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Curtin University
Note to staff

17 April 2015


ANZAC Day commemorations

ANZAC Day is one of Australia’s most important national commemorations and marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli in 1915.  Curtin will be marking ANZAC Day 2015 in a number of ways.

Staff and students will be able to make poppies to be added to the Together, 100 years apart exhibition at the John Curtin Gallery.  The exhibition features a stunning large-scale photographic mural of Australian soldiers on the Great Pyramid of Khufu in January 1915, and is presented in partnership with the Western Australian Genealogical Society, Inc.

The Flanders poppy has long been associated with the war, as they were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium.  Poppy making will take place at the Gallery from 9 April and in front of building 106 on Sir Charles Court Promenade on 21 and 22 April between 9am and 3pm.

On 24 April Curtin FM’s Peter Waltham will host a special ANZAC broadcast from 9am. This is something Peter does every year, and it is a wonderful tribute to the Australians involved not only in the Great War but in all military engagements.

In addition to these on-campus activities, Curtin academics are contributing to the development of our cultural heritage and our understanding of the impact of war.  Some examples of this work include:

  • the University’s ‘Australia at War and Peace Group’ recently produced a book entitled Lest We Forget: Marginalised Aspects of Australia at War and Peace, which was edited by Associate Professor Bobby Oliver and Dr Sue Summers, and published by Black Swan Press.  Another book, Remembering the Wars: Commemoration in Western Australian Communities by Professors John Stephens and Graham Seal will soon be available from Black Swan Press.  More information about the work of this group of Curtin academics is available online
  • later this month Fremantle Press will publish In Love and War: nursing heroes, by Dr Liz Byrski.  The book explores the contribution of the nurses who worked with pioneering plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe in treating seriously disfigured airmen from the Battle of Britain.
  • Curtin researchers Dr Andrew Hutchison, Dr Andrew Woods and Dr Petra Helmholz are continuing their work on an ambitious project to document, conserve and interpret the World War II shipwreck sites of the HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran for future generations.  This work will be shown at the HIVE as part of a reception in connection with the Gallery exhibition on 23 April.

Rob Riley lecture

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda will present the 2015 Rob Riley Memorial Lecture on Friday 8 May 2015, from 6.15pm.   The lecture is held annually in recognition of indigenous statesman and leader, Rob Riley, whose untimely death in 1996 was mourned throughout Australia.  Rob Riley had a long association with Curtin and the pathway near the Centre for Aboriginal Studies has been named after him.

Mick Gooda has a long experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, having worked in remote, rural and urban environments throughout Australia for over 30 years.  In his role as Commissioner, he builds on his experience to advocate the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, and to promote respect and understanding of these rights among the broader Australian community.

To attend the lecture, please email

Record attendance at postgraduate expo

Congratulations to all those involved in this week’s postgraduate expo.  A record crowd of 570 potential students attended, around 60 per cent more than attended the April event last year.

The University has increased marketing to this segment to stimulate demand and the high level of interest shown in the expo is a sign this strategy working.  Those attending were given the chance to connect with academics and student support staff, and a panel discussion provided information about the advantages of postgraduate study at Curtin. Postgraduate study is a significant investment for students, and these events play a critical role in removing barriers and reassuring them about their decision to pursue a higher degree.

Staff from the Faculties, Student Services, Support Services, Marketing, and Research and Development worked together on this successful event.  I would like to thank and congratulate them all.

Curtin professor honoured

Professor Dale Pinto from the Curtin Law School has been invited to become a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

Fellows are described in the Academy Constitution as “persons of exceptional distinction in the discipline of law who are demonstrably committed to the objects of the Academy”. The Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Hon Robert S French AC, is the Patron of the Australian Academy of Law, which is the fifth learned Academy in Australia.

Professor Pinto joins Professor Paul Fairall, Foundation Dean and Head of the Curtin Law School (who is also a Director of the Academy) and Professors Gabriel Moens and the late Peter Johnston as one of the few WA-based members of this Learned Academy.  Congratulations to Professor Pinto and the Curtin Law School on this achievement.

Vale Di Hopper

It is with much sadness that I note the passing of Associate Professor Diana Hopper, a highly valued member of the Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine communities in Australia.

Di was a long-standing staff member of the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin, and received a 40 year service award in 2014.  Her links with the school started when Physiotherapy was part of WAIT, and the course was in its early developmental stages.  Over the past 40 years, Di contributed to, and led, many major academic developments within the School including the post graduate Clinical Masters program and the Professional Doctorate program.  In more recent years she coordinated both the School’s Honours and the Higher Degree by Research programs.

Di also had state and national committee leadership roles in the Australian Physiotherapy Association Sports Physiotherapy Group, and dedicated 14 years to the Executive of Sports Medicine Australia at state and national levels, on which she was also the first female President.

Those who have interacted with Di over the years will be aware of her colourful and flamboyant character and dress sense.  Di was an excellent physiotherapist, educator, mentor, colleague and friend to many in the Curtin community.

Festival of Ridvan

The Festival of Ridvan begins at sundown on 20 April.  This Baha’i commemoration is of the 12 day period in 1863 when Baha’u’llah declared that he was God’s messenger for this age. Work is suspended on days one, nine and 12 of the festival.  Celebrations include meeting for prayers and celebration feasts. I would like to wish all those celebrating a Happy Ridvan.




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