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Meet our Team

RESEARCH

Helen Thompson

Centre Director: Assoc Prof Helen Thompson

Helen has led CeRDI's activities since 2002 and is responsible for the achievement of all CeRDI objectives in respect of research, project management, partner projects, business development and financial management. Under Helen's leadership, CeRDI has become one of Federation University Australia's most successful research centres, establishing a reputation for excellence at the regional, national and international level. Helen has university wide leadership for eResearch. She is engaged in research into the use of ICT and is involved in a range of activities which contribute to the economic and social development of regional and rural Victoria.

Call: 03 5327 9418
Email: h.thompson@federation.edu.au

Peter Dahlhaus

Principal Research Fellow: Assoc Prof Peter Dahlhaus

Peter's career spans 40 years in engineering geology, environmental geology and hydrogeology working in private and public sectors, investigating the geology, geomorphology, soils, groundwater and geohazards in south west Victoria. He has been influential in applying his scientific knowledge to direct policy on salinity, soils and catchment management. Peter is well-known as a science communicator by his students and community groups, and as an independent advisor to Catchment Management Authorities, water authorities and municipalities in the region. With his colleagues at CeRDI, Peter's current research focuses on spatial data interoperability and visualisation to ensure that environmental data, information and knowledge are globally and publicly available. He is an active collaborator on the development of international data exchange standards and a participant in national Cooperative Research Centres. Peter's passion is for establishing data democracies.

Call: 03 5341 3994
Email: p.dahlhaus@federation.edu.au

Angela Murphy

Senior Research Fellow: Dr Angela Murphy

Angela has had a 30 year career in the community sector across metropolitan, rural and regional Victoria. She has extensive practice experience in a range of portfolio areas including child protection, the juvenile and adult justice system, disability services and community support. Much of her work has involved working with rural and regional communities; a focus which has fuelled her interest in building research knowledge and evidence that is responsive to the unique elements of rural and regional human services practice.

Angela joined Federation University Australia in 2000 as a lecturer in social welfare and as a researcher working with communities on a variety of education, welfare, capacity building and justice issues. Angela has undertaken graduate work in both criminology and education and completed a PhD on evidence based policy and practice for regional service delivery. Since completion of her doctoral studies she has worked with a range of government and non-government agencies in implementing evidence based policy and practice initiatives.

Angela's current research is focused on community legal services, with a view to the development of evidence based strategies and resources that are best able to enhance equitable outcomes for individuals and groups in the community.

Call: 03 5327 6198
Email: aa.murphy@federation.edu.au

Nathan Robinson

Senior Research Fellow, Soil Science: Dr Nathan Robinson

Nathan joined the CeRDI team in 2017 after working in soil and landscape analysis for the Victorian government for over 18 years. Nathan has led numerous regional land resource projects in Victoria for the Corangamite, Wimmera and Goulburn Broken CMA regions. More recently, Nathan has been a lead researcher in the use of proximal sensors and rapid sensing techniques in the assessment of soil properties and links to crop yield.

Nathan has an Applied Science Degree from the University of Ballarat with Honours in Geology (1999). Nathan completed his PhD at Federation University Australia in 2016 with his research focused around digital soil mapping. Nathan has served in advisory roles to Catchment Management Authorities and is an active member of the Geomorphology Reference Group of Victoria. Recent publication awards include the 2016 Best Research Paper for the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. Nathan is currently focused on the advancement of spatial analysis to better understand the links of soil to agricultural production systems.

Call: 03 5327 8436
Email: n.robinson@federation.edu.au

Birgita Hansen

Research Fellow: Dr Birgita Hansen

Birgita brings to the CeRDI team extensive experience in ecology and environmental management, contributing to improving the management and dissemination of biodiversity knowledge. Her research to date has focused on understanding the ecological response of birds to modification of their habitat, which has included studies into riparian restoration in agricultural landscapes and waterbird monitoring at local and continental scales. Birgita is a long-term member of the volunteer-run Victorian Wader Study Group and an executive committee member of the Australasian Wader Studies Group. She is currently working with private land owners, Landcare groups and Natural Resource Management bodies in northern and south-western Victoria, to improve the science and practice of restoration and land management. Birgita completed her PhD at Monash University in 2009 on conservation genetics of Leadbeater's Possum.

Call: 03 5327 9952
Email: b.hansen@federation.edu.au

Research Fellow: Dr Marg Camilleri

Marg has worked in the community legal sector and the justice system for 25 years. Much of her work in the criminal justice area has focused on access to justice in particular, but not exclusively, for people with disabilities. Marg's PhD, completed in 2010, considered the factors that influence police decision making when considering reports of sexual assault made by adults with cognitive impairments. To this end Marg has worked on a number of state and Australia wide projects. This includes as reference group member for the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission report, 'Beyond doubt: the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime'.

