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Curtin University
Note to staff

2 June 2009


2009 John Curtin Medal Nominations

I am pleased to inform you that nominations are now open for this year’s John Curtin Medal. The John Curtin Medal is the University’s highest non-academic award and is presented to outstanding members of the external community who demonstrate John Curtin’s attributes of vision, leadership and community service.  

Candidates must be nominated by a Curtin staff member, so I encourage you to consider nominating someone you believe meets the criteria for this award.  The nomination form can be found at or please contact Julia Nicol, Acting Director of Public Relations and Publications on extension 7711 for further information. Nominations must be received prior to 5pm on Friday 17 July 2009.

ALTC Teaching Fellowship

Congratulations to Professor Beverley Oliver who has been awarded a 2009 ALTC Teaching Fellowship. The Fellowships provide funding of $100,000 for discipline-based or inter-disciplinary activities that promote excellence in teaching and learning.

Professor Oliver’s Fellowship will be focussed on national benchmarking in student achievement of graduate attributes and employability skills, and will include national dissemination of C2010 Course Review tools such as the Needs Analysis, the Curriculum Map and the eVALUate Graduate Survey.

Reconciliation Action Plan – One year on

May 27, 2009 marked the one year anniversary of the launch of Curtin’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and I am pleased to announce that the University has already achieved many of the aims set out in the Plan.

Some of our achievements include appointing an Indigenous person to Council, appointing four Elders as Adjunct Professors to the four Faculty Advisory Boards, exceeding the target for uptake of Indigenous research scholarships, and increasing the University’s Indigenous related research projects from 29 in 2008 to 44 as at April 2009.

The RAP was developed in association with Reconciliation Australia, and sets out steps Curtin will take to continue to develop reconciliation and build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

I am proud of the work undertaken by staff to achieve our targets for 2009 and congratulate all involved.

Curtin’s commitment to sustainability

The launch of Curtin’s Australian Sustainable Development Institute (ASDI) recently was another major milestone in the University’s commitment to sustainable development as one of its strategic priorities.

Curtin will invest significantly into ASDI, matching contributions from government and industry. ASDI combines the resources and strengths of 16 research centres and has a wider breadth of research than any other sustainability institute in Australia. It seeks to provide the best possible scientific and policy advice to government, industry and society to provide broad benefits to the community.

Other milestones in our strategic focus on sustainable development include the launch of the Curtin Sustainable Policy Institute (CUSP) in April last year and the establishment of an Environmental Sustainability Committee to oversee the direction and implementation of the University’s Environmental Management Plan and the adoption of a new Environmental Sustainability Policy.

Also, the Federal Government’s recent announcement of $20.5M toward our new Engineering Pavilion will now enable this project to be brought forward.  The Pavilion will be our first five-star green rating building that will act as a showcase for sustainable design and incorporate photovoltaic solar panels and two wind turbines.

I would like to recognise all the effort that has brought us this far and look forward to future initiatives that continue to strengthen Curtin’s leadership in sustainable development.

$13.7 million upgrade for Chemistry Building

I am pleased to announce that Curtin has received $13.7 million through the Rudd Government’s $500 million Better Universities Renewal Fund (BURF) to replan and refurbish the Chemistry Building, one of our oldest buildings on the Bentley Campus.

Changes to the Chemistry Building will create a modern and integrated suite of research and teaching laboratories and additional facilities for the Health and Life Sciences.  The project will promote a vibrant, multidisciplinary research culture and enhance the teaching research centre.

In addition, the funds from the BURF will be used to expand facilities for the University’s student self learning commons and student amenities and provide much needed additional study, office and general teaching spaces. 

The current areas occupying the Chemistry Building will move into the new $116 million Resources and Chemistry Precinct, due to be completed by the end of July 2009.

PCB Scholarships for Curtin Academics

My congratulations to Dr Zhonghua Sun in the Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, and Dr Caroline Fleay, from the Centre for Human Rights Education, who have been awarded $5,000 professional development scholarships by the Perth Convention Bureau (PCB).

Dr Sun plans to use the scholarship to attend the 9th Asia Oceania Congress of Medical Physics in Thailand in October where he will explore the opportunities for Perth to host the conference in 2011.

Dr Fleay plans to use the scholarship to attend the International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities in Beijing, China later this year where she is presenting a paper and will also explore the potential for Curtin to host the 2011 meeting.