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Curtin University
Note to staff

22 August 2014


Impact of EQUIP

As you would be aware, the EQUIP program has been underway at Curtin for some time, and should be finalised by the end of this year.

This transformation of our administration and support services is one of several initiatives being undertaken at present, the combination of which we believe will strongly position the University for the future.

While the efficiency and savings outcomes of EQUIP are essential, I recognise that the process has been challenging for many of the staff directly affected and also for those implementing the changes.

As I have commented before, I have been very impressed by the level of commitment staff have for the University, and their pride in the fact that, through our teaching, research and engagement, Curtin genuinely makes a difference.

It is particularly impressive that I have observed this during a time of considerable change. Although I realise it has not been easy, everyone has shown huge professionalism and commitment during this difficult time, and I acknowledge and thank you all for this.

Premier’s Science Awards

I am delighted to advise that a Curtin staff member and a PhD student were both winners at last night’s Premier’s Science Awards.

Dr Ryan Loxton, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, won the Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year category with his research that uses mathematical techniques to find ways of controlling real-world robotic, electronic and chemical engineering systems.

Mr Mark Zammit, PhD candidate in the Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, was named the ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year, for his work developing the world’s most accurate model for describing the collisions of atoms and molecules.

The accolades reflect the University’s focus on increasing research activity and intensity, and also provide a very good indication of the quality of research and new talent coming through Curtin.

Curtin also had two other finalists in the Awards: Professor Steven Tingay, Director of the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA), in the Scientist of the Year category and PhD candidate Thomas Russell, also in the ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year category.

This is a wonderful result for Curtin and my congratulations go to Ryan and Mark, as well as to Steven and Thomas.

Emeritus Professor Jeanette Hacket

I am very pleased to advise staff that at its August meeting, the Curtin Council awarded former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jeanette Hacket the title of Emeritus Professor.

As most of you know, Professor Hacket served as Vice-Chancellor from 2006 until her retirement in August 2013, following a 33-year career with the University.

Professor Hacket is an acknowledged expert in the area of international and higher education and she was awarded the title for her distinguished service and commitment to Curtin, in teaching, research, internationalisation, infrastructure development and strategic leadership.

The honour also highlights the sustained contribution Professor Hacket has made to the University, characterised by her integrity, initiative and vision.

My congratulations go to Professor Hacket on the awarding of this title.

Knowledge Commercialisation Australia (KCA) Awards

It is very pleasing to note that Curtin, through its Office of IP Commercialisation, has been shortlisted for two awards in the inaugural KCA Research Commercialisation Awards.

KCA is the peak body for organisations and individuals associated with knowledge commercialisation and exchange between public sector research organisations and business and government entities.

Curtin is a finalist in the Best Creative Engagement Strategy category with the West Tech Fest/OzAPP initiative, a competition to encourage entrepreneurship and technology development in the digital market.

Curtin is also a finalist in the Best Commercial Deal category for the Scanalyse sale. Scanalyse resulted from Curtin research and was commercialised as a product to monitor wear of mine site mills and crushers. The company was sold to international engineering group, Outotec, in 2013.

I wish all involved the very best for the announcement of winners on 18 September.

Science and Technology in Society Young Leaders’ Program

In more good news, Dr Caroline Moffat, from the Department of Environment and Agriculture, is one of five nominees selected by the Australian Research Council to participate in the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Young Leaders’ Program, in October.

This event, which will be held in Kyoto, Japan, aims to identify and involve young, future leaders who are already prominent in their field of science, the humanities, the arts, engineering, industry or policymaking. Each country can nominate up to five STS Young Leaders.

Dr Moffat joined Curtin in 2011 and leads a team within Curtin’s Centre for Crop and Disease Management, researching wheat disease.

My congratulations go to Caroline on this achievement.

Privacy of personal information

I would like to highlight to staff that recent changes to the Commonwealth Privacy Act have implications for the way personal information is handled.

An integral part of the changes is the introduction of the Australian Privacy Principles. These principles describe how personal information should be collected, stored, used and disclosed.

Personal information is defined as information that could, or could reasonably, identify an individual.

Curtin collects and handles a vast amount of personal information. As a matter of good governance, the University and its staff should collect, store, use and disclose personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Types of personal information held at Curtin includes, but is not limited to, names, residential addresses, student and staff ID numbers, student and staff photographs, tax file numbers, email addresses, bank details, signatures and government identifiers.

A breach of privacy can have far-reaching and significant outcomes, such as monetary penalties and damage to the University’s reputation, as well as inconvenience and stress. It is important that all staff understand their obligations in respect to the personal information that they have in their possession or control.

If you have any questions, please contact Curtin Records and Information Management via the website.



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