Marg joined the CeRDI team in 2014 to lead (in conjunction with Assoc Prof Helen Thompson) the Central Highlands Health Justice Partnership, which aims to improve legal, health and wellbeing outcomes for disadvantaged young people. The project, funded by the Legal Services Board includes project partners Ballarat Community Health and Central Highlands Community Legal Centre.

Call: 03 5327 6947
Email: m.camilleri@federation.edu.au

Benjamin Wills

Research Fellow: Dr Benjamin Wills

Ben is exploring how increased information capture and sharing in Australian Agri-food chains can lead to more financially and environmentally sustainable business models. Prior to commencing at CeRDI, Ben worked on the ARC funded Pathways to Market industrial transformation hub project at the University of Tasmania, where he used Value Chain Analysis to measure the impact of information systems integration in two high value Australian food chains. As a mixed methods social scientist he uses qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the value creation implications of technology driven practice change for food producers and consumers.

Ben holds a PhD in Management (2014), Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Human Geography (2007) and a Bachelor of Economics (2006) from the University of Tasmania. Ben's PhD research investigated how e-commerce dependent business models within the local/organic food sector are affecting consumer access issues. In addition to academic research, Ben co-founded Tasmania's largest retail food co-operative, Source Community Wholefoods, and has worked as a consultant on a number of local food system development projects in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Call: 03 5327 6759
Email: b.wills@federation.edu.au

Alison Ollerenshaw

Research Fellow: Alison Ollerenshaw

Alison joined the CeRDI team in 2013 to provide research support across a range of CeRDI projects and activities, including a focus on promoting the unique research and activities of CeRDI. Over the last 10 years, Alison has worked as a Project Officer across Federation University Australia. Alison has experience in project management and coordination, having collaborated on many local and regional projects. Alison completed a Masters by Research at the University of Ballarat, and a Diploma in Project Management in 2007.

Call: 03 5327 6201
Email: a.ollerenshaw@federation.edu.au

Robert Milne

Research Associate: Robert Milne

Rob has worked in the natural resource management and environmental science fields since 1997. Rob has worked on a wide range of environmental research and consultancy projects as an Environmental Scientist for Federation University Australia's Centre for Environmental Management. Rob joined CeRDI in 2013 and has worked on a range of knowledge management and spatial applications in the agricultural and natural resource management sectors. Rob completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management at Ballarat University College in 1992 and worked for five years as a partner in the family farming business at Cavendish, Victoria. Rob has extensive experience in working with industry, all levels of government and community organisations on a wide range of natural resource management issues. Rob has developed specialist skills in Geographic Information Systems and data management.

Call: 03 5327 9488
Email: r.milne@federation.edu.au

Bruce Simons

Research Associate: Bruce Simons

Since graduating from ANU in 1980, Bruce has worked as a geophysicist in private industry and the Northern Territory and Victorian geological surveys. While at the Geological Survey of Victoria and, since 2012, at CSIRO, Bruce has been designing information management systems and a part of international and national collaborative research projects into data exchange mechanisms and interoperability.

In addition to the resulting geology (GeoSciML) and groundwater (GroundWaterML) Open Geospatial Consortium data exchange standards, he has applied the methodologies to the mineral resources, soil, marine, gazetteer, water quality, native vegetation, and electricity and water utility domains. In addition to the challenges of harmonising and delivering different data structures (schematic interoperability) and different content (semantic interoperability) these standards help address, there is the additional challenge of seamlessly integrating the different schematic and semantic data management technologies.

Bruce joined CeRDI in 2017 with the aim to help ensure natural resource management data, information and knowledge is globally available to researchers, government agencies, municipalities and the public, while minimising the overheads to data providers.

Call: 03 5327 6596
Email: b.simons@federation.edu.au

Rick Pope

Research Associate: Rick Pope

Rick has been associated with Federation University Australia since 2000 and has been a part-time lecturer during that time. Has been in collaboration with CeRDI since 2015 and has worked with the state government in many roles since 1972. Rick completed a Graduate Diploma in Land Rehabilitation in 1998 at the University of Ballarat. Rick has extensive expertise in Geographic Information Systems and GPS and has worked with these technologies since their first appearance in Victoria. Rick has been the developer of many applications, some being, turn key GIS applications for ESSO Australia, Keep Australia Beautiful and the Woady Yaloak Catchment Group. Rick has a close working relationship with local government, the spatial industry as well as Landcare networks in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. In his role in government and as a volunteer, Rich has proven skills in engaging stakeholders, collaboration and project management.

