Board, the Gatton College Council, and the Rural Adjustment Scheme Advisory Council.

Over the last three decades she has also led a number of vital agriculture sector initiatives, including her role as Chair of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, the National Drought Policy Review in 2004, and the International Rice Research Institute headquartered in the Philippines. She was also a Director of the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority and Chair of WorldFish, headquartered in Penang, until June 2017.

Dr Woods has generously provided her expertise and mentorship to the University over much of her career as the Foundation Director of UQ’s Rural Extension Centre, and a Professor of Agribusiness at The University of Queensland from 1997 to 2004.

A champion of diversity and propelling Australian researchers to shine on the international stage, Dr Woods has enjoyed many highlights in her distinguished career, notably including her selection as Queensland’s first female Rhodes Scholar and first female agricultural extension officer.

She was the Queensland Government Champion for the Northern Peninsula Area Indigenous Community on the Cape York Peninsula from 2015 to 2021, and has advocated strongly for greater cultural diversity and representation in the Australian agricultural sector throughout her career.

In recognition of her decades of agricultural research and service to the community, Professor Woods was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for Services to Primary Industries in 1991.

The Governor-General further recognised Dr Woods’ contributions in 2020, when she was appointed for another term as a Commissioner of International Agricultural Research.




Doctor of Science honoris causa
Dr Elizabeth Woods OAM


Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours)