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Curtin University
Note to staff

22 February 2016


This morning I had the pleasure of welcoming our new students to the University.  Henderson Court on our Bentley campus looked fantastic and it was wonderful to see so many of our new students at the welcome event.  I was also pleased that students at each of our other campuses had access to the event online as did our Open University Australia students.  Like graduations, O-week is something that we do very well.  Can I thank all the staff involved in making the week so special – I know that it involves a huge amount of work both behind the scenes and during the week.

One of the highlights for me last week was the transfer of Carrolup artefacts from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to our custodianship.  The event coincided with the award of an Honorary Doctorate to Professor Ellen Kraly, who played such a pivotal role in the bringing of the Carrolup artwork home to Noongar country.  Thank you to Chris Malcolm and his team in the John Curtin Gallery who helped make these events so successful.

Transfer of Carrolup artefacts

The John Curtin Gallery is the custodian of 122 artworks created by children of the Stolen Generations at the Carrolup Native Settlement near Katanning in the 1940s and 50s.  Now known as The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork, the pieces were considered lost for many years before being rediscovered at Colgate University in New York and ultimately being transferred to Curtin in 2013.

As custodian of the artworks the University has been able to foster outreach and engagement with the Noongar community in a spirit of reconciliation.  The impact of this work was recognised recently when the Department of Aboriginal Affairs agreed to transfer over 21 Carrolup artworks, letters and photographs in its possession to the University.

The transfer took place at a ceremony at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies on Wednesday morning, attended by a number of people associated with the Carrolup Settlement as well as Minister for Education, Aboriginal Affairs and Electoral Affairs, the Honourable Peter Collier.

Fortuitously, Professor Ellen Kraly of Colgate University was also present at the handover of these important artefacts.  As noted, Professor Kraly was instrumental in making possible the repatriation of the artworks to Western Australia, and has since brought groups of Colgate students to Curtin and WA for a number of years.  Her exceptional service to the Noongar people and Curtin University was recognised on Thursday night with the awarding of an honorary doctorate.

Professor Kraly and Minister Collier with some of the Carrolup artwork

Professor Kraly and Minister Collier with some of the Carrolup artwork

Recognition of past staff

Last week a ceremony was held to recognise the service and achievements of former Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Jeanette Hacket and former Chancellor Dr Jim Gill.

Dr Gill was Chancellor of the University for three years and also served the WA community as a highly recognised engineer, public servant and CEO.   Emeritus Professor Hacket was Vice-Chancellor of Curtin for eight years, the culmination of a career at the University spanning more than 30 years.

The plaques unveiled at the event will now be placed on the curved walls of the John Curtin Centre, joining those which go back to the Directors and Council Chairpersons of the WA Institute of Technology.  It is an impressive lineage and one I am very proud to be part of.

With Dr Gill, Emeritus  Professor Hacket and Chancellor Beckett after the plaque unveiling.

With Dr Gill, Emeritus Professor Hacket and Chancellor Beckett after the plaque unveiling.

International Women’s Day Breakfast: Pledge for Parity – 11 March 2016

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world during March.  This annual event is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and call for greater equality. The global theme for International Women’s Day 2016 is Pledge for Parity, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women but identifies that gender parity has still not been achieved in many places.  To mark this significant day, Curtin will be hosting a special breakfast event.

Speakers at this year’s breakfast will include Maria Cavill, Manager of William Langford Community House (Boogurlarri Community House), and Professor Teri Balser, Dean Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

There are a limited number of places still available.  For more information about the event please visit the Staff News page or email to reserve your seat.

Points of interest

At the Senior Executive Team (SET) meeting last Thursday, the proposal for the Global MSc in Subsea Engineering, presented by Professors Andris Stelbovics (PVC Science and Engineering) and Brian Evans (Faculty Director of Oil & Gas Initiatives), was endorsed and will now go to the Courses Committee for consideration.  It is the first major development to be progressed under Curtin’s partnership with the University of Aberdeen.

Val Raubenheimer (Vice-President Corporate Relations), Ann Paterson (Director, Strategic Communications), Kate Jennings (Director, Marketing and Creative Services) and Angela Bowman (Acting Director, Office of Advancement) presented a strategic proposal for Curtin’s celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2017.  This will be an important milestone for the University and I look forward to discussing our plans for the event with staff over the next few months.



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