La Trobe University is confident its new cohort of post graduate students will help address the shortage of mental health workers in Central Victoria and future proof the region’s industry and capabilities.
Its Master of the Internet of Things course began at the Bendigo campus in 2020 to future proof the region’s workforce and industries by streamlining their operations.
Technology is already being used in homes to automate fridges to do online shopping and used in listening devices to prompt home appliances with voice commands.
Businesses such as banks and local government are using internet of things technology to deliver services and allow companies to measure their operations by using sensors, processors and applications.
Chippy Mathew is one of La Trobe University’s first internet of things graduates.
She said new technologies could help many central Victorian businesses be more productive.
She said she had been designing automation to improve processes at the Australian Turntable Company in Kangaroo Flat.
“Like if there are a lot of welding machines and everything suddenly stops working and that causes a lot in loss of productivity and loss of money,” Ms Mathew said.
She said sensors could be used to predict when maintenance would be needed before break downs happened.
“If we can get that information through the sensors and it can alert the welders that, okay, now it’s time to stop the machine otherwise it will blow,” she said.
La Trobe University Bendigo Technology Innovation Lab head Simon Egerton said the pandemic had brought a sharp focus to society’s reliance on technology.
“It’s the technology we’re now seeing being adopted into the finance sector, into agriculture, into manufacturing, into health and it’s really playing an important role.”
Mental health boost for region
The recent graduation ceremony also featured the campus’s first cohort of Master of Psychology students who were guided by Bendigo psychologist Cara Tucker.
Dr Tucker, of Thrive Welless and Consulting, said she had turned her clinics into mobile mental health teams to reach people needing treatment in outlying rural areas.
She said psychologists were travelling longer distances to meet clients due to a professional shortage.
Echuca resident Tylah Thomas, 24, completed a double degree in Psychology and Criminology.
She said she had already been working in Bendigo.
She said she was able take her research skills into her workplace in terms of analysing data.
La Trobe University regional and global campuses vice chancellor Richard Speed said Bendigo’s graduates were changing the socio-economic status of central Victorian families.
“Their parents are incredibly proud,” he said.
He said 70 per cent of the 500 students attending ceremonies during the week were the first in their family to graduate from university.
“And so, 70 per cent of those families have never done this before,” he said.
“This transforms families.”
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