Skip to content
Curtin University
Note to staff

27 June 2016


Pro Vice-Chancellor, Humanities appointment

I am pleased to advise that Professor Alan Dench, Dean of Graduate Research and Postdoctoral Training and a Professor of Linguistics at The University of Western Australia (UWA), has been appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of Humanities, and will commence at Curtin on 1 August 2016.

Professor Dench has an academic background in linguistics, and his research and area of expertise is focused around Australian Aboriginal languages, with a special emphasis on the languages of the northwest region of Western Australia. He is also a recipient of a 2016 Vincent Fairfax Fellowship in Ethical Leadership.

During his tenure at UWA, Professor Dench worked as the Head of Linguistics, Head of the School of Humanities and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He was also Chair of UWA Animal Ethics Committee, a member of the Executive of the Australian Council of Graduate Research and chaired the Group of Eight Deans of Graduate Studies. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

I am looking forward to welcoming Professor Dench to the senior leadership team at Curtin.  His extensive experience in teaching and research will be an asset to the University and I am confident he will lead the further growth and development of the Faculty locally, nationally and internationally.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Associate Professor Steve Mickler for his contribution as acting Pro Vice-Chancellor over the past year.  He has done an excellent job and the Faculty has made significant progress under his leadership.

Professor Alan Dench

Professor Alan Dench, newly appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of Humanities

TISC applications opening early

WA’s four public universities are conducting a trial of early offers in Engineering courses for semester one 2017 entry.  To assist the universities to manage the trial, TISC will open its application portal on Monday 4 July 2016. However, only Engineering courses (including dual degrees with Engineering) will be part of the trial. It is anticipated that offers will start to go out in late July.

The offer letters will make it clear that Curtin’s offers are conditional on students meeting the ATAR cut-off and Maths and English requirements. Students will therefore have the benefit of having received an offer but they will still need to apply themselves to their exams to achieve the results required. Students will be free to change their preferences at any time during the early offer trial, even if they have indicated their acceptance of that offer, so that their full range of choices is maintained leading into main round offers in January 2017.

TISC does an excellent job of managing the application process on behalf of the four public universities in Western Australia. I am very pleased that all universities are participating in this early offer trial for Engineering through TISC. This will help to ensure that the new arrangements can be communicated clearly to students, schools and parents.

Associate Professor Wilkes honoured

Associate Professor Ted Wilkes recently received the ‘President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Health and Wellbeing of West Australians’ from the Australian Medical Association.

This is a very appropriate recognition of Ted’s significant and ongoing work in the field of public health and welfare, and I am sure that all staff will join me in congratulating him on this well-deserved and very significant award.

Profssor Ted Wilkes

Associate Professor Ted Wilkes receiving his award.

John Curtin Gallery new exhibitions

John Curtin Gallery’s new exhibitions – the Bella Kelly Retrospective and Assemblage – are open until 21 August.

Bella Kelly was one of the founding figures of the Carrolup art movement and we are privileged to have her work on display here at Curtin. Visitors will also be able to hear fascinating stories and memories of Bella from special guests Tony Davis (collector and author), Annette Davis (exhibition curator) and Bella’s two daughters, Cheryl and Caroline Narkle, at the public program event on Wednesday 13 July.

The Assemblage exhibition is drawn from the Curtin Collection and includes some of our most fragile and experimental art works, each with a unique background. I encourage staff to visit both exhibitions, and enjoy this wonderful opportunity.

Visit the John Curtin Gallery website for more details.


The annual NAIDOC Week celebrations will take place during the first week of July. Curtin’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies will launch this significant week with its traditional flag raising ceremony commencing at 9.30am on Monday 4 July at the flagpoles at the Curtin Forum. The ceremony will be followed by a presentation and informal morning tea in the John Curtin Gallery Brodie-Hall Atrium.

NAIDOC Week celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society. The 2016 NAIDOC Week theme is ‘Songlines – The living narrative of our nation’, which will highlight the importance of Songlines to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

I encourage all staff to attend this important event.  To confirm your attendance, email before Wednesday 29 June. Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit the recently installed exhibition by Indigenous artist Bella Kelly at the John Curtin Gallery.

Medical School Advisory Board

I am pleased to advise that the Curtin Medical School Advisory Board membership has been confirmed.

Adjunct Professor Janice Bell, a well-known medical practitioner and medical training expert, is chairing the Board, which will play an integral role in the establishment of the Curtin Medical School. Among the Board’s membership are university academics, medical practitioners and industry advisors, including four former presidents of the Australian Medical Association and two former Directors-General of the WA Health Department.

The Board members include: Dr Richard Choong, Adjunct Associate Professor Robyn Collins, Professor John Cordery, Dr Alan Eggleston, Professor Gary Geelhoed, Mr Kieran Gulvin (student representative), Ms Michele Kosky, Professor Con Michael, Ms Vicki O’Donnell, Dr Karen Pitman, Mr Kim Snowball and Professor Bryant Stokes.

I am delighted we have been able to attract such an experienced and talented Board, and I am sure it will make a very valuable contribution to the development of the School.

Curtin Alumni recognised at WA Social Worker of the Year Awards

Three Curtin Alumni were honoured at the seventh annual WA Social Worker of the Year Awards last month.

Sue Galbraith won the ‘Head, Heart and Hands’ award for bringing dignity and patience to an extremely impressive career spanning over four decades. Sue graduated from WAIT in 1974 with a Bachelor of Social Work.

Curtin Alumna and former sessional lecturer, Marina Andrade, was recognised for her significant career in the Northern Goldfields and at Curtin. Marina graduated from WAIT with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and a Bachelor of Social Work.

Julie Verley, who completed a Bachelor of Social Work in 2013 at Curtin, won the ‘Rising Star’ award for her work with Angelhands, providing support to people affected by homicide and serious violence.

On behalf of everyone here at Curtin, congratulations to our Alumni winners.

Curtin Ball

A reminder to everyone that tickets are still available for the 2016 Curtin Ball on 16 July at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This year’s theme is ‘Through the Looking Glass – Alice in Wonderland’. The Ball is a great opportunity to socialise with fellow staff, network and enjoy a night out with entertainment and some exciting prizes. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Event details can be found here.

Kidnappings in Nigeria

One of the Australians kidnapped in Nigeria last week is a member of our extended Curtin family. Jack Couranz graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) in 2010. I was very pleased to hear this morning that all those taken have now been released, and I hope Jack will be able to return home safely very soon.

Points of interest

At last week’s SET meeting, Curtin’s new advertising campaign and web home page design were presented by Ty Hayes (Chief Marketing Officer) and Sarah Moffat (Director, Marketing Analytics, Platforms and Compliance). These projects will be launched in early August.

SET also supported the draft Memorandum of Understanding between Curtin and the Department of Training and Workforce Development, Muresk Institute (presented by Jane Coole, Director, External Relations). The MOU represents a broad commitment to work with Muresk Institute to build the capacity of WA agricultural industries through research and development and higher education.



Be the first to respond to “27 June 2016”

Leave a Reply

You are welcome to leave a comment which will be visible to all visitors to this site.
Please log in to post a comment.