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Curtin University
Note to staff

28 July 2015


Senior Executive changes

Many of you will have now met Professor John Cordery who commenced as Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor earlier this month.  I was very pleased to welcome John to Curtin and I am sure he will make a significant contribution to the University in his new role.

I would like take this opportunity to thank Professor David Wood who has just completed a term as Acting Provost and who will be retiring from Curtin in September.  Prior to his departure we will acknowledge David’s huge contributions to Curtin, most recently as Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, and wish him all the best for the future.  He is working in the position of Senior Executive, Strategic Projects until he leaves the University.

I also thank Professor Simon Leunig who has been acting as Deputy Vice-Chancellor International since David commenced as Acting Provost at the beginning of this year.  I have greatly appreciated Simon’s hard work in the role.  He will continue as Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor International while the search process for the ongoing appointment is in train.

And it is with mixed emotions that I announce Professor Graeme Wright’s intention to leave his role as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Development in mid-2016.   Graeme will formally retire in early 2017 but will be on long service leave during the second half of 2016.  He will be greatly missed at Curtin but is fully deserving of a long and productive retirement.

We will be thanking Graeme formally nearer the time, but I take this opportunity to acknowledge his many contributions to Curtin through his leadership roles in the Department of Spatial Sciences, the previous Faculty of Science and, most recently, as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Development. His achievements have been very significant in this role, as attested to by the University’s recent and very marked improvement in research.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Associate Professor Steve Mickler, Head of the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, who has been Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor Humanities since June this year. The search process for the appointment of an ongoing PVC Humanities will commence shortly.

Curtin research staff wins prestigious fellowship

Dr Yash Boyjoo from the Department of Chemical Engineering has been awarded the prestigious Regional Nord-Pas de Calais Research Fellowship from Lille University in France.  The fellowship, which is offered annually to promising young researchers around the globe, is tenable for a period of two years. During this time, Dr Boyjoo will be working collaboratively with his departmental colleague Dr Jian Liu and Lille’s Professor Jean-François Lamonier on synthesis of novel nanomaterials for applications in catalysis and environmental remediation.

I congratulate Dr Boyjoo and Dr Liu on this success.

Haydn Williams Fellowship Lecture 2015 today

This year’s Haydn Williams Fellowship Lecture will be presented today by Professor Roslyn Boyd, Scientific Director of the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre, an internationally recognised research group at the University of Queensland in the School of Medicine.

Professor Boyd’s topic is “Rehabilitation to optimise neuroplasticity and improve outcomes for children with Cerebral Palsy and their families”.

The lecture will be held 6-8.30pm in the Council Chamber, building 100.  If you would like to attend please RSVP to

Compliance Services team recognised

I am pleased to advise that the Curtin Compliance Services team of Naomi Yellowlees, Andrew Sullivan, Natalie Smith and Dorcas Chia will receive a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the 4th Annual ATEM/Campus Review Best Practice Awards in Tertiary Education Management, in the Higher Education Sector Awards for Excellence in Governance and Policy category.

The award recognises the success of the corporate policy review project, a comprehensive review of corporate policies and procedures within 22 areas of the University.  Through this holistic approach, the number of non-academic policies reduced from 126 to 44.

The review was carried out with a focus on the customer and on agility, and the close and collaborative working relationships developed with policy developers and managers throughout Curtin greatly contributed to the excellent outcome.

Open Day volunteers

I am very much looking forward to Open Day this Sunday.  It is our largest recruitment event and a day when all areas of the University come together with a common purpose.

As Open Day is held on a Sunday, all professional staff members at HEW level 7 or below who volunteer on the day will be offered Time Off In Lieu for the hours they work.

In addition, all Open Day volunteers (staff and students) will be invited to a free ‘thank you breakfast’ on Friday 7 August from 7:30 – 9:00am in the Main Café.   I will be hosting the breakfast and hope to hear of your Open Day experiences then.

I encourage all staff to be part of Open Day.  You can volunteer by emailing Bobbie Simpson at

Students recognised

The annual Heroes of Hope Awards were held recently and Curtin’s Relay for Life committee received four of the 11 awards presented.  The Curtin team was recognised in the categories of ‘Most Improved Event’, ‘Team Growth’ and ‘Community Spirit’, and the ‘Youth Spirit’ award was won by Jamie Kho.

This well deserved recognition is due to the hard work of the committee that is fully focussed on making October’s relay both enjoyable and successful.

Back row (l to r): Sarah Battaglia, Milan Mathew, Laurent Hoareau, Cameron Bryant, Daniel Norrish, Krishan Shah Front row (l to r): Olinda Papalia, Sarah Smith, Charith Samarakoon, Jamie Kho

Back row (l to r): Sarah Battaglia, Milan Mathew, Laurent Hoareau, Cameron Bryant, Daniel Norrish, Krishan Shah
Front row (l to r): Olinda Papalia, Sarah Smith, Charith Samarakoon, Jamie Kho


  1. Kyle Chow July 28, 2015 4:16pm

    Graeme you will be greatly missed. It was my pleasure and privilege working under your leadership when I was with ORD. Very happy for you and your family that you will get to enjoy your retirement soon. Best wishes for the future!

  2. Charles Watson July 28, 2015 5:15pm

    My thanks to Graeme for his outstanding work in advancing Research and Development at Curtin. I wish him well for his retirement. He will be missed!
    Charles Watson
    Health Sciences

  3. Charles Watson July 28, 2015 5:19pm

    I would also like to acknowledge the terrific contribution made by David Wood in senior positions at Curtin. He has accepted a number of important roles in order to assist major transitions at Curtin. His good humour and cheerful optimism have matched his ability to work hard.
    Well done and thanks David.

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