Universities to support Field Station at Point Nepean

Badcoe Hall
Badcoe Hall, to form part of the Point Nepean Research and Education Field Station.

The University of Melbourne and Monash University have agreed to provide additional funding as part of their joint commitment with the Australian Government to establish the Point Nepean Research and Education Field Station, home of the National Centre for Coasts, Environment and Climate.

The Field Station, to be jointly operated by the two universities, is an interdisciplinary science research and education facility encompassing coastal environments, climate change, history and culture, the arts and community engagement.

As joint partners, the two universities have confirmed their intention to financially support the project following the partial funding reversal announcement in the Federal Budget late last year.

The Australian Government has contributed $17m to the project to date, which is $8m short of the original $25m grant. University of Melbourne and Monash University will contribute equally to fill the $8m shortfall.

The Field Station is expected to enhance Victoria’s standing as a hub for climate-related research and education and deliver outcomes of global significance as the Home to the National Centre for Coasts, Environment and Climate.

The Field Station will also make use of Point Nepean’s unique marine and coastal environment, with a focus on both the significant Indigenous history and settler heritage, while researching innovative responses to species invasion and climate change, including work on habitat and ecological restoration.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said the joint investment highlights the Field Station’s significance not only to the universities, but also to the Point Nepean community.

‘This investment signals the universities’ commitment to delivering this world-class, interdisciplinary facility, a place that will become a renowned research and meeting place for local and global communities,’ Professor Maskell said.

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC said the Field Station will strengthen Australia's position as a global research leader in coastal and climate research.

‘The Point Nepean Research and Education Field Station will provide students with practical research and industry-related opportunities. It will be a place where specialists and members of the community can come together to engage with research in a unique and educational environmental setting,’ Professor Gardner said.

The universities are now finalising the designs to progress planning approvals and other regulatory processes, with construction anticipated to start in 2024.