Call: 03 5327 9403
Email: r.pope@federation.edu.au

Peter Codd

Project Coordinator NRM: Peter Codd

Peter commenced part-time work with CeRDI in 2018, assisting in updating the historical data on the Natural Resource Management Planning Portal for the Corangamite region.

Peter's career spans over 40 years, having worked for the Victorian government and Corangamite Catchment Management Authority in various roles. Peter has worked in many senior management roles during that time and is a respected professional who has extensive networks in the environmental, sustainability, social and natural resource management industries, from grassroots to all levels of government.

Peter has been involved in a number of projects during his career, invited on a number of panels including Melbourne Water's Expert Input Panel on River Health, and managed and co-authored the Corangamite Community Strategy for the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

Peter has worked closely with CeRDI during his career, assisting with the initial establishment of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority Knowledge Base, salinity, groundwater and soils projects. Peter is well known for his community engagement, catchment and resource management knowledge.

Peter has and continues to be heavily involved in community projects, currently Secretary of the Rotary Club of Grovedale Waurn Ponds, board member of the Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network and undertaking a mentoring role with the Victorian Police as part of a partnership with Rotary and Victoria Police.

Peter has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (1987) and a Diploma of Business Management (2009).

Call: 0417 336 815
Email: p.codd@federation.edu.au

David Ebbs

Researcher: David Ebbs

David commenced his PhD with CeRDI in 2015 after more than 25 years working predominantly in the manufacturing sector. A Chemical Engineering degree and MBA equipped him well for engineering and factory management, specialising in productivity improvements. His research is now on alternative water supplies, and investigating a triple bottom line analysis of alternative methods for using stormwater to supplement a city's water supply. David also lectures at Federation University Australia in water drainage infrastructure and wastewater treatment.

Call: 03 5327 9669
Email: d.ebbs@federation.edu.au

Chris Bahlo

Researcher: Chris Bahlo

Chris commenced her PhD at Federation University Australia in early 2016, as part of the RUN Precision Agriculture Flagship, researching data interoperability in Precision Agriculture. She works part-time at CeRDI and as a sessional at Federation University Australia. In 2013 she graduated with a Degree in Information Technology from the University of Ballarat, being awarded the Ballarat University Medal. This was followed by a research Honours year. In 1995, she completed a Business Degree at Charles Sturt University and prior to that, an Agricultural Science Diploma. Chris has worked in information technology and agriculture roles, and also has business experience.

Call: 03 5327 9403
Email: c.bahlo@federation.edu.au

Patrick Bonney

Researcher: Patrick Bonney

Patrick commenced his PhD at CeRDI in 2016 and is also employed part-time in the Centre. Patrick is undertaking research examining citizen science and public policy. Both his studies and his part-time employment involve working with volunteers, environmental groups and government and non-government agencies involved with Citizen Science and Natural Resource Management. For his PhD, Patrick is working closely with the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority to measure and explore the issues and opportunities of the Waterwatch Victoria and EstuaryWatch Victoria programs.

Patrick studied at The University of Melbourne and has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science (Zoology). He has strong industry links and, prior to coming to CeRDI, worked as an aquatic ecologist addressing the impacts of pollution in aquatic environments at the Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification and Management (CAPIM).

The CeRDI supervisory team for Patrick's PhD is Dr Angela Murphy and Dr Birgita Hansen while, as a part of the RUN Water Flagship, co-supervision will also be provided by Dr Claudia Baldwin from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Call: 03 5327 9170
Email: p.bonney@federation.edu.au

Ally Parnaby

Researcher: Ally Parnaby

As a Registered Nurse Ally has over 30 years' experience in the areas of Health Promotion, Family Planning and Reproductive Health, Women's and Adolescent Health. She has worked as an educator in the area of health promotion and reproductive health in a variety of settings including primary and secondary schools, broader community groups and Federation University Australia in the Faculty of Health.

In her most recent management position of Population Health Coordinator at Hepburn Health Service, Ally was responsible for the development and implementation of an evidence based Integrated Health Promotion Plan.

Ally has successfully implemented a broad range of innovative health promotion initiatives which have required extensive project planning and management, design of evaluation tools and reporting of outcomes to the Department of Health.

The development and maintenance of partnerships across a broad range of sectors including local government, educational institutions (spanning pre-school to tertiary), organisations, businesses, groups and individuals has been integral to her role.

