Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Next open date for applications is 16.01.2018 View Grant Dates

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Case Study: Federation University Australia

ProjectState Wide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams (SWIFFT): visualising Victoria’s biodiversity




This grant was approved under previous grants policy
Rural and regional Victoria Actively involve all rural and regional areas of Victoria and harness the strength of knowledge sharing between scientists and the community
Building organisational capacity Establish an adaptable knowledge management system that will significantly build capacity to share information regarding biodiversity conservation and threatened species
Collaboration and partnership Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, 21 municipalities, 10 Catchment Management Authorities and approximately 20 community groups

Encouraging community participation is pivotal to the success of biodiversity conservation strategies

New knowledge-sharing approaches can engage diverse sectors of society and facilitate opportunities for collaboration and partnership. This project sees the expansion of SWIFFT, the Statewide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams, a freely accessible biodiversity and threatened species network and initiative for community, conservation, education and government. The result will be an interoperable knowledge management portal which will feed into a broader information system, Visualising Victoria's Biodiversity.

Image Lead researcher Dr Birgita Hansen radio tracking birds for the Latham’s Snipe project which features on the SWIFFT and VVB websites. Photo: Richard Chamberlain

This powerful collaboration between educational, scientific, farming, conservation, indigenous, private and public sectors will create a valued biodiversity resource. SWIFFT is a project of the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI), a global leader in web-based spatial information systems at Federation University Australia.

  • SWIFFT takes a whole-of-Victoria focus to source, collate and make available threatened species information through its website and video conferences.
  • The key goal is to engage with other biodiversity stakeholders from across the community to share knowledge and enhance biodiversity planning.
  • A new website will be designed to complement existing CeRDI portals.
  • Geospatial biodiversity information will be made freely available on the Visualising Victoria’s Biodiversity portal, allowing users to query all data simultaneously using an interactive mapping tool.
  • Information will be drawn from DELWP, Atlas of Living Australia, BirdLife Australia and the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas.
  • The website will also be designed to display and link to other relevant resources that cannot be spatially represented.



“The combination of knowledge sharing networks, citizen science and technology is a powerful mechanism for generating information to support education, planning, decision making and on-ground action for biodiversity conservation.” Assoc Prof Helen Thompson, Director, CeRDI, FedUni.