DEAKIN University opened its doors yesterday, with prospective students taking the opportunity to have a look around.
About 1500 people were expected at the Warrnambool campus for the open day.
University vice- chancellor Jane den Hollander said the open day was the main way to welcome the community.
“It’s the most regional and most remote campus for Deakin, but it’s just as important,” she said.
Professor den Hollander said arts, education, commerce, psychology and marine science continued to be popular choices for students.
“It’s one of the best marine science courses in the country,” she said. “There are year nines being shown around, mature age and post-graduate students.
Melbourne high school student Kellie Veen and Professor den Hollander inspected the university’s new research boat.
The Luther College student is in year 10 and said she wanted to study marine biology at Deakin. “No other campus has got it,” she said. “It all looks pretty good.”
The boat is part of the $5 million marine and aquaculture science research initiative, which is boosting marine research and teaching in the region.
The vessel will give researchers improved access to coastal environments and is capable of taking incredibly detailed pictures to map the ocean floor. The purpose-built, nine-metre-long boat will be fitted with state-of-the-art sonar and navigational equipment. School of life and environmental sciences senior lecturer Daniel Ierodiaconou described it as a flagship for Warrnambool that had potential for use around Australia. “It will be based in Warrnambool but can be used widely,” he said.
“This technology enables us to penetrate through the water and see what lies beneath. It also has the capacity to measure the biomass in the water column, such as schools of fish in three dimensional space.
“It’s like having a laboratory on a boat.”
Dr Ierodiaconou has called on the local community to suggest suitable names for the boat. The winner will receive a trip on the boat to survey the wreck of the La Bella, which is located just outside the Warrnambool breakwater.