Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has appointed the state’s first chief environmental scientist to ensure Victorians are provided with robust, science-based advice and information about their environment.
Dr Andrea Hinwood’s appointment to the inaugural position was announced on 23 May 2017. EPA’s CEO Nial Finegan says the establishment of Victoria’s first chief environmental scientist reflects EPA’s commitment to being a science-based regulator focused on protecting environmental and human health.
An associate professor at Edith Cowan University and a sessional member of the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia, Hinwood will provide advice to EPA’s leadership team and other senior decision makers, including the minister for environment and Victoria’s chief health officer.
“An accomplished environmental scientist with specialist expertise in environmental exposures and human health, Dr Hinwood is ideally placed to support Victorians to interpret complex information to make informed decisions about their environment,” Finegan says.
“Dr Hinwood will strengthen and promote EPA’s authoritative, scientific voice, giving government, industry and community greater confidence in EPA’s scientific expertise and advice and regulatory decisions.”
As Victoria’s inaugural chief environmental scientist, Hinwood will play a key role in responding to emerging and critical issues, providing Victorians with advice and information in emergencies.
Hinwood says she is looking forward to returning to EPA Victoria, having worked with the organisation early in her career in the areas of contaminated land management, chemicals and emergency response.
“The need to provide the community with health advice was a driver in completing my PhD in environmental exposure and continues to inform my community-based research and engagement,” Hinwood says.
“It’s exciting, as Victoria’s first chief environmental scientist, to be working with EPA to deliver on the Victorian Government’s vision of an enhanced environmental public health service for Victorians.
“I look forward to furthering EPA’s good relationships, particularly with the Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria’s chief health officer, to better protect our community from the harmful effects of pollution and waste,” Hinwood says.
As EPA’s science lead, she will also work to deepen EPA’s relationships with universities and research organisations, ensuring that EPA remains at the forefront of emerging science.
“A Victorian, Dr Hinwood joins us following an extensive national and international search that yielded a strong field of candidates; we welcome her warmly and look forward to working together to better protect environmental and public health for Victorians,” Finegan says.
Hinwood starts in the role on 1 May.
Image courtesy of EPA Victoria.