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Curtin University
Note to staff

17 October 2016


I had the pleasure of attending, along with the Chancellor Colin Beckett, Professor Seth Kunin and David Menarry, the opening of the new four storey Science and Engineering Building on our Sarawak Campus last Friday. The Chancellor officially opened the building. It is a very impressive addition to the campus that includes a number of new teaching spaces, including collaborative spaces, lecture rooms and laboratories.

As always, our Sarawak staff were very welcoming and put in a tremendous effort to ensure the success of our visit. Particular thanks are due to Professor Jim Mienczakowski, Professor Bina Giridharan and their senior colleagues, as well as Eileen Chan who supported the visit from Curtin International.

Group photo with cultural performers (004)

Chancellor Beckett and senior staff with cultural performers

Miring ceremony by Iban elders (003)

Miring ceremony by Iban elders: (l to r) Datuk Patinggi George Chan Hong Nam (Chair of Curtin Sarawak Campus Council), Professor Jim Mienczakowski, Mr David Menarry, Professor Seth Kunin, Chancellor Beckett, myself and Datu Ose Murang, incoming Chairman of Curtin (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.

We then travelled to Hong Kong to participate in two graduation ceremonies at which 250 students graduated. In addition to the graduations, we attended a very successful alumni event. Curtin has over 9000 graduates living and working in Hong Kong and a very active and engaged alumni chapter.  Many thanks to Anthea Macrides and Renae Spann (Graduations) and Erika Beazley (Advancement) for all their work on these events.


Some of the attendees at the Hong Kong Alumni Reception

2016 academic promotions

It is with great pleasure that I advise the following staff have been successful in their application for academic promotion this year. On behalf of the University, I would like to congratulate them on their contribution to Curtin and look forward to their future achievements.

Promotion to Level B – Lecturer or Research Fellow

Curtin Business School
Janya Chanchaichujit
Tianpei Luo

Faculty of Health Sciences
Connie Jackaman
Michelle Jongenelis

Faculty of Science & Engineering
Marcin Sokolowski
Steven Tremblay
Jianwei Zi

Promotion to Level C – Senior Lecturer or Senior Research Fellow

Curtin Business School
Andrew Brennan
Isaac Cheah
J-Han Ho
Michael Lwin
Narrelle Morris

Faculty of Health Sciences
Rebecca Anderson
Mara Blosfelds
Vinicius Cavalheri de Oliveira
Karin Clark
Jennifer Dolzadelli
David Garratt-Reed
Sarah Hardcastle
Susan Morris
Penny Moss
Leo Ng
Sue White

Faculty of Humanities
Yuko Asano-Cavanagh
Susan Blackley
Annette Condello
Trish Dooey
Stefania Giamminuti

Faculty of Science & Engineering
Kaiming Bi
Alison Blyth
Sten Claessens
Lei Cui
Dehua Dong
Chunyan Fan
Petra Helmholz
Timothy Johnson
Heather Lonsdale

Promotion to Level D – Associate Professor

Curtin Business School
Adrian Cheung

Faculty of Health Sciences
Janet Beilby
Lauren Breen
Georgina Fyfe
Courtenay Harris
Laetitia Hattingh
Annette Joosten
Suze Leitao
Andrea Loftus
Delia Nelson
Richard Norman

Faculty of Humanities
Liz Byrski
Judith Dinham
Katie Ellis
Jennifer Howell
Tama Leaver

Faculty of Science & Engineering
Waqar Asad
Max Massi
Jennifer McIlwain
James Miller-Jones
Lorenzo Ntogramatzidis
Sumedha Rajakaruna
Prabir Sarker
Faiz Shaikh
Xuan-Ce Wang
Randall Wayth
Cecilia Xia

Promotion to Level E – Professor

Curtin Business School
Siobhan Austen
Therese Jefferson
Rachel Ong

Faculty of Health Sciences
Catherine Elliott
Lynne Emmerton
Peter McEvoy
Clare Rees
Elizabeth Watkin

Faculty of Humanities
Grace Zhang

Faculty of Science & Engineering
Ian Howard
Alisher Kadyrov
Xia Lou
Tele Tan
Ba Tuong Vo

Curtin Learning and Teaching
Vanessa Chang
David Gibson

Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program funding

I am very pleased to advise that Curtin’s National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), in partnership with the Widening Tertiary Participation Consortium in Queensland, has been awarded funding to explore the impact of programs designed to support and improve participation and success in higher education by people from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds.

The $320 000 in funding comes from the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP). I commend NCSEHE Director Professor Sue Trinidad and her team for their success in securing this funding  and for their work in promoting the wider impact of student equity in Australian universities.

Beacon Virtua Launch

A virtual reality simulation of Beacon Island in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands – site of the notorious Batavia shipwreck and some of the earliest European sites in the nation – was launched at the HIVE last week. The digital visualisation of the island was developed at the Curtin HIVE and UWA as part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project led by UWA and the Western Australian Museum

The simulation can be previewed and/or downloaded online.

Presentation of the VC Excellence Awards

To celebrate the outstanding achievements of Curtin professional staff in 2016, I am pleased to invite you to the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards for Professional Staff presentation ceremony, to be held in the Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre on Thursday 10 November from 12.30 pm to 2 pm.

The annual awards recognise the significant contributions made by our professional staff in the areas of engagement, collaboration, innovation, leadership and service. I hope you will join me for the announcement of our 2016 award recipients.

Please ensure that you RSVP by Friday 4 November.

Curtin Remembers

A new webpage has been established to acknowledge critical incidents and bereavements that have directly impacted the Curtin community. Unfortunately, tragic events occur worldwide on an almost daily basis. Curtin Remembers is a platform that will allow for immediate response and community participation by allowing staff and students to offer their own messages of support and remembrance. Contact our Multi-faith Officer Janet Augustinsen for more information.

Memorial service for Dr Wayne Clark

A memorial service has been organised for the late Dr Wayne Clark, Curtin’s Director, Quality Assurance in the Faculty of Science and Engineering who sadly passed away on 27 September.

This an opportunity for members of the Curtin community to farewell a much loved colleague and friend. As part of the service, a memorial tree will be planted in his honour.

The service will take place on Wednesday 19 October from 12 pm to 1 pm between buildings 215 and 205. If anyone would like to say a few words on the day or has any questions, please email

Passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Thailand’s deeply loved and revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on 13 October at the age of 88. King Bhumibol was the longest serving monarch in the world, reigning for 70 years. On behalf of the University, I would like to offer condolences to all members of the Curtin community who are mourning this loss. As a mark of mourning and respect, the Australian flag will be flown at half-mast today, Monday 17 October.

Yom Kippur and Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles

Yom Kippur began at sundown on 11 October and is the holiest day of the Jewish year. It is observed with fasting and repentance, and many Jews will refrain from work and attend synagogue services. It is followed by Sukkot, the Feast of the Tabernacles from 16-23 October, an agricultural festival that was originally a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest.

I would like to wish all members of the Curtin community participating in these festivals a happy celebration.




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