Centre Director: Assoc Prof Helen Thompson
Principal Research Fellow: Assoc Prof Peter Dahlhaus
Senior Research Fellow: Dr Angela Murphy
Research Fellow: Alison Ollerenshaw
Research Fellow: Dr Birgita Hansen
Research Fellow: Dr Marg Camilleri
Research Associate: Robert Milne
Research Associate: Rick Pope
Researcher: Pat Bonney
Researcher: David Ebbs
Research Officer: Jennifer Corbett
Research Officer: Meghan Taylor
Research Officer: Dr Judi Walters
Manager Technical Projects: Andrew MacLeod
Senior Systems Analyst Programmer: Paul Feely
Web Developer: Craig Briody
Senior Programmer: Heath Gillett
Systems Analyst Programmer: Scott Limmer
Web Developer: Sudeera Abeywickrema
Programmer: Peter Plucinski
GIS Analyst: Himalaya Singh
Technical Assistant: Drew Collins
Digital Design Officer: Scott Gullock
Mahinda Jayasooriya - Faculty of Science and Technology
David Ebbs – Faculty of Science and Technology
Chris Bahlo – Faculty of Science and Technology
Himalaya Singh – Faculty of Health
Shirish Sharma - Faculty of Science and Technology
Thomas Hill - Faculty of Science and Technology
Alison Ollerenshaw – Faculty of Health
Patrick Bonney - Faculty of Science & Technology
Helen is responsible for the achievement of all CeRDI organisational objectives in respect of research management, client service, business development and financial management. Helen has extensive experience in the delivery and management of online service initiatives. She is engaged in research into the use of ICT as a mechanism for community development, and involved in a range of activities where her personal and professional skills contribute to the economic and social development of regional and rural Victoria. Before commencing with CeRDI in 1999 Helen was employed as a Business Services Accountant and spent nearly ten years in the banking sector. Helen completed her Doctorate of Business Administration in 2010. Her thesis topic was "Reflections on effective implementation of ICT in regional and rural areas" with two main themes - regional economic and community development and the consequences of government-funded ICT initiatives.
In a career spanning over 35 years, Peter worked in geotechnical consultancy, the Geological Survey of Victoria, and the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, before joining Federation University in 1988. Peter holds a Masters in Engineering Geology and a PhD in Hydrogeology and has a comprehensive knowledge of the geology, geomorphology and hydrogeology of south west Victoria where he has been influential in applying his scientific knowledge to direct policy on salinity and soil health management as an author of catchment action plans and strategies, and municipal planning overlays. Peter is well-known as a science communicator by community groups and as an 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 natural resource management data, information and knowledge is globally available to researchers, government agencies, municipalities and the public.
Angela has had a 30 year career in the community based 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 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 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.
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 in the capacity of project officer across the University and brings to this position experience and understanding in project management and coordination, having collaborated on many local and regional projects. Alison has completed a Masters by Research at the University of Ballarat, and completed a Diploma in Project Management in 2007.
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.
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 has recently joined the CeRDI team to lead (in conjunction with Dr Helen Thompson) the Central Highlands Advocacy Health Alliance (AHA), 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.
Rob has worked in the natural resource management and environmental science fields for over 16 years. Rob worked on a wide range of environmental research and consultancy projects as an environmental scientist for the Centre for Environmental Management (also located within Federation University Australia). 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.
Rick has been associated with Federation University 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 then University of Ballarat. Rick has extensive exertise in Geographic Information Systems and GPS and has worked these technologies since their first appearance in Victoria. Has been the developer of many applications, some being, turn key GIS applications for ESSO Australia, Keep Australia Beautiful and the Woady Yaloak Catchment. Rick has a close working relationship with Local Government, the spatial industry as well as landcare networks in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
Rick in his role in government and as a volunteer has proven skills in engaging stakeholders, collaboration and project management.
phone: 03 5327 9403
Thomas Hill’s research interests are centred on smart farming and social science, having graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2011 with a degree in Animal Science. Thomas then completed a research Honours year at University of Adelaide in 2013. Thomas’ research topics were focused on parasitic infections in Australian livestock, originally working with horses and sheep during his Honours year. In 2014 Thomas moved to working on Atlantic salmon gill parasites in Tasmanian grown salmon. Since then, Thomas decided to follow his personal research interests and he is currently undertaking his PhD research through Federation University Australia and the University of Southern Queensland examining “Unheard farmers: perceptions and pressures of Australian farmers undergoing precision agriculture adoption”. Thomas is currently working closely with farming groups and senior university researchers to advance his research. He hopes to confirm his candidature early in 2017.
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 will involve working with volunteers, environmental groups and government and non-government agencies involved with the 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 Waterwatch and EstuaryWatch 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 will be Dr Angela Murphy and Dr Birgita Hansen while, as the part of the RUN Water Flagship, co-supervision will also be provided by Dr. Claudia Baldwin from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
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 in Water Drainage Infrastructure and Wastewater treatment.
Jennifer joined CeRDI on a part-time basis in early 2009 working on a specific client project, and has since assisted with ICT projects in the Central Highlands and Wimmera Southern Mallee regions. Jennifer completed a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) at the University of Ballarat in 2008 and her Honours in Marketing in 2010. Prior to joining CeRDI Jennifer worked in a federal government office in Ballarat.
Meghan commenced working at CeRDI at the beginning of 2011. At CeRDI, Meghan provides research, quality assurance and administrative support across various projects.
Meghan now works on a part-time basis while completing a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash University which is expected to finish in 2016.
Judi joined the team at CeRDI in 2015, having worked extensively within the field of scientific publishing and editing. She has a PhD from The University of Melbourne where her research focussed on regeneration ecology of eucalypt forests. Judi now works part-time at CeRDI and as a editor for CSIRO Publishing.
phone: 03 5327 9313
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.
He completed his dual 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.
Craig joined CeRDI in 2002. Prior to joining CeRDI, Craig worked in 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.
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 design, programming, implementation and support of various IT systems.
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.
Sudeera joined the CeRDI team as a Web Developer in September 2013. Prior to joining CeRDI, Sudeera worked as the Web Administrator of 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 University of Colombo in 2008.
Himalaya Singh recently joined CeRDI as a GIS Analyst after working as a research assistant at Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP).
He has completed Master’s Degree in Information Technology from University of Southern Queensland and a Masters in Geographic Information Technology from University of Melbourne.
He is currently undertaking a PhD at Federation University that is focused on the application of spatial methods in sports injury epidemiological studies.
Himalaya has specialist skills in spatial analysis and spatial data management.
Chris commenced her PhD at Federation University 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 sessional at Federation University. In 2013 she graduated with a Degree in information technology at the University of Ballarat (now Federation University), being awarded the Ballarat University Medal. This was followed by a research Honours year. In 1995, she completed a Business Degree at CSU and prior to that, an Agricultural Science Diploma. She predominantly worked in information technology and agriculture roles, but also has business experience.
Drew joined CeRDI in January 2013 after doing work experience at the end of 2011 and provides technical assistance across a range of projects. He now works on a part time basis while he completes a Bachelor of Film and Television at Swinburne University.
Scott recently joined CeRDI to work on a part-time basis after completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Graphic Design/Multimedia) at Federation University Australia in 2015. He provides web and print design for various ongoing projects at CeRDI.
Kathy joined CeRDI in January 2013 after 5 years working at FedUni’s Business School. Prior to joining FedUni 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.