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Curtin University
Note to staff

25 July 2016


Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards for Professional Staff – Reminder

Nominations for the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards for Professional Staff are still open.

I encourage you all to consider nominating a colleague or team that has made a significant contribution towards achieving Curtin’s goals.

As you may have seen in Curtin Weekly recently, last year’s winners have used their prize money to fund professional development opportunities including attending global conferences, visiting other universities and networking with a range of professionals outside of Perth. This is a unique opportunity and I strongly encourage all staff to consider putting forward a nomination.

Nominations close on 12 August. For more information please visit

New Curtin homepage goes live

The new Curtin homepage and central site are now live. The new streamlined, dynamic design is responsive across multiple devices and provides our visitors with a more intuitive online experience.

Our homepage receives more than 2.2 million visits each year, so this is an important milestone and a fantastic achievement from the Digital Futures program.  My thanks to the Web Content Management Project team led by Val Raubenheimer (Vice-President Corporate Relations), University Marketing, CITS and the Steering Committee. Thank you, too, to those who gave up their time to be part of the focus groups during the consultation period.

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor appointed at Sarawak

I am pleased to announce that Professor Beena Giridharan has been appointed Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor at Curtin Sarawak. Previously the Dean, Teaching and Learning at the campus, Professor Giridharan will provide academic, financial, strategic and administrative leadership in her new role.

Professor Giridharan is a Curtin graduate, having completed a doctoral degree in Applied Linguistics and Education. Her research and academic interests include vocabulary acquisition in ESL, educational administration and leadership, higher education practices, transnational education, work-integrated learning, and ethno-linguistic studies in Indigenous communities. She won the 2006 Carrick Australian Award for University Teaching and the Curtin Excellence in Teaching and Innovation award in the same year.

I wish Professor Giridharan all the best in her new position.

New building now open to staff

Staff are very welcome to visit building 410, which will house the Curtin Medical School and a number of new learning and teaching spaces.  The building is a very exciting addition to the campus and the cornerstone of the Greater Curtin development. I encourage you all to take the opportunity to visit our newest building this week, as part of Orientation Week. There will also be a guided tour at 12.30pm on Thursday 28 July.

Employer of Choice Gender Equity (EOCGE) citation

Diversity, equity and inclusion are defining features of Curtin’s past, present and future. Respect, valuing diversity, and promoting equity and inclusion are essential components of Curtin’s Values and Signature Behaviours and fundamental to achieving our full potential.

I am pleased to announce that we have recently updated our Equity and Diversity Policy and procedures, and through initiatives such as the Gender Equity Working Group under Strengthening our Culture, have adopted the new Gender Equity Implementation Plan.

For more information, please see the Ethics, Equity and Social Justice website.

Curtin Baram Project update

I am pleased to share an update from Curtin’s Baram Project, the first joint research initiative of our Sarawak and Bentley campuses. The project team has recently released a short documentary that provides an enlightening overview of the project and its subject site, the Baram region in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Different teams of Curtin researchers are currently conducting land use, heavy metal, and marine biology studies in selected sites in an area of around 24,000 square kilometres of land and sea. The first studies began in 2014 and it is anticipated that project work will carry into 2019. The latest project – the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park project – is the first where researchers from Bentley are engaged with the Sarawak campus in field research on location in Sarawak.

Curtin Baram Project map

Athena SWAN program launch and a discussion on women in STEMM

I invite you to join me in hearing from a panel of science, business and policy leaders as they share their ideas on how to increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) at the Bentley campus on 5 August.

The event is part of Curtin’s membership of Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) and coincides with the launch of the SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN Australia Charter, a two-year accreditation program aimed at pursuing best practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women’s careers in STEMM sectors within higher education and research.

You can find out more and register for the event, Global Issues – Local Action, a discussion on women in STEMM here.

Recent attacks

Sadly, many people have died or been injured in recent days in multiple attacks in Germany and a market bombing in Afghanistan. As always in these situations, we are contacting members of the University community in the affected countries to see if they need support or practical assistance.

Please remember that our Counselling Service is available to any member of the Curtin community who needs help.  To show our support for the countries affected, Curtin Stadium will be lit in the colours of their national flags this week.

Another bestseller for Dr Liz Byrski

I am pleased to advise that Dr Liz Byrski’s new novel, The Woman Next Door, has entered the bestseller charts for Australian fiction.

Dr Byrski is Director of the China Australia Writing Centre, a partnership between Curtin University and Fudan University in Shanghai. She is a well-respected novelist and has published nine novels. The book was recently reviewed in The West Australian.

Congratulations Liz.

  1. Robyn McCreary July 25, 2016 3:03pm

    Can anyone advise how we participate in the guided tour of building 410? Do we need to RSVP?

  2. Ann Paterson July 26, 2016 2:11pm

    Hi Robyn

    No RSVP is required. Those interested can just attend on the day.


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