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Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Education News

October DVCA Portfolio Update

By Jill Downie 7 November 2016 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

As we look back at just a few achievements of the past month, I am again reminded of what a highly resourceful and dedicated team we have in the Academic Portfolio.


Firstly, congratulations to Curtin Learning and Teaching’s Director Digital Learning and Design Vanessa Chang and Director Learning Futures David Gibson who have been recognised for their achievements through their promotion to the position of full Professor. This is a huge achievement and I am sure you will join me in personally congratulating them both.


More congratulations are in order with several individuals and teams being recognised for their achievements both in industry-based awards and through nominations for our internal Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

Among them is Associate Professor Nicoleta Maynard from the Faculty of Science and Engineering who has been awarded the 2015 Caltex Teaching Award, in recognition of her work to foster links between academia and industry, develop a community of teaching practice, provide educational leadership, and implement innovations in curricula, assessments and learning resources.

Two staff members received 2016 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Dr Rachel Sheffield was recognised for creating and sustaining interactive, community-focused learning design and spaces to support the development of teachers’ and student teachers’ professional identity in science education. Dr Jonathan Paxman was recognised for approaches to research-integrated teaching, support for student activities, and outreach that builds the confidence, motivation and identities of citizens and engineers of the future.


Nominations for the VCs Excellence Awards for Professional Staff include teams working on the Innovative Schools Consortium, the Academic Integrity Program and a cross departmental team from EESJ, student engagement and marketing for the Humans of Curtin campaign.

Student Services’ Louise Wight and Charles Flodin from EESJ were nominated for the leadership award while the Library’s Amanda Bellenger and Support Services’ Maureen Meredith have received nominations for the service awards. Team service nominations were received for CurtinX, several Student Services teams, and UniPASS. I am very proud of all of you. See more on the VCs Excellence Awards for Professional Staff webpage.

Academic Portfolio Leadership Meeting

The Academic Portfolio Leadership team met on 12 October for an afternoon of strategic discussion, planning and professional development. For the first time, the meeting involved the third tier of management within the Portfolio – down to Manager level, and I think this was a valuable session for all involved.

We spent time talking about strategic initiatives and achievements at the University level, noting great successes within our own Portfolio; we discussed the new Strategic Plan and draft enabling plans and workshopped the start of our Portfolio level plan. We then spent valuable time on our Culture, brainstorming the five great things about working at Curtin, as well as the five things that still need work. Finally, led by Donna Trebilcock from the Support Services Digital Services Student Experience team, we undertook “Introduction to thought leadership through social media”. This was a great, hands-on professional development session which we all thoroughly enjoyed. My huge thanks to Donna for taking this on!

The slide pack from the afternoon is available from your manager. The notes from both the Portfolio Planning and the Culture discussions will also soon be distributed through your managers.

Digital Screens Strategy

Rollout of the Curtin Digital Screens Strategy is soon to begin with networking of the campus digital screens underway. Working closely with CITS-AV, a comprehensive audit of all screen equipment has been completed along with a detailed investigation into stakeholder requirements and content workflow planning. The Digital Screens Strategy is intended to ensure content is easily distributed, relevant and engaging. Look out for ongoing improvements.

2016 Australian University Games

Curtin Stadium hosted the very successful 2016 Australian University Games with our Curtin team of 368 students competing across 29 different sports, against 7000 students Australia-wide, to place ninth out of a field of 41 universities. Curtin Stadium was supported by five Physiotherapy students, seven volunteers and coaches and 10 staff. Congratulations to all involved!  The Digital Services Student Experience team provided photo and video coverage of the Games which was used on social media and will be compiled into a video for use at the upcoming Sports Awards breakfast on 4 November. To find out more visit Australian University Games results for Curtin.

Curtin Stadium student placements

The Stadium is a significant industry supporter of our Exercise Physiology students with 42 practicum and work integrated learning placements provided to students so far this year. Of these, 22 students conducted 140 practicum hours in the Participate Achieve Encourage Develop Succeed (PAEDS) children’s physical activity program during term three and four of the school calendar. Three of these students have also been offered employment. See CurtinLife for more information.

John Curtin Weekend

Another successful John Curtin Weekend has come to an end with four hundred Curtin Volunteers! from Perth and 320 volunteers from Curtin’s Miri, Sarawak and Singapore campuses, completing a community project over six consecutive weeks in one of 40 different regional towns and metropolitan sites. Volunteers assisted communities with events, beautification initiatives, and environmental restoration. John Curtin Weekend has been running since 1999 and is a wonderful opportunity for our student volunteers to give back to the community, display leadership and meet new people.

Connect Four

The Digital Student Experience and START teams worked together to develop a Facebook Live pilot called “Connect Four”. Taking place each Wednesday for the first four weeks of semester 2, a panel of subject matter experts addressed common concerns on topics ranging from enrolment, to financial advice and study skills. This initiative was designed to assist all students, including online students who may not be able to access on-campus support services. Follow-up evaluation and a Facebook Live “best practice” guide was developed as an outcome of the pilot and will be made available to any Curtin teams wishing to trial this method of social media engagement through their own channels. Donna Trebilcock and Amy Cleasby were also invited to speak about the pilot at the recent ANZSSA ISANA conference in Perth, which received a great deal of interest from our other university colleagues.

Mental Health Week 10-15 October 2016

A student health promotion report is being prepared following this year’s Mental Health Week activities to help plan future events. Curtin supported this year’s theme ‘Act-Belong-Commit – Together we can save lives’ with a number of activities to provide information, encourage conversation, and promote help-seeking behaviour and engagement with services available on campus. Digital Services Student Experience team assisted the Mental Health at Curtin Committee establish a Facebook event, hosted by Curtin Current Students. A website hosted information about all on-campus events as well as links to information and services.

Inside Curtin final Episode for 2016

Don’t forgot to check out the final episode of Inside Curtin for 2016 where we meet some of our very talented fashion design students as they work on a truly innovative project, check out all the fun and excitement of Curtin’s Open Day, find out about ideas to bring more Indigenous culture to the University grounds, and see world-leading student-designed fashion up on the catwalk. View the full episode online, or at Westfarmers Court daily at 10am and 1pm.

Subscribe to the Inside Curtin web series for updates on new stories. This week:


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