The new features mean Victorians can track local beach water quality and, when needed, identify safer alternative swimming sites.
“We have provided a tool that makes it even easier for communities to protect their health by accessing water data about the recreation sites they use,” says Regan East, Program Coordinator – Environmental Condition Reporting, EPA Victoria.
APR Intern as Australia’s leading national-scale postgraduate program, proved instrumental to the project’s success.
“The program is a great way to get an injection of new ideas and approaches into a project within a limited timeframe. APR Intern added value to the project and allowed us to investigate options that would have otherwise been closed to us,” says Regan.
The national, all-sector, all-discipline postgraduate program matched the team to Deakin University PhD student, Indivarie Ubhayaratne. She had the skills and passion they needed.
“Indivarie identified quite a few options for improvements to the site and its products. Her skills in modelling, data visualisation and coding were essential to explore use of new data sources and location-based reporting,” says Regan.
For Indivarie it was the perfect platform to apply her PhD studies to a real-world problem and build skills for the future.
“This placement helped me improve my work readiness, gain communication skills, and expand my professional network. An advantage as I look to engage with industry,” Indivarie says.
On hand to help Indivarie, Professor Yong Xiang guided Indivarie on the technical aspects of the project. A role that ended up benefiting both.
“APR opens avenues for ongoing academic-industry collaboration. I hope to work with EPA in the future,” says Professor Xiang.
With research a continuing priority for EPA, there is sure to be future opportunities.
“We aspire to be a leader in environmental protection. Research and development is a major contributor to achieving this, helping address short term knowledge needs for current work and future priority issues,” says Regan.
*Report Card is a collaboration between EPA, Melbourne Water and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning with support from Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Life Saving Victoria and other partners.