Research centre to explore life inland

La Trobe University will launch a research centre with a specific focus on environmental change and the Murray Darling Basin later this month.

The Centre for the Study of the Inland (CSI) will draw researchers from across Victoria, including from the University's Albury-Wodonga Campus where Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar will officially launch it on Friday, 22 April.

Professor Dewar said the $1 million centre has been initially funded for three years and will represent exciting new research opportunities for the region.

The centre will bring together archaeologists, historians and social scientists to examine the ways the region has been transformed by millennia of human interaction and environmental change.

"As one of Australia's largest inland regional centres, Albury-Wodonga has been selected as a place of launch for La Trobe University's new Centre for the Studies of the Inland," Professor Dewar said.

"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."

While the centre will have a broad focus on inland Australia along six research themes, the Murray Darling Basin's ability to adapt to environmental change throughout history will be a key focus.

Previously there had been no integrated, historical study of environmental change in the Basin or the accompanying social and cultural changes impacting on it, Professor Dewar said.

"The Murray Darling Basin 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.

After the centre's launch, a panel discussion called Regional Journalism: The Aftershock, will focus on the impact of recent journalism redundancies in regional Australia on the careers of journalists who have lost their jobs, and on the communities that they have served.

Panel members include La Trobe University's Associate Professor of Journalism Lawrie Zion, Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan A0; Shepparton News editor Di Thomas, North East Media journalist Brad Worrall, and Associate Professor Andrew Dodd from Swinburne. The discussion will be recorded for broadcast of ABC Radio National's Big Ideas program.

Event details

What: Beyond City Limits Forum: Launch of the Centre for the Study of the Inland and Regional Journalism: The Aftershock
When: 11am to 3pm, Friday 22 April 2016
Where: Main Lecture Theatre, Building 6, La Trobe University, West Wodonga
Additional information: Find out more about the Beyond City Limits forum.

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