Call: 03 5327 9403
Email: a.parnaby@federation.edu.au

Jennifer Corbett

Research Officer: Jennifer Corbett

Jennifer commenced working at CeRDI in 2009 while completing a Bachelor of Management (Honours) at the University of Ballarat. Her honours thesis explored Generation Y consumers' motives for consenting to receive e-marketing communications. She is skilled in a range of eResearch data collection, analysis and reporting tools which she uses to provide support to CeRDI researchers across a range of research projects.

Call: 03 5327 9369
Email: j.corbett@federation.edu.au

Meghan Taylor

Research Officer: Meghan Taylor

Meghan commenced working with CeRDI in 2011 after completing her VCE. Initially working in an Administrative/Project Officer role, she transitioned into a Research Officer role in early 2015. Meghan completed a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)/Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash University, which has given her a broad range of insight into a range of domains. She is particularly passionate about areas of public health, health systems, quality improvement, evidence-based practice and health data.

Through her studies and work experience Meghan has developed skills in qualitative research. Within the CeRDI qualitative research team, she often takes responsibility for writing and submitting ethics applications, performing literature reviews and background research, and sourcing, extracting and analysing government and other health and community datasets.

Under the guidance of Dr Angela Murphy, Meghan has played a key role in a number of health and community related research projects in the Grampians region. Currently, along with CeRDI colleagues, she is leading a collaboration with community, state and local government, health and research organisations, known as the Wimmera Information Portal.

Call: 03 5327 9403
Email: m.taylor@federation.edu.au

Megan Wong

Research Officer: Dr Megan Wong

Megan brings to the CeRDI team a broad range of experience gained across 15 years in the science, environment and education sectors. Megan completed her PhD in 2014 at Monash University which investigated the association of soil biology with vegetation and land use change across the Riverine Plains of Victoria. Her work has taken her from a medical research laboratory to a wide range of agricultural and natural landscapes in Australia where she has monitored, established trials, collated and analysed data for government organisations, community groups and universities. Megan has also worked across education sectors, including teaching environmental subjects at the tertiary level and conducting reviews and evaluations in the adult education sector.

Call: 03 5327 6536
Email: mr.wong@federation.edu.au

Julie Parker

Research Officer: Julie Parker

Julie began working with CeRDI in 2017. She has a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Science in Applied Geography from the University of North Texas. Her graduate research examined household water use and water management strategies of pastoralists in the Monte Desert, Argentina.

Julie's fieldwork in the Mendoza Province, Argentina also led her to explore interests in viniculture and viticulture. Prior to joining CeRDI, she travelled to several viticultural regions to participate in grape harvests, including South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and northern California. She has a strong background in geography and experience conducting research, which she uses to assist CeRDI with the Online Farm Trials project.

Call: 03 5327 9672
Email: je.parker@federation.edu.au

Derek Walters

Research Officer: Derek Walters

Derek completed a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Geology in 2009. Since then he has worked in a variety of fields including hydrogeology with the South Australian Department for Water and Biodiversity, as an exploration and production geologist with Stawell Gold Mine in Victoria, a production geologist with ABM Resources in the Tanami Desert, Northern Territory and most recently as a data analyst with the Department of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning (DEWLP). In 2015 he completed his honours at Federation University Australia, which involved a facies description of the Dennington Member of the Bridgewater Formation at Thunder Point in Warrnambool, Victoria for which he received the Professor Ferdinand Mortiz Krause Medal for excellence in geology.

He is currently working part-time with CeRDI and is involved in updating the Visualising Victoria's Groundwater (VVG) portal across to the new platform.

Call: 03 5327 6125
Email: d.walters@federation.edu.au

Megan Good

Research Officer: Dr Megan Good

Megan is a vegetation ecologist with an interest in landscape scale vegetation change particularly in temperate and semi-arid woodlands and grasslands. She has worked closely with landholders and land managers to identify drivers of vegetation change in agricultural landscapes. In particular, Megan has investigated increases in shrub abundance in western New South Wales and eucalypt regeneration and mortality in the floodplains of the Murray Darling Basin.

Megan earned a PhD from the University of New England in 2013 and Bachelor of Biological Science (Honours) from La Trobe University in 2007. Megan's PhD thesis investigated the population and plant community dynamics of coolibah woodlands in the floodplains of northern New South Wales. She has over 10 years of field based research experience conducting botanical surveys, soil sampling, and tree measurements in a vast array of ecosystems including floodplains, grasslands, coastal scrub, and alpine herb fields. Recently, Megan has been investigating the causes of tree death in south-east South Australia and she has helped create and run the SA Tree Watch website.

Call: 03 5327 6243
Email: m.good@federation.edu.au

TECHNICAL

Andrew MacLeod

Manager Technical Projects: Andrew MacLeod

Andrew has extensive experience in project planning and the implementation of major information technology projects. With a strong understanding of eCommerce, portal technology and strategies, Andrew's technical skills include web development and programming (PHP, XML/XSLT and JavaScript). Andrew has worked on projects that have ranged from database design and implementation to community portals and web pages. He has worked extensively with regional and rural communities to implement effective web-based services. Andrew completed a Bachelor of Computing at the University of Ballarat, followed by an Honours in Applied Science (Information Technology). Andrew has been with CeRDI since 1999 and has been Technical Manager since 2002. Andrew achieved certification as a Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE) during 2006.

Call: 03 5327 9315
Email: a.macleod@federation.edu.au

Paul Feely

Senior Systems Analyst Programmer: Paul Feely

Paul joined CeRDI in 2003 and has over 10 years' experience in both front end and back end development utilising various open source technologies. Recent major projects as a lead developer include Waterwatch Victoria, EstuaryWatch Victoria, Online Farm Trials and Sport and Recreation Spatial. Paul completed his Bachelor of Computing/Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Ballarat in 2001, and completed his Honours in Computing during 2003 while working part-time with CeRDI.

Call: 03 5327 6157
Email: p.feely@federation.edu.au

Scott Limmer

Systems Analyst Programmer: Scott Limmer

Scott joined the CeRDI development team on a part-time basis in January 2008 to assist with the expanding programming and web development activities of the Centre. Scott completed a Bachelor of Information Technology at the University of Ballarat in 2009 and became a full-time member of CeRDI in 2010, introducing new multimedia and web2 technology skills to the team.

Call: 03 5327 6231
Email: s.limmer@federation.edu.au

Heath Gillett

Senior Programmer: Heath Gillett

Heath joined CeRDI in June 2009. After receiving a full-time scholarship, he completed a Bachelor of Computing at the University of Ballarat in 1999. After three years working on application development and support for a multi-national company based in Melbourne, he returned to Ballarat to provide IT support at Telstra. Heath has experience in the design, programming, implementation and support of various IT systems.

Call: 03 5327 9362
Email: h.gillett@federation.edu.au

Julian Laffey

Programmer: Julian Laffey

Julian joined the CeRDI team as a Programmer in 2018. With over 25 years' experience in IT and programming, Julian has developed systems in a variety of environments, including manufacturing, transport, history and community engagement. Julian completed his Bachelor of Information Technology (Software Engineering) with Distinction at Federation University Australia in 2016.

Call: 03 5327 6477
Email: j.laffey@federation.edu.au

Craig Briody

Web Developer: Craig Briody

Craig joined CeRDI in 2002. Prior to joining CeRDI, Craig worked in a Melbourne-based software company gaining valuable practical experience in the ICT sector. Craig specialises in the development and implementation of web-based projects as well as having significant experience in the development and delivery of comprehensive client training programs. Craig completed a Bachelor of Computing at the University of Ballarat in 1999.

Call: 03 5327 9319
Email: c.briody@federation.edu.au

Sudeera Abeywickrema

Web Developer: Sudeera Abeywickrema

Sudeera joined the CeRDI team as a Web Developer in 2013. Prior to joining CeRDI, Sudeera worked as the Web Administrator of the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. During his career he has gathered invaluable skills in web development and implementing web based tools for academic activities. Sudeera completed his Bachelor of IT at the University of Colombo in 2008.

Call: 03 5327 6840
Email: s.abeywickrema@federation.edu.au

Drew Collins

Technical Assistant: Drew Collins

Drew joined CeRDI in 2013 after completing work experience at CeRDI in 2011. Drew provides technical assistance across a range of projects. He completed a Bachelor of Film and Television at Swinburne University and now works at CeRDI on a part-time basis.

Call: 03 5327 6416
Email: drew.collins@federation.edu.au

ADMINISTRATION

Kathy Gamble

Administration Support Officer: Kathy Gamble

Kathy joined CeRDI in 2013 after 5 years working at Federation University Australia's Business School. Prior to joining Federation University Australia, Kathy worked as an Art Teacher and has a Diploma of Fine Art and a Graduate Diploma of Education. Kathy assists the CeRDI team with administrative support across various projects as well as being PA to the Director.

Call: 03 5327 9403
Email: k.gamble@federation.edu.au

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