La Trobe University psychology, internet of things graduates focus on regional Victoria

La Trobe University is confident that its new cohort of postgraduate students will help address the mental health workforce shortage in Central Victoria and future-proof the region’s industry and capabilities.

The Master of the Internet of Things course began in 2020 on the Bendigo campus to future-proof the region’s workforce and industries by streamlining their operations.

Technology is already being used in homes to automate refrigerators to do online shopping and used in listening devices to ask home appliances with voice commands.

Companies such as banks and local governments use internet of things technology to provide services and enable companies to measure their activities using sensors, processors and applications.

Chippy Mathew is one of La Trobe University’s first internet of things graduates.

An Indian lady stands in her university graduate outfit
Master of Internet of Things graduate Chippy Mathew helps a Bendigo company improve its operations.ABC News: Tyrone Dalton

She said new technologies could help many central Victorian businesses be more productive.

She said she designed automation to improve processes at the Australian Turntable Company in Kangaroo Flat.

“Like there are a lot of welding machines and everything suddenly stops working and that causes a lot of productivity loss and money loss,” Ms Mathew said.

She said sensors can be used to predict when maintenance is needed before failures occur.

“If we can get that information through the sensors and it can warn the welders that, okay, now it’s time to stop the machine or it will explode,” she said.

a brown-haired man with glasses smiles at a camera
Simon Egerton heads La Trobe’s Technology Innovation Lab in Bendigo and leads the Master of Internet of Things course.ABC News: Tyrone Dalton

Simon Egerton, head of the La Trobe University Bendigo Technology Innovation Lab, said the pandemic has placed a sharp focus on society’s reliance on technology.

“It’s the technology that we’re seeing now being applied in the financial sector, in agriculture, in manufacturing, in health and it really plays an important role.”

Mental health boost for the region

The recent graduation ceremony also featured the campus’ first cohort of Master of Psychology students, mentored by Bendigo psychologist Cara Tucker.

dr. Tucker, of Thrive Wellless and Consulting, said she changed her clinics in mobile mental health teams to reach people in need of treatment in remote rural areas

She said psychologists traveled longer distances to meet with clients because of a shortage of professionals.

a lady stands in her graduation gown with her diploma and a teddy bear
Tylah Thomas, 24, celebrates earning a double degree in Criminology and Psychology with her best friend Amy Steele and mother Cathy Jensen.ABC News: Tyrone Dalton

Echuca resident Tylah Thomas, 24, completed a double degree in psychology and criminology.

She said she had already worked in Bendigo.

She said she was able to apply her research skills to her workplace in the field of analyzing data.

La Trobe University’s regional and global campuses, Vice Chancellor Richard Speed, said Bendigo’s graduates changed the socioeconomic status of central Victorian families.

A grey-haired man in graduation robes stands in front of a sign that reads la trobe
Richard Speed ​​says this year’s graduates are job-ready and will future-proof Bendigo’s workforce and industrial capabilities.ABC News: Tyrone Dalton

“Their parents are incredibly proud,” he said.

He said 70 percent of the 500 students who attended ceremonies this week were the first in their families to graduate from college.

“And so 70 percent of those families have never done this before,” he said.

“This is transforming families.”

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