Environmental Microbiology Unit

The Department of Microbiology has a strong collaborative role in many areas relating to public health testing including microbiological and vitamin analysis of food and water samples. 
The Environmental Microbiology Unit (EMU) is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) to ISO Standard 17025.  Its Corporate Site Number is 2851 and Accreditation Number is 2392.  The laboratory uses Standards Australia methods or validated equivalents; participates in external proficiency programs; employs suitably trained scientists; and has a comprehensive Quality Management system in place.  The scope of the Food and Waters Unit testing can be viewed on the NATA w​ebsite. ​
The EMU comprises two sections
Collection instructions for each sample type can be accessed from the corresponding links above.
Sample Collection
The client is responsible for the collection of any samples and swabs and for their delivery, in a timely manner, to the PathWest Laboratory located at the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre in Nedlands. Samples must be appropriately labelled and transported in insulated “eskies” to the:
Environmental Microbiology Unit
Second Floor, J Block
Hospital Avenue
Nedlands  WA  6009


A map of the QEII site can be found here.  QEII Map.pdf​


Completed and authorised PathWest Request Forms for food samples; swabs; vitamin assays or water samples must be submitted with each batch of samples. Request forms can be downloaded here:

Food Hygiene Request Form
Food Swabs Request Form
Vitamin Request Form
Waters Request Form​

Samples should reach the Food and Waters Unit within 24 hours of collection to comply with Australian Standards for these examinations. Please note that the Food & Waters Unit is open from 08:00 to 17:00 during a normal working day but does not routinely process samples on weekends or Public Holidays. Samples processed after hours will incur a surcharge.

Results (Certificates of Analysis)
Enviromental Microbiology Unit  send results by .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) file format via e-mail. This ensures a fast and secure form of reporting. Please specify a suitable email address on the Request Form if this service is required.
Items Supplied by PathWest
Environmental Microbiology Unit will provide collection containers, swabs, templates, request forms, insulated foam containers (eskies) and ice bricks free of charge. Please contact PathWest Supply Section by facsimile using the form below to order these items.

Note that the client will be responsible for the payment of the transport costs of collection items to its business location and, after collection, to PathWest Environmental Monitoring Unit for testing.
PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA will invoice the client after the completion of testing and on a monthly basis. PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA bank account details for EFT payments are:
  • Bank Name: Commonwealth Bank
  • State: WA
  • BSB Number: 066040
  • Account Number: 13301635

Contact Details
Ms Sandra Sjollema 
Senior Scientist in Charge
Environmental Microbiology Unit
P: (08) 6457 2167
F: (08) 9381 7139
Ms Rebecca Wake
Medical Scientist in Charge
Food and Vitamin Laboratory
P: (08) 6457 2165
F: (08) 9381 7139

Ms Robin Woodward
Medical Scientist in Charge
Waters Laboratory
P: (08) 6457 2583
F: (08) 9381 7139

 Other Related or Useful Links

Page last updated: 14 Aug 2020