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Curtin University
Note to staff

23 May 2016


Last week, I was very pleased to introduce the panel discussion after the screening of the film, The Hunting Ground.  This film looks specifically at sexual violence in American colleges.  However, it is also very relevant to the Australian context and is being shown around the country as part of Universities Australia campaign, Respect. Now. Always. that seeks to prevent sexual assault and harassment on our campuses.

It is essential that we have a strong culture of awareness, prevention and support in our university in order to encourage the safest environment in which our students can study and enjoy campus life.  My thanks to the Student Guild for their support of the Respect. Now. Always. campaign and to Luke Webster (Ethics, Equity & Social Justice, EESJ) for co-ordinating the showing of the film and the panel discussion.  EESJ has secured the rights to the film (and DVD copies), so please contact Luke if you would like additional screenings organised or if you would like to see the film.

Governor Sanderson in Kalgoorlie

The Governor of Western Australia, Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO, visited the Curtin WA School of Mines campus in Kalgoorlie last week.  During her visit, she toured the newly developed library, undergraduate metallurgical laboratories and computer labs and the new Agricola College student housing. Once completed, Agricola College will feature modern, comfortable rooms for approximately 228 students.

Curtin WA School of Mines Alumni Vice President and Managing Director of Saracen Mining, Mr Raleigh Finlayson, officially opened the remodelled student break room yesterday at the Kalgoorlie Campus, in the presence of Her Excellency.

Professor Sam Spearing and Ms Jane Coole of Curtin, with the Governor and Mr Finlayson

Professor Sam Spearing and Ms Jane Coole of Curtin, with the Governor and Mr Finlayson (photo credit: Louise White, WA Newspapers)

Online Forum for Curtin’s new Strategic Plan

Thank you to all staff who have engaged with the new Strategic Plan online forum over the past week. The forum will remain open for the next three days and I encourage all staff to browse the conversations to date and add their thoughts.

So far, the forum has focused on the six themes that comprise the new strategic planning framework: Learning and the Student Experience, Research and Innovation, Engagement and Impact, People and Culture, Our Global Strategy, and Supporting our Strategic Ambitions.

I will be facilitating the forum from 8.30-9.00am on Tuesday 24 May and welcome all comments relating to the above. Please join me at the blog.

If you have any questions regarding the planning process, please direct them to

CWTS Leiden Ranking 2016

The latest publication of the CTWS Leiden Ranking has been released. We improved in the overall number of publications resulting in a rise in world rank from 398 to 370 to remain 11th nationally.  We also improved on the proportion of publications ranked in the top one per cent of frequently cited publications, climbing 197 places to a global rank of 247 (13th national). However, we dropped on proportion of publications in the top 10 per cent of frequently cited publications to be ranked 312 globally and 16th in Australia.

The Office of Strategy and Planning will prepare a briefing paper on this ranking. It will be made available online shortly.

Opportunities with edX

Curtin’s partnership with edX extends our global reach through collaboration with one of the world’s leading education platforms. I am delighted to announce that Expressions of Interest are now open for those interested in offering new CurtinX courses via edX.

This is an exciting time for the University’s presence on the edX platform. New offerings will build on those already available – The Business of Mining,  Digital Branding and Engagement and Reputation Management in a Digital World.

I encourage all areas of the University to consider taking advantage of this. Expressions of Interest close on Wednesday 22 June. More information is available online.

Celebrating Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

Curtin will mark the start of Reconciliation Week 2016 with a National Sorry Day Tree Planting Ceremony at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies on Thursday 26 May.

The tree planting ceremony, introduced in 2015, is an annual event at Curtin, forming part of our broader commitment to reconciliation as set out in our Reconciliation Action Plan.

The area in front of CAS forms a dedicated Sorry Day Garden and each year new native hibiscus trees will be planted to show solidarity with the Stolen Generations. The native hibiscus symbolises the scattering of the Stolen Generations and is endorsed by the National Stolen Generations Alliance. This flower was chosen because its resilience reflects that of the members of the stolen generation, it grows across Australia, and its colour denotes compassion and spiritual healing.

Deputy-Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor Jill Downie, and Curtin Elder-in-Residence, Associate Professor Simon Forrest, will join members of the Curtin Student Guild in this year’s tree planting, followed by morning tea in the CAS foyer.  The event will take place between 10am and 11.15 am and I urge staff to attend. Please email if you plan to attend.

Farewell to Sue Shephard

No one could miss the fact that Sue Shephard, Executive Assistant to the Provost, was retiring last week, thanks to the decorations her colleagues added to her work area.   It was part of the farewell to Sue, a much-loved member of the Curtin community, and perhaps the only person to have worked directly for four Vice-Chancellors: Lance Twomey, Jeanette Hacket, Colin Stirling and myself.

I am sure many members of the University will join me in thanking Sue for her service and dedication and wishing her all the best for this next phase of her life. Last week, we also welcomed the new Executive Assistant to the Provost, Lisa Chatfield.

Sue at her work area which is covered in decorations

Sue at her work area which is covered in decorations

  1. Amanda Robinson May 23, 2016 2:01pm

    Sue, it was a real pleasure to work with you and I shall miss seeing you about the campus. No doubt you’ll enjoy having more time to spend with Rick, Sam and Emma and your grandchildren. Love always, Mandy Robinson

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