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September 13 2005 saw the launch of the Victorian part of a national project focusing on science, information technology and mathematics in regional and rural Australia - SiMERR. To demonstrate a way forward to overcome the tyranny of distance felt by rural schools in Australia, the launch involved the linking of a number of sites by video. Schools leading the way with innovative projects in science and mathematics were featured.
The sites in the launch of SiMERR Victoria included The University of New England, Armidale, NSW (the National Centre of the project), the Warrnambool Campus, Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds and Melbourne Campus at Burwood of Deakin University, and Orbost Secondary College.
Professor John Rosenberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of Deakin University, officiated at the launch, attended by the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Professor Shirley Grundy, academics from The University of Melbourne, The Australian Catholic University, La Trobe University, RMIT University and Ballarat University, as well as teachers and students from the above mentioned schools. Greg McNamara (Orbost), Peter Durance (Stawell), Lindy Judd, Vinny and Claire (Ocean Grove) presented snapshots of excellence in Science and ICT education.