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Curtin University
Note to staff

9 April 2014


National Resource Sciences Precinct

I am very pleased to advise that Curtin was part of the launch of another major national research initiative yesterday – the National Resource Sciences Precinct (NRSP).
In conjunction with the other foundation partners, CSIRO and The University of Western Australia, the NRSP will position Curtin at the forefront of resources research in Australia.

The NRSP is based around collaborative effort and the very best researchers will assemble under its banner to pitch for funding and to work together, seeking solutions to major challenges facing the resources industry.

The NRSP was officially launched by the Federal Minister for Industry, The Hon Ian Macfarlane and I am delighted by the appointment of prominent metals, mining and transport sectors figure Graeme Hunt as the Precinct’s inaugural chair.

Already the NRSP has leveraged more than $50 million in grant funding, including nearly $17 million from the Science Industry and Endowment Fund (SIEF) for resource science projects.

I’m sure this success will continue as relationships thrive between the partner bodies and industry.

Visit to Kalgoorlie

I was fortunate enough to visit Curtin’s Western Australian School of Mines in Kalgoorlie recently, where upgrades to the library and laboratories are already underway and redevelopment of the Agricola student accommodation is scheduled to start later this year.

It was my first trip to the WA School of Mines in Kalgoorlie and I was most impressed with both the enthusiasm and expertise of the staff and the passion and commitment of the students.

The WA School of Mines has been a very strong part of Curtin’s past and will be an equally important part of our future.

It represents an excellent example of the vision Curtin strives for – real-world research, job-ready graduates and strong and productive industry links.

It is clear that the WA School of Mines and its associated student accommodation were in need of renovation, and the library upgrade which will be completed in the near future, represents the first stage of this process.

Curtin has invested considerable funds into the redevelopment and I was delighted to see the way the original heritage of the building has been so well preserved.

I look forward to returning to Kalgoorlie on 16 May for the WASM Graduation Ceremonies and the opening of the new library.

Closure of Curtin Book Shop

As most of you will be aware, there have been significant changes to the book retail and publishing industries in recent years and many stand-alone book shops are no longer sustainable. These changes have impacted the University’s Book Shop operations, and as a consequence, the business will close on 15 April 2014. It will be replaced with the University Co-operative Bookshop Ltd (Co-op), which will open in the same location from Monday 28 April 2014.

The Co-op has a great reputation across the university sector, already providing book shop services to over half of the universities in Australia. Its size of operations will enable it to better respond to industry trends and to better invest in technology to meet changing needs.

We hope that the transition can be as smooth as possible, so that staff and students continue to receive the excellent service that they have received to date. In that regard, I would like to thank the Curtin Book Shop staff for their long and outstanding service to the University and its students. Their cooperation in the transition to the Co-op is also greatly appreciated.

The Co-op will continue to provide book requirements for all courses and will honour any current unused bookshop grants and/or exchange vouchers. If you have any queries on operational matters, please contact Ms Leonie Rochford, the Book Shop Manager, on 9266 7216.

Training exercise on the Bentley Campus

A police training exercise will be conducted on the Bentley Campus on Tuesday 15 April 2014 from 8.30am-1pm. The exercise is part of a national safety initiative and will also test our emergency and critical incident response procedures.

Curtin is hosting this exercise as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and students. Curtin’s Emergency Management and the Critical Incident Management Teams work together to coordinate our response to and management of emergency situations such as flood, fire, chemical spill or other hazards which could pose a risk to the Curtin community.

The exercise will be conducted along Rob Riley Walk and will involve the Tim Winton and Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatres. While you may notice some activity and noise in the area, it will be an exercise only and will pose no danger to people on campus. The site will be cordoned off and staff are asked to avoid the area.

As part of the exercise The Vege Patch café will be closed and some parking in car park D3 will be used by police.

More information about emergency and critical incident management at Curtin is available online.

  1. Mattie Turnbull April 9, 2014 7:17pm

    All very reasonable given ‘changing times’. However, can we be advised as to what the outcomes are for the current Bookshop staff? Such advice would help to assuage concerns regarding the long-held employment of the competent and loyal staff over a considerable period of time.

    I believe my comments fit well with Curtin’s values of ‘integrity, respect, fairness and care’.

  2. David Menarry April 10, 2014 9:18am

    Hi Mattie (and others)
    One of the unfortunate impacts of a change to business model in this instance is a much lower staffing requirement. For example, back office activities are consolidated. Future staffing needs will be determined by the Co-op and there will be opportunities for some current staff through their recruitment processes. However, to be clear, existing positions at the Bookshop have been made redundant. Staff do have the option of seeking redeployment. I have made it clear to the Bookshop staff that this change and the impact to them does not in any way reflect their performance (which has always been to the highest standard) or their loyalty to Curtin (which again has been demonstrated by their commitment to the transition to the Co-op).
    David Menarry.

    • Mattie Turnbull April 10, 2014 1:05pm

      Thanks for prompt response. It’s encouraging to hear the scenario regarding existing staff. However, it would have been more encouraging (in accordance with ‘integrity, respect, fairness and care’) had we been advised of the staffing consequences in the Vice Chancellor’s blurb.
      Mattie Turnbull

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