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Curtin University
Note to staff

19 November 2015


Esperance tragedy

We have all been shocked by the terrible fires near Esperance this week.  Four people have lost their lives and the homes and livelihoods of many others have also been directly affected.

We learned today that a Curtin graduate and former staff member, Anna Winther, appears to have been among the four who tragically perished in the fires.  Anna was an international student who completed both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master in Human Rights Education at Curtin, and also worked in a number of areas of the University.  She was a strong student, passionate about her studies and changing the world for the better, and very much liked by her classmates and colleagues.

Counselling Services have been in contact with the areas where she worked and studied to offer support and sympathy to all who knew her.

I am also aware that some of our Agribusiness students are from the Esperance region and may need to go home to be with family members, and to help address the impact of the fire on homes and livestock. Where needed, we will arrange flexibility of study arrangements over this period for students affected.

A number of other Curtin staff and students also have direct links with the region and may know those affected, including farmer Kym Curnow who was tragically killed alerting others to the impending danger.

I would like to remind all students and staff of the support available through the Student Wellbeing Advisory Service and Counselling Services.  I would also like to thank our Counselling Services Team for the invaluable support they provide to the University community, especially in times of grief and sadness. I very much appreciate their contribution to the Curtin community.



  1. Andrew Sullivan November 19, 2015 4:33pm

    Anna was a amazing person, with a keen and inquiring mind, a generous nature, and an infectious enthusiasm for all she did. She will be missed.

  2. Raja Sundra Rajoo November 20, 2015 9:45am

    Smart, beautiful and a wonderful individual…. Having met her for one day I could imagine what a loss she is to everyone who has come in contact with her….Anna you will be missed…

    Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart, and bids it break.

    William Shakespeare

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