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Curtin University
Note to staff

29 August 2016


Presentations from the recent Curtin Senior Leaders’ Conference are now available online, including the opening address on Innovation and knowledge by Elena Douglas (CEO and Founder of Knowledge Society) and The changing landscape and the Australian higher education environment presentation from Paul Kelly (Editor-at-Large, The Australian). I encourage all staff to take the opportunity to view these stimulating and challenging talks.

For the second year running, Curtin hosted the 8th Annual Girls Academy Showcase, a three day leadership camp and basketball tournament, for 140 Aboriginal female high school students from 14 remote and regional locations around Australia. It was wonderful to see the girls proudly march into the stadium before the tournament began. I would like to acknowledge and thank the Curtin AHEAD team, and staff and students from across the University who volunteered their time and expertise to show the girls the very best of what Curtin has to offer, and to organise the schedule of tailored educational and cultural activities.


Students participating in the Annual Girls Academy Showcase at the Curtin Stadium.

Students participating in the Annual Girls Academy Showcase at the Curtin Stadium.

Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards

On Friday, the commercialisation efforts of staff and students who are developing new technologies, products or services from Curtin research were recognised at the Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards.

I’d like to congratulate all the winners, in particular Associate Professor Ryan Loxton, Dr Reza Parand, Dr Yufei Sun, Mr Chongy Liu and Mr Praveen Jayakumari, who were the overall winners for their maintenance optimisation software which enables a streamlined approach to mine plant shutdown scheduling, in order to fast track maintenance. The team took out the grand prize of $15,000 and will also receive valuable commercialisation assistance for their program.

I also congratulate the other category winners:

The Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards event is a focal point of the innovation calendar in Western Australia and we are privileged to host the awards in conjunction with our sponsors Griffith Hack, Innovation Capital and Proxima Consulting.

Curtin programs finalists in Australasian Research Commercialisation Awards

Three Curtin programs are finalists in the national Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia  awards. The research commercialisation awards recognise the partnerships that are translating Australia’s cutting edge research into products and services.

Mine Maintenance Scheduling via Mathematical Optimisation, a finalist in the Best Commercial Deal category, is the result of research collaboration between Curtin University and Linkforce Engineering. Curtin’s Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre is a finalist in the Best Creative Engagement Strategy category and Curtin Accelerate is a finalist in the Best Entrepreneurial Initiative category.

I wish all finalists the best of luck. Winners will be announced on Thursday 1 September 2016.

Good Universities Guide 2017

This Good Universities Guide 2017 has been released. It has been revised to align with the Quality in Learning and Teaching (QILT) indicators relating to undergraduate student experience and graduate employment.

Curtin received five stars for two of the eight new/updated measures ranking 6th in Australia for ‘Learner engagement’ and 9th for ‘Skills development’. Curtin has also placed well for ‘Overall salary’, ranking 11th nationally. Curtin’s ‘Staff qualifications’ has risen from three stars to four, but the ‘Student-staff ratio’ has dropped from four stars to three. Curtin has also retained its ratings for all measures relating to Curtin’s institutional profile and student numbers.

The Guide’s ebook is available online, and a briefing paper will be prepared and made available shortly on the Office of Strategy and Planning website.

Recognising 20, 30 and 40 years of service to Curtin

Last week we recognised and congratulated staff who have been with Curtin for 20, 30 and 40 years. It was a very special event that very appropriately acknowledged the huge contributions made to Curtin by these staff. All recognised staff received a copy of Look Ever Forward: A History of Curtin University 1987-2012 and a special pin designed by Curtin graduate and staff member, Barbara Cotter. Each pin design was inspired by a historically significant/iconic building or structure on campus.  Those celebrating 30 and 40 years also received an engraved gold watch. Visit Staff News to see a list of all recipients.

Wendy Brophy (Director, Business Support Unit) celebrated 41 years at Curtin and was a guest speaker at the event.

Wendy Brophy (Director, Business Support Unit) celebrated 41 years at Curtin and was a guest speaker at the event.

Justice Michael Kirby tackles homophobia in public lecture

The Honourable Michael Kirby visited the University on Friday to deliver a public lecture on confronting homophobia in his new role as Patron of our Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRE). In the lecture, which was timely given the recent massacre of LGBTIQ people in Orlando, Florida, the international jurist, educator and former judge explored the crucial role universities play in supporting research to end homophobia and all forms of LGBTIQ phobia and prejudice. Titled From Alfred Kinsey to Orlando and Beyond: the role of research in confronting homophobia, Justice Kirby argued that Dr Kinsey’s research was a game changer in revolutionising conceptions of human sexuality. More information is available online.

The Hon. Michael Kirby, Professor Baden Offord (Director, CHRE) and Dr Caroline Fleay (Senior Lecturer, CHRE) following the public lecture

The Hon. Michael Kirby, Professor Baden Offord (Director, CHRE) and Dr Caroline Fleay (Senior Lecturer, CHRE) following the public lecture

Creative Conversations

The China Australia Writing Centre (CAWC) inaugural event Creative Conversations will be held on Saturday 10 September. The event gathers Australian and Chinese literary figures together for a number of expert panel discussions. The CAWC is a research and creative partnership between Curtin and Fudan University in Shanghai. The collaboration with Fudan University is a very important partnership for Curtin and gives us the opportunity to participate in cultural exchange and critical debate. For event details, please visit the Humanities website.

 Digital Futures – new website and