A $1 million research centre focusing on the Murray Darling Basinwill be launched this Friday at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga.
Archaeologists, historians and social scientists will be among the academics that will be collaborating for the first time through theCentre for the Study of the Inland.
John Richards Initiative research centre director Irene Blackberry saiditwould not have a physical presence as such but would correlate across La Trobe campuses in Victoria.
“Its a virtual network, it’s not a physical centre like JRI –but more ofa hub and spokes typeset-up,” she said.
“The idea is trying to have an inter-disciplinary research across La Trobe and trying to build the capacity within La Trobe and beyond to look at all issues.
Associate Professor Blackberry said there were huge benefits from academics crossing paper trails.
“It’s an interdisciplinary approach –not just to do with health, or just water, but those and all of the above.”
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor John Dewar, who will launch the initiativeat the Wodonga campus, said funding had been secured for the next three years.
“The new centre not only represents the university’s ongoing commitment to investing in regional communities, but expands upon its significant reputation for producing centres of research excellence.”
Academics will focus on inland Australia along six research themes.
Professor Dewar said the centre would have a specific focus on the Murray Darling Basin’s ability to adapt to environmental change.
“It encompasses the most important ecological region in Australia and the centre will concentrate La Trobe’s expertise on exploring the changes it has sustained over millennia,” he said.
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