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Curtin University
Note to staff

21 March 2016


Last week, we hosted two important international visitors.  Early in the week, John Stewart (Senior Vice President, CISCO) visited the CISCO Internet of Everything Innovation Centre.  This was followed by a visit from Johannes Heinlein (Vice-President, Strategic Partnerships, edX) on Friday.  It was clear that both John and Johannes were very impressed with what they saw at Curtin and the progress that has been made on these two important initiatives.  Can I thank all of the staff involved in hosting our visitors and showcasing the University – having the opportunity to hear from our committed, passionate and talented staff is what makes such visits so successful.

Can I also congratulate our new John Curtin Distinguished Professors (JCDP) who were formally acknowledged at a dinner last Thursday night.  Also invited to the dinner were our Emeritus Professors and our staff who are Fellows of the Australian Learned Academies.  It was a wonderful way to update and reconnect with our Emeritus Professors – including three former VCs (Emeritus Professors Jeanette Hacket, Lance Twomey and John Maloney) and to acknowledge our new JCDPs.

Congratulations to Professors Lin Fritschi, Hong Hao, Zheng-Xiang Li and and Professor Zongping Shao on their appointments as John Curtin Distinguished Professors and to Professors Igor Bray, Barry Fraser, Julian Gale, Chun-Zu Li, Peter Love, Peter Newman, Kok Lay Teo, Charles Watson and Simon Wilde who had their appointments as JCDPs renewed late last year.  Congratulations also to Colin Binns who is now an Emeritus JCDP.

Humans of Curtin recognition

It is with great pleasure that I advise that the Humans of Curtin campaign won the Marketing Award for Outstanding Contribution to Multiculturalism at the 2016 WA Multicultural Recognition Awards.

Humans of Curtin is a multi-platform project that showcases members of the Curtin community and their personal stories, to promote positive conversations around issues of diversity and inclusion, and highlight the variety of reasons why people choose to pursue higher education.

Congratulations to all those involved in the campaign. I look forward to seeing what is planned for the campaign in 2016. You can read more about this achievement here.


Curtin’s Luke Webster accepting the award from Minister Mike Nahan

University alliance gives more opportunities to staff and students

As part of the Curtin and University of Aberdeen partnership, a strong working alliance has developed between the creative arts departments of the two universities resulting in an academic staff exchange program, planned joint postgraduate opportunities for students and the announcement of a student literary publication.

Aberdeen’s Dr Wayne Price, recently visited Curtin and joined with Dr Rachel Robertson to deliver research seminars for staff and a masterclass for students.  The partnership allows both students and staff to build a range of skills, and the universities are working on a student anthology, titled Edge to Edge: Writing About Place, to be published with the assistance of Curtin’s Professional Writing and Publishing students.

Dr Robertson will visit University of Aberdeen in June where she will meet with PhD students and staff.  Edge to Edge: Writing About Place is expected to be published in November.

Ms Jemma Green recognised

At the recent annual 40under40 Awards, Curtin Research Fellow Jemma Green was recognised as one of 40 outstanding young businesspeople in Western Australia.

Jemma, who is currently completing a PhD at Curtin in solar storage and modular construction, has helped set up retail super fund Future Super, which has a mandate to make environmentally friendly investments. The fund has performed at a rate of return of 6.5 per cent since inception and is on track to have $500 million in assets within four years.

Please join me in congratulating her on this significant achievement.

Curtin alumni recognised in Pharmacy Awards

Curtin alumni received four of the major awards presented at the recent Pharmaceutical Society of Australia WA Excellence Awards:

  • Noel Fosbery was named WA Pharmacist of the Year
  • Teresa Di Franco received the WA Young Pharmacist of the Year award
  • Jeffery Leach received the WA Life Time Achievement Award, and
  • Joseph Foster (a 2015 Curtin graduate) won the WA Intern of the Year award.

The awards recognise the best pharmacists in the State and this success is a testament to the excellence of our School of Pharmacy.  Congratulations to all winners and the staff of the School.

Cultural and religious celebrations

Today is Harmony Day, when we celebrate the cohesive and inclusive nature of Australia and benefits of cultural diversity.  To celebrate, there will be a bush tucker stall from 9.30 to 11.30am at Lower Henderson.  Tastings will include kangaroo pies, kangaroo sausage rolls and vegetarian crepes with bush spices.

A number of other significant cultural and religious events occur at this time of the year.

Nowruz marks the New Year and the beginning of spring across a vast geographical area covering, including Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.  It is celebrated on 21 March every year.  Nowruz promotes the values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families, as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and various communities.

Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, is celebrated on 23 March and celebrates the beginning of spring, good harvests and fertility of the land.  Holi also commemorates key figures in Hindu Mythology.  There will be Holi Festival celebrations at Lower Henderson on Wednesday from 5.00 to 8.00pm, including colour throwing and traditional Indian food, music and dancers.

The Easter festival, which commemorates the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, starts at the end of the week and is one of the most significant dates on the Christian calendar.

I wish those who are observing these days a joyous time, and hope that all staff enjoy a peaceful and restorative break with family and friends.



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