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Curtin University
Note to staff

5 October 2015


Say goodbye to 4pm emails

In October we will be introducing Curtin Weekly, a newsletter that will replace all non-urgent broadcast messages, also known as “the 4pm emails”.

Curtin Weekly will provide information on upcoming events, news and updates in the one location.

Its introduction is a direct response to feedback about the 4pm emails, and your clear desire for a better way to communicate with colleagues across the University.

Over the next few weeks you will receive more information about the process of moving to the new system. It has taken a significant amount of effort to get to this point and I would like to acknowledge and thank all those involved.

We look forward to saying goodbye to 4pm emails and to improving the way we communicate with each other.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016

Curtin has been ranked in the 401-500 band globally and equal 23 in Australia in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THEWUR) 2015-2016. This result is a decline on last year’s performance in which Curtin ranked 397 worldwide and 20 nationally.

This year’s ranking includes substantial changes in methodology, most notably in Citations and the Academic Reputation survey, which has impacted several Australian universities. In addition THEWUR has doubled in size and is now a league table of the top 800 global universities. As a consequence, some institutions have made their debut in the top 400 this year displacing other universities that were previously included in this elite grouping.

Despite the fall in overall rankings, Curtin improved its performance in a number of indicators. Research scores increased across the board with Research Reputation doubling and Research Income and Papers per Academic Staff rising since last year. Curtin’s output of Papers with International Co-authors has also improved.

The Subject Rankings will be released in the coming weeks.

A detailed analysis of Curtin’s results and comparison with benchmark and fast rising universities is being prepared for discussion at the upcoming SET meeting. This briefing paper will be made available on the Office of Strategy and Planning rankings webpage by the end of the week.

Curtin celebrates Green Star-Communities achievement

I recently attend the official presentation of the Green Star-Communities certification for our master plan. Under the master plan, 114 hectares of the University’s Bentley Campus will be transformed through urban regeneration over a 20-year period.

The rating is an important endorsement of the University’s vision to transform its Bentley Campus through urban renewal and sustainable design, and provides Curtin with independent proof that our vision will deliver environmental, economic and social sustainability.

The first stage of the Master Plan is now well underway with Wesfarmers Court Stage 2 under construction. The Main Street Project starts works later this year followed by development of a new bus interchange.

green star award

With Ms Romilly Madew, CEO of Green Building Council of Australia, and Curtin’s Director of Properties, Facilities and Development, Andy Sharp at the presentation

Act, Belong and Commit at Curtin during Mental Health Week (2-10 October)

Mental Health Week is a time to raise awareness of mental illness and reduce stigma, and to reflect on the things that keep us mentally healthy.

Act-Belong-Commit’ – a simple message that being active, having a sense of belonging and a purpose in life all contribute to happiness and good mental health – is the official theme of Mental Health Week in WA. The campaign was developed primarily from Curtin’s research into perceptions of mental health and the behaviours that protect and promote good mental health.

There are a number of activities on at the Bentley campus this week including a mechanical surfboard, giant sing-a-long, paint storm and much more, so get involved! Visit for a full list of events. To find out what is happening on a state-wide level visit

Supporting Telethon with Loud Shirt Day

On Wednesday 14 October, the Bentley campus is hosting Loud Shirt Day, a fundraising event in support of Telethon Speech & Hearing.

Campus activities will include free hearing tests, loud t-shirt making by Library Makerspace and Park’d, the engineering students ‘cone of silence’ and a fabulous, fun Loud Shirt Day Parade around campus with roving performers.

More details will be provided closer to the event. In the meantime, get on board with your co-workers and plan a loud shirt outfit to wear on the day for a gold coin donation.

Funds raised will support Telethon Speech & Hearing to help give the gift of sound and speech to hearing impaired children throughout Australia. To hear a first-hand experience of living with hearing loss, watch this video from our Staff Hearing Ambassador, Martin Smales.


Other points of interest

At the last Senior Leadership Team (SET) meeting, Professor John Cordery (Provost) and Wendy Brophy (Director Business Support Unit) gave a presentation on the Academic Workload Management and Staff Workload Planner review. This review responds to staff feedback on the system and will form the basis for a series of changes that will be made for 2016.

Ian Callahan (VP Corporate Services), Jenny Taylor (Senior HR Business Consultant), Ian Jackson (Director People & Culture), Juris Varpins (Director Organisational Development) and Rita Cheng (Intern) discussed the Work Planning and Performance Review with SET and suggested some simple steps to improve the current process. These include a more flexible approach, a focus on the importance of meaningful conversations, strengthened communications and improved training support for managers and staff.



  1. Marina Ciccarelli October 5, 2015 4:46pm

    Thanks for sharing your story with us Martin, and for being a great ambassador. You are right that many of us do take our hearing for granted and we don’t always consider who might be on the receiving end of what we have to say.

  2. Amanda Lambros October 5, 2015 6:00pm

    Great video Martin…thanks for sharing your story! I think there’s quite a few important messages with what you’ve had to say. Make sure not to take your hearing for granted was the most important…thank you!

  3. Marlene Hare October 7, 2015 7:30am

    Thank you Martin for the video. I find you are an inspiration with your beautiful attitude to get your story out there. You have worked hard and I feel so very proud we have beautiful motivated people like you Martin in our Curtin community making a difference and getting people to sit up and take note that we all could do more.

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