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Curtin University
Note to staff

18 December 2014


Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Awards

Curtin has a tradition of recognising its excellent teachers and programs that support student learning. The Curtin Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching are awarded annually and aim to provide recognition and reward for outstanding performances, by both individuals and teams, in teaching and in enhancing student learning.

There are three categories for which there were a large number of high-quality and very competitive applications. I am pleased to announce the following staff have been awarded a Curtin Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching.

Awards for Teaching Excellence

Each award winner will receive a certificate and a grant of $3,000:

  • Dr Susan Morris – School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr Hoe Lee – School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr Rachel Sheffield – School of Education, Faculty of Humanities.

Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning

Each award winner will receive a certificate and a grant of $3,000:

  • Dr Katharina Wolf, Curtin Business School, for leading the GlobCom program.

    –  The Global Communications Project (GlobCom) is an international initiative co-ordinated between 13 universities across 13 countries. International teams are established and every year they are provided a Public Relations brief from a real client and are challenged to create a realistic PR solution. Curtin has been a participator in this project for over six years.

Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

Each award winner will receive a certificate and a grant of $2,000:

  • AAS Learning Support Team (Australian Award Scholarship), Curtin Teaching and Learning, Vice-Chancellory –
    Dr John Fielder; Ms Julie Craig; Ms Chris Kerin; Ms Tracey Cawthorne; Mr Carl Viljoen; Ms Grace Conti; Dr Michael Seats; Dr Lou Siragusa and Ms Valerie Brousse de Gersigny.

    – For holistic guidance on cultural transition and academic study skills development for international, mature-age Australian Award Scholars to enhance their overall achievement, integration and success.

  • Dr Janet Beilby and Ms Kathryn Viljoen – School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences.

    – For sustained excellence in specialised theoretical and clinical undergraduate and postgraduate speech pathology learning experiences, informed by internationally recognised research and innovative, engaging resources.

  • Professor Dawn Bennett – Humanities Research Graduate Studies, Faculty of Humanities.

    – For a distinguished and sustained contribution to the student learning experience and employability in the arts and humanities.

  •  Dr Iain Murray – Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering.

    – For conceiving, developing and implementing a unique pedagogy in remotely accessible synchronous electrical engineering laboratories and curricula that encourages student engagement and lifetime learning.

  • Ms Lai Zhen Yue – Department of Science and Foundation, Miri Campus.

    – For the development and implementation of active and innovative learning strategies that enhance student learning in Foundation Engineering Physics.

Sod turning for agriculture research facility

Yesterday, I attended a sod turning ceremony with the Managing Director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) John Harvey to mark the start of construction for Curtin’s $40 million agriculture research facility.

The new building will be located near Building 302 on the Bentley Campus. It will allow the Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM), an initiative developed in partnership between Curtin and Australian grain growers through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), to safely carry out pathogen research with high containment, and ultimately help reduce the economic impact of grain diseases.

Some of you may be aware that the University signed a bilateral agreement with GRDC earlier this year to assist the agriculture industry through focused research, and the new building is an important part of Curtin’s commitment under the agreement.

The new laboratory building is due for completion in 2016.

GRDC's John Harvey and Professor Deborah Terry

GRDC’s John Harvey and Professor Deborah Terry

NAGCAS Best Practice Award

Curtin’s Careers & Employment Centre has won its second national award for 2014, the National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS) Best Practice Award.

This NAGCAS Awards are open to all tertiary careers services in Australia and New Zealand, inclusive of the VET and Higher Education sectors.

Curtin’s Employability Award program was judged by an international panel to be an outstanding example of best practice in the delivery of career services/programs to students.

The Employability Award is a personalised, self-directed career development program that all Curtin students can undertake anytime, anywhere. The program consists of self-development modules (which can be completed face-to-face or online), industry experience and a final reflection.

I commend the Curtin Careers & Employment Centre on being recognised for the second time this year.

Education Week Group Project Competition

At the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) 2014 in Kuala Lumpur last week, petroleum engineering graduates from the Bentley and Miri campuses teamed together to win the Education Week Group Project Competition, and also take out the first runner-up prize.

Winning group: Leong Van Hong (Miri) and Caitlin Sweeting (Bentley). Group project topic: Deep Water

1st runner-up group: Ian Chang Huan Sheng (Miri) and Steven Hicks (Bentley). Group project topic: Enhanced Oil Recovery

The purpose of Education Week is to provide students with a clear insight into the petroleum industry, to work together on a joint technical project and to provide opportunities for students to extend their networks.

It is wonderful to hear of our graduates’ achievements, especially when it involves collaboration between our campuses.

Congratulations to the winners and runners-up.

Enjoy the holiday

Thank you everyone for your hard work and valued contributions during the year. I wish you and your families a happy festive season and look forward to welcoming you all back next year rested and refreshed.



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