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Curtin University
Note to staff

15 August 2016


The annual Senior Leaders’ Conference was held last Thursday and Friday at Kings Park.

In addition to a focus on the draft 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, it included some excellent presentations from guest speakers: Elena Douglas (CEO and Founder of Knowledge Society) on Innovation and Knowledge; Paul Kelly (Editor-at-Large, The Australian) on The changing landscape and the Australian higher education environment, and Martin Stewart-Weeks (Organisational Consultant, Public Purpose) on University stories in an age of distrust, the end of power and deep, digital disruption.

A number of staff also presented case studies in a session highlighting areas where Curtin is already confronting the future. These included: Tom Goerke (Director, Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, WA), Professor Nigel de Bussy (Head, School of Marketing), Julia Stafford (Executive Officer, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth), Associate Professor Michele Willson (Head, School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts) and Professor Clem Kuek (Dean, Research and Development, Curtin Sarawak).

I would like to thank Juris Varpins (Director, ODU) and Marco Schultheis (Chief Strategy Officer) and their teams for their work to ensure the success of the conference. Keynote presentations from the Conference will be made available on the ODU website as soon as possible

I also had the pleasure of participating in a CEDA panel discussion last week featuring all of Western Australia’s Vice-Chancellors. The panel demonstrated the high level of collegiality and collaboration between the WA universities and touched on a number of issues of relevance to the sector at both the State and national level.

CEDA August 2016

(Left to right) Prof. Stephen Chapman (ECU VC), Paula Rogers (CEDA WA Director), myself, Prof. Eeva Leinonen (Murdoch University VC), Minister for Education Peter Collier, Prof. Paul Johnson (UWA VC), Prof. Celia Hammond (Notre Dame VC) and Robert Greif (Nous Principal Consultant)

Academic Ranking of World Universities

I am delighted to advise that Curtin has again improved its position in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), released today.

The 2016 ranking places Curtin in the 201-300 band with an estimated rank of 211, an increase of 59 places on last year’s rank of 270, and a continuation of the very strong progress that has been made on this ranking over the past few years. Curtin is now ranked 10th in the country, a further improvement from last year’s position at number 11.

Curtin’s ARWU ranking is testament to the work of our talented researchers and a reflection of our improving research profile and capacity. I thank all staff for their efforts in helping Curtin achieve this important 2016 ARWU result.

The Office of Strategy and Planning and Office of Research and Development will make a summary paper about the ranking available online shortly. Meanwhile, you can access the official ranking at the ARWU website.

2016 National Instruments International Engineering Award

Congratulations to Professor Brian Evans (Faculty of Science and Engineering) and his industry partner, Dr Mark Trotman (ICON Technologies) on winning the 2016 National Instruments Engineering Impact Award in the ‘Energy’ category. The award recognises the application of national instruments technology to understand the development of complex fractures in rocks during greenhouse gas and CO2 geosequestration.

Curtin writers shortlisted for Premier’s Book Awards

Congratulations to Curtin staff, Professor John Kinsella, Dr Lucy Dougan and Curtin alumna Dr Brooke Davis on being shortlisted for the 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.

Professor Kinsella of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute has been shortlisted for Crow’s Breath, his collection of short stories set in WA’s Wheatbelt; Humanities lecturer and poet Dr Dougan has been shortlisted for her poetry book The Guardians; and Humanities graduate Dr Davis has been shortlisted in the WA Emerging Writers category for her bestselling novel Lost & Found.

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees. The winners will be announced on 3 October 2016. More information is available online.

Curtin Olympians

We are very proud of the Curtin students and alumni competing in the Rio Olympic Games.  To show our support for our athletes the Curtin Student Guild is screening the Olympics on campus, we are cheering ‘our team’ on via social media and lighting the Curtin Stadium in the Olympic colours for much of the Games.  We also hope to arrange a celebratory event for our athletes on their return home. I encourage all staff to support our athletes. You can find more information and photographs at the Curtin Sports Facebook page.

The White Ribbon campaign to prevent violence against women

I am pleased to advise that the Provost, Professor John Cordery, has become a White Ribbon Ambassador as part of Curtin’s leadership commitment to prevent violence against women.

Curtin is committed to providing a safe environment for all staff and students, free of harassment, discrimination and violence.  The University recognises that everyone has a part to play in preventing violence against women, which is why Curtin supports both the White Ribbon campaign and the Respect. Now. Always campaign against sexual harassment.

2016 National Science Week

This week is National Science Week, Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. The theme this year is ‘drones, droids and robots’. A number of events and activities are being held on the Bentley campus and at our St Georges Terrace site, including a public lecture on Intelligent Robotics by Dr Raymond Sheh of the Department of Computing and a presentation on the Historical Panoramas project by Andrew Woods, Manager of the Curtin HIVE. I encourage all staff to attend and get involved with the activities around campus. Please visit the Events webpage for more information.

UniPASS success

Health Sciences student Kate Tonta’s work as a facilitator for Curtin’s UniPASS program has been recognised with an outstanding new PASS leader award. UniPASS is an academic enhancement program available in selected units on a number of Curtin campuses.  The free group study sessions are run by students, who create engaging activities to help participants revise academic content and improve their study skills. Congratulations to Kate and the whole UniPASS team.

Blue Stocking Week

Curtin Stadium will light up in blue tonight for Blue Stocking Week. An initiative of the NTEU Women’s Action Committee, Blue Stocking Week celebrates women’s participation in higher education. For more information on Blue Stocking Week and associated events, please visit the website.

  1. Amanda Smith August 17, 2016 10:11am

    UniPASS are so proud of our team of Peer Learning Facilitators – the achievement of this award is truly a team effort – the team are so supportive of each other and especially of new facilitators like Kate. A great achievement for us, we’ve now won 4 awards over the past 4 years. Credit too goes to all the staff in START, Curtin Leadership Centre, Unit Coordinators, the Student Guild, and other staff who support this fantastic program (and George the Therapy dog who wears a UniPASS jacket!)

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