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CeRDI Newsletter Winter 2016

Message from the Director

CeRDI Director Helen Thompson  

Associate Professor
Helen Thompson


Welcome to the latest newsletter for CeRDI.

There has again been much activity in the Centre over the last few months. Highlights were the launch and completion of some important projects including the South West Climate Change Portal, and the Great South Coast Digital Strategy, both of which have been very positively received.



Online Farm Trials and Online Final Reports

Online Farm Trials LogoOnline Farm Trials (OFT; research led by CeRDI and supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has recently received additional funding which brings total research investment to around $2m over four years.



South West Climate Change Portal

South West Climate Change Portal Website The South West Climate Change Portal has been launched offering a host of information and resources – including planning tools, maps and visualisations – to enable planning for the impacts of climate change.

The portal has been designed specifically for natural resource managers, local planners, land managers and other regional organisations who are working closely with local communities to respond to the current and future threats posed by climate change.

The project is the culmination of an extensive body of work by the project partners including the local government authorities in the south west region of Victoria, the Corangamite and Glenelg-Hopkins Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and CeRDI.

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CeRDI 2015 Annual Report

CeRDI Annual Report 2015CeRDI has released its 2015 Annual Report. The report profiles the diverse research undertaken in the Centre and highlights the continued importance being placed on establishing and fostering strong partnerships, through engagement with industry and government.

The Centre's achievements in research and innovation have led to growing research capabilities across core areas including agriculture, natural resource management, heritage and culture, hazards planning and resilience, health and wellbeing and regional development.

CeRDI’s success is further reflected through growth in research funding, research publications, prestigious awards and via an expanding post graduate student cohort.


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Great South Coast Digital Strategy

Great South Coast Digital Strategy FInal ReportCeRDI recently completed the Great South Coast Digital Strategy, which culminated in the presentation of the research findings and final report.

CeRDI together with Lateral Plains were contracted by the Regional Development Australia - Barwon South West Committee to develop the strategy for the Great South Coast Region. The region comprises the local government areas of Colac Otway Shire, Corangamite Shire, Glenelg Shire, Moyne Shire, Southern Grampians Shire and Warrnambool City Council.

CeRDI’s Director, Helen Thompson, and Jennifer Corbett worked closely with George Fong, Director Lateral Plains to prepare the Strategy with the aim of determining the uptake, adaption and engagement of digital technologies and solutions by businesses in the region. Surveys and interviews with key stakeholders were conducted to ascertain levels of digital uptake and to talk with businesses that had already established strong digital initiatives.

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Latham’s Snipe team visit to Hokkaido, Japan

Latham's Snipe Team Visit  

Discussion between three snipe researchers,
Birgita Hansen (left), Tatsuya Ura (middle)
and Yuzo Fujimaki (right)


The Latham’s Snipe project team visited Hokkaido between July 9 and 22, to work with the Wild Bird Society of Japan (WBSJ) on their snipe research. During the visit, the team assisted with snipe capture and exchanged knowledge about snipe ecology and conservation.

CeRDI’s Dr Birgita Hansen presented at a WBSJ-organised community workshop on snipe, along with several other notable snipe experts from Japan. She and the project team participated in a workshop discussion on how to address declines in the species in Japan.


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CeRDI hosts Western Alliance data scoping workshop

Western Alliance Map Western Alliance is an academic health science centre and network established in 2014 as a partnership between academic research institutions and the major health service providers across western Victoria. Federation University Australia joined as a Governing Partner in 2015. Western Alliance’s vision is a healthier regional Australia and its mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of western Victorians through collaborative health and medical research, education and training.

On behalf of Federation University Australia, CeRDI hosted a data scoping workshop for Western Alliance on 18 July. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Renée Otmar, Western Alliance and Dr Joel Epstein, CeRDI. Participants included broad representation from key stakeholders in the region.

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RUN Conference

Run Conference FedUni Delegates  

FedUni delegates at the RUN conference,
Rockhampton: Thomas Hill, Himalaya Singh,
Assoc Prof Helen Thompson, Shirish Sharma,
Prof Leigh Sullivan, Prof David Battersby,
David Ebbs, Adam Hulme and Corrine Duncan.


The Regional Universities Network (RUN) third annual conference was held in Rockhampton, Queensland, from the 21 to 24 June 2016. Attended by over 150 delegates from the six RUN universities, government and business representatives, this was an opportunity for a number of FedUni staff, researchers and HDR students to present their work. This included Professor Caroline Finch (ACRISP), Associate Professor Helen Thompson (CeRDI) and Bonnie Chew (Aboriginal Education Centre) along with HDR students Shirish Sharma (Smart Cities), Thomas Hill (Precision Agriculture), Himalaya Singh and Adam Hulme (Sports Injuries) and David Ebbs (Sustainable Water).


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CeRDI featured in premier spatial publication

CeRDI Featured in Premier Spatial PublicationAn article profiling CeRDI’s spatial research has been published in the latest issue of Position magazine. Position is the only independent publication for surveying, mapping and geo-information in Australian and New Zealand.

The article describes the Centre’s application of spatial mapping in solving complex projects for industry. It highlights some of the Centre’s flagship projects in which the latest innovations in spatial technology have contributed to industry change, raised public interest, led to ongoing industry funding and awards success. This has been recently highlighted by the awarding of an Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award (APSEA) for Environment and Sustainability for the Corangamite Soil Health Knowledge Base project.

Other CeRDI-led research featured in the article included the Colac Otway Shire Mapping Portal, Barwon South West Interoperable Spatial Knowledge Base, Historic Urban Landscape and Visualising Ballarat.


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Technical Updates

Andrew MacLeod, CeRDI’s Manager, Technical Projects, has put together a few short screen capture videos to demonstrate some new mapping functionality. These can be viewed as follows:

Filter and export example   Custom reporting example

Filter and Export demonstration


Add your own WMS layer demonstration

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Staff profile: Robert Milne, CeRDI Research Associate

Robert Mile Profile Photo  

Robert Milne, CeRDI Research


Rob Milne first joined FedUni in 1997 to work with the Centre for Environmental Management (CEM), based in the School of Science (now the Faculty of Science and Technology) following a few years working on the family farm near Cavendish, Victoria.

Rob worked on a wide range of environmental and conservation-based consultancy and research projects with the CEM team including conservation planning, ecosystem condition assessments, environmental impact and risk assessments, flora and fauna surveys, and mapping. GIS and spatial technology became a central part of Rob’s activity with the CEM.

These projects were conducted with a range of stakeholders such as State and Federal Government departments, Parks Victoria, VicRoads, catchment management authorities, local government, private industry, Landcare groups and the community.

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Higher Degrees by Research student: Christiane Bahlo

Christiane Bahlo Profile Photo  

Christiane Bahlo


Interoperable Data Standards in Precision Livestock Farming

Chris commenced her PhD at CeRDI in March 2016. She is investigating the application of international interoperability standards to farm animal welfare and productivity data. Such data is collected from existing and new sensor hardware and currently stored in disparate data collections. The research will focus on ways to federate and visualise this data with related geo-spatial information. It is particularly concerned with rangeland livestock production systems.

Chris has strong ties to agriculture having completed an Agriculture Science Diploma. She has worked on farms for a number of years and now runs a small commercial horse stud. Her interest and competency in IT related fields is also well established, underpinned by a Bachelor Degree with Honours. Her particular areas of interest are databases, data visualisation and web technologies.

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News snippets

Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL) and Visualising Ballarat

Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL) and Visualising Ballarat has been established by CeRDI in collaboration with the City of Ballarat to provide insight into Ballarat’s past, present and sustainable futures. The portals have been designed to assist stakeholders, community members, practitioners and researchers to collaborate and identify community values, landscape values, with information about acceptable levels of change and to provide certainty as to priority development to attract and support.

Learn more about Historic Urban Landscapes and Visualising Ballarat with a link to the following YouTube clip:

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Post graduate student news

New CeRDI postgraduate students: Alison Ollerenshaw commenced her PhD at CeRDI at the start of July. Alison will be conducting research alongside the Western Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence (Western BACE) at Melton. Alison’s supervisors: Dr Angela Murphy (Principal Supervisor; FedUni), Professor Suzanne McLaren (Associate Supervisor; FedUni) and Associate Professor Helen Thompson (Associate Supervisor, FedUni).

FedUni Research Conference. There was a strong presence of CeRDI post-grads at the conference that was held at the Mt Helen Campus during July. CeRDI PhD students David Ebbs, Thomas Hill, Shirish Sharma and Himalaya Singh each delivered oral presentations during the conference. Chris Bahlo presented a poster at the conference.

Congratulations to Thomas Hill who received third prize at the conference for his oral presentation and Chris Bahlo, who was given an honourable mention for her poster presentation.

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About CeRDI

The Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) is a research centre at Federation University Australia focused on:

  • the application of information and communications technology (ICT) and the development of innovative, world class knowledge management systems;
  • significantly advancing the digital literacy and knowledge management capabilities of partner organisations;
  • fostering partnerships for the development and implementation of eResearch with industry, government and academia; and
  • measuring the impact of eResearch and digital innovation through longitudinal research.

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Contact CeRDI

For further details about CeRDI’s diverse portfolio of research please visit our website:
or contact Director, Associate Professor Helen Thompson:

Mailing Address
Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation
Federation University Australia
PO Box 691
Ballarat Vic 3353

Office Location
Suite 15, Greenhill Enterprise Centre
Ballarat Technology Park
University Drive
Mount Helen Vic 3350

Phone: +61 3 5327 9314
Fax: +61 3 5327 9895

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