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Curtin University
Note to staff

28 May 2014


Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week

This week signifies two important events in the national calendar:

First, Sorry Day, where the nation remembers and commemorates the mistreatment of the Stolen Generations. A special lunch and lecture was held at CAS on Monday, 26 May, to recognise the day.

And, second, National Reconciliation Week, which runs from 27 May-3 June, and commemorates the two significant milestones in our country’s reconciliation journey – the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. 

Curtin is embracing this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme, ‘Let’s Walk the Talk’ and our focus is on putting our commitment into action and achieving outcomes that embed reconciliation into our core business through the imminent launch of the Reconciliation Action Plan 2014-2017

I encourage all staff to join in as we ‘Walk the Talk’ for National Reconciliation Week at Upper Henderson Court (near the Robertson Library) today, Wednesday 28 May, from 12.00 to 12.30pm, then head down to the Centre for Aboriginal Studies (Building 211, Curtin Bentley Campus) for a BBQ and further celebrations.

To learn more about these two significant events and the reconciliation journey, visit

Strategic Engagement Area

I am pleased to announce the establishment of a new area in the University’s structure called the Office of Strategic Engagement, which will work closely with Corporate Relations and Development to identify and develop projects that support the University’s strategic priorities through its location in Perth’s Central Business District.

The team, which will be led by Director, Evan Nicholas and include Elise McAtee and Karys Nella, will be located in London House at 216 St Georges Terrace.

Mr John Langoulant, who was appointed as Strategic Advisor on a part-time basis last year, will be co-located with the Strategic Engagement team and will work closely with them to capitalise on the University’s engagement in the CBD, in line with our Strategic Plan.

I look forward to this new initiative making a significant contribution to the University’s connections with industry through John and Evan’s already impressive networks, as well as working to reduce the gap between Curtin’s Bentley Campus and the CBD.

Curtin hosts Professor Jeffrey Sachs

Last week, the world renowned expert economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs visited Perth and presented the inaugural Curtin Sustainability Lecture.

Professor Sachs, a Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York, presented to an audience of more than 350 people at Government House, which was also simulcast to 10 other universities, on the new age of sustainable development. Following the lecture, a number of Curtin sustainability projects were showcased. 

It’s the first time Professor Sachs has visited Australia, and I congratulate the Australian Sustainable Development Institute and the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute for securing his involvement, and a number of areas across the University that contributed to the organisation of the event. 

I’m looking forward to working with Curtin’s sustainability community to develop a sustainable development strategy for the University that embraces research, education and our operations on campus.

You can watch last week’s sustainability lecture here, and also the sustainability videos shown at the event, here.

Mr Mike Burbridge; the Governor of Western Australia; Professor Deborah Terry; Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Professor Peter Newman at the event

Mr Mike Burbridge; Mr Malcolm McCusker, Governor of Western Australia; Professor Deborah Terry; Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Professor Peter Newman at the event

Articulation Agreement

I am pleased to advise that Curtin has signed an Articulation Agreement with the Great Southern Institute of Technology (GSIT) in Albany, which will provide students with a clear pathway to undergraduate studies at Curtin.

The Articulation Agreement gives students the choice to start their studies in Albany and to articulate into a broad range of courses at Curtin

GSIT and Curtin have been collaborating over the last year, to map VET courses awarded by GSIT. 

Students who have studied a Diploma or Advanced Diploma at GSIT will now be able to enter a Curtin Bachelor degree in a similar discipline and obtain one semester or more of credit.

  1. Robyn Niesten May 28, 2014 12:47pm

    In respect to National Reconciliation Week, I would like to draw your attention to a video clip, which I saw at the Adelaide Language Festival recently:
    Australia has set a record for ‘linguicide’, with 92 per cent of Indigenous languages fading or dead. As language plays a lead role in people’s identity and cultural autonomy, one practical way to actively embrace reconciliation would be to follow Adelaide University’s example and reclaim endangered languages.

  2. Deborah Terry May 28, 2014 6:15pm

    Dear Robyn

    Thank you for posting this response – I appreciated it.

    I will look forward to seeing the video clip and hearing about Adelaide University’s approach – we are certainly keen to consider all suggestions for ways in which we can more actively support and embrace reconciliation.

    with best wishes


  3. Karinda Eggington June 1, 2014 1:01pm

    I am a Noongar student currently completing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Community Management and Development through the Centre of Aboriginal Studies at Curtin.

    I found the event that was held at Henderson Court highly offensive and disrespectful. The event at Henderson Court was conducted by Non-Indigenous people promoting the ‘Recognise’ government campaign for constitutional reform, by giving those in attendance beaded bracelets and face painting which would be far more suited to a primary school celebration. The speaker for your office offended me deeply as he was talking of Curtins initiative to “walk the talk” though the Centre of Aboriginal Studies has been stripped of its computer lab, resource centre and faces changes to the course I am currently completing, which will make its continuation in future very difficult.
    The fact that Curtin University is only now launching a Reconciliation Action Plan with the already low Indigenous tertiary education rates may be testament to these issues.

    • Deborah Terry June 2, 2014 8:47pm

      Dear Karinda

      Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate the fact that you have let me know your concerns.

      I can assure you that we take our commitment to reconciliation very seriously and we are supportive of the Government’s campaign ‘Recognise’ to acknowledge and recognise Aboriginal peoples in the Constitution. In terms of the Reconciliation Action Plan, our first RAP was launched in 2008 and considerable consultation has been undertaken in relation to the revised draft, which will be considered for formal endorsement this month.

      At the event last Wednesday, I understand that both the Director of CAS, Professor Marion Kickett and the Elder-in-Residence Simon Forrest spoke in support of Curtin’s commitment to Indigenous education, research and community partnerships. CAS underwent three reviews in 2013 and resources are now being allocated to ensure that the Centre remains a key area of support, and a centre of excellence, for Indigenous students.

      We welcome student feedback and I am sure Marion would be only too happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns.

      With best wishes


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