EPA Victoria WiR January 2024 Update


Wikipedian in Residence explores legal topics and environmental matters at EPA Victoria.
, Olivia Fougerais.

I’m Olivia Fougerais, a former legal counsel who worked in both France and Japan.

Wikimedian in Residence, Olivia at EPA Victoria

Through my legal and international experience, I realised how little people understood about both legal topics and environmental matters and I have always wondered how I could make a change. I believe we can never be too informed about the environment we live in and this lack of information is causing disconnection with our reality. That’s why I have a keen interest in developing environmental awareness through online platforms and decided to contact Wikimedia Australia and pitched the idea of doing a residency at Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria.

In preparing this project I came up with several goals:

  • I wanted to learn more about the environmental challenges in Victoria,
  • understand how the EPA works to monitor and promote environmental quality,
  • and more importantly, I wanted to contribute to sharing awareness about environmental protection.

I thought having more Australian knowledge about the environment put on Wikipedia would be beneficial and different from the previous GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) residencies that took place in Australia. It was a great opportunity to reach different professionals and potentially inspire new volunteer editors to join the Wiki adventure in the future. As a woman and a legal professional from France, I also thought that my perspective might bring a different approach to the platform.

Belinda from Wikimedia Australia and myself got in touch with Cathy Heycock, Director of Public Affairs at EPA, who was really enthusiastic about the project. We all agreed on the necessity of conveying scientific information simply as there is a real need to reach more people.

Science is like law, it is useful to those who understand it. And I am thrilled to be working on this issue.

On my first day, I was given a quick tour of the headquarters situated in Carlton and started working from a EPA Wikipedia page to expand towards other pages related to the environment.

I quickly realised that so much more information was needed on so many pages.

By adding pictures, new information and references, the page started growing and I added more and more other ideas to create and add to other pages.

EPA Staff have been very kind and made themselves available to help me get in touch with some of their colleagues to get further information to document my research.

I can’t wait to see how much I will have added by the end of the project!

You can see the evolution of my work on the project dashboard.

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