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Curtin University
Note to staff

27 February 2015


5 Green Star rating for Curtin’s Master Plan

Australia’s first 5 Star Green Star–Communities rating by the Green Building Council of Australia has been awarded to Curtin’s Master Plan.

Green Star–Communities is one of the world’s first independent, transparent, national schemes designed to assess and certify the sustainability of large-scale master planned development projects. Curtin’s Master Plan was assessed against best practice benchmarks for governance and innovation, design excellence, environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and liveability.

The rating is an important endorsement of our ambition to transform the Bentley Campus through urban renewal and sustainable design, and to be the first project in Australia to receive the rating is a significant achievement.

Congratulations to the Properties, Facilities and Development team on this fantastic recognition.

University to match staff donations

I am very pleased to advise that the University has agreed to match all staff donations to the Give to Change program to a maximum of $200,000 annually.

This will significantly increase the impact of Give to Change by effectively doubling the amount available to fund scholarships and other initiatives supported by our generous donors. You can see some of the fantastic outcomes already achieved through Give to Change in this video.

The decision to match funding also demonstrates Curtin’s commitment to encouraging philanthropy in our community and promoting a culture of giving.

I would also like to thank all staff who participated in the recent Give to Change Staff Survey. Your input and feedback is greatly appreciated, and will help enhance and improve the reach of this valuable program. Some key findings from the survey included:
• 75 per cent of respondents support at least one charitable organisation
• 63 per cent of these support charities at least five times each year
• only 30 per cent of staff are aware that Curtin is a registered charitable organisation.

To find out more and support Give to Change, please visit the website.  If you have any questions regarding the Give to Change Survey or the gift matching program, please email

Curtin spin off company receives $5 million grant

Curtin University spin-off company Renergi has been awarded a grant of $5.2 million by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to design and construct an innovative pilot scale biofuel demonstration facility.

Renergi is a private company established in 2012 to commercialise renewable energy technologies developed at our Fuels and Energy Technology Institute. The company is currently developing energy-efficient biomass gasification for distributed power generation. The funding will allow the company to diversify into the production of liquid fuels.

This work is led by John Curtin Distinguished Professor Chun-Zhu-Li and the project aims to develop an advanced biofuel technology for the production of economically competitive low emission drop-in liquid biofuels from non-food biomass.

Professor Li and his team are to be commended for securing this significant grant.

Former Prime Minister now patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library

I am very pleased to advise that former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has accepted an invitation to become Patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML). The JCPML Patron has traditionally been a former Labor Prime Minister, and Ms Gillard follows in the footsteps of Paul Keating and Foundation Patron Gough Whitlam.

Education has always been a priority for Ms Gillard and she visited Curtin on several occasions during her time as Education Minister and Prime Minister. We are delighted this relationship will continue.

The JCPML was established in 1998 in recognition of war time Prime Minister John Curtin’s contribution to the nation.

OzAPP Awards

The Curtin-sponsored OzAPP Awards were initiated by the University’s IP Commercialisation Office to identify the best new mobile, web and cloud computing apps.

This year the $5,000 Curtin Make Tomorrow Better Prize was awarded to Dr Peter Bentley for his app High Ferritin, which provides a referral tool for doctors and enables them to receive a real-time outcome on patients who meet evidence-based criteria when donating blood. The Curtin Make Tomorrow Better Prize aims to encourage the development of apps that have the potential to generate positive social outcomes.

For more information, visit the OzAPP Awards website.

DVC Education appointed to expert panel

Congratulations to Professor Jill Downie on being appointed to the Expert Panel advising the Minister for Education and Training through the Office for Learning and Teaching.

The Panel will advise the Minister on priorities for the Promotion of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education program and for commissioned work; the allocation, evaluation and development of grants, fellowships and awards; and other matters relating to higher education learning and teaching.

Honorary Doctorate to Dr Frances Pinter

At a recent graduation ceremony the University recognised Dr Frances Pinter’s lifetime service to the publishing industry, and her extraordinary efforts to broaden access to knowledge, by awarding her an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

As a publisher Dr Pinter has helped to shape disciplines that tackle some of today’s defining social and technological challenges, and as an activist and architect of new publishing she has driven public debate, promoted development, and encouraged the foundations of civil society in some of the world’s most troubled regions.

Her leadership in the use of open access licenses, new technologies and innovative business models will ensure that hard-won advances in knowledge are shared, and made available globally, for others to build on.

  1. Paul Nicholls February 27, 2015 4:30pm

    Wow – great achievement across a wide range of the universities strategic areas. Congratulations to all of those involved. A great way to end the week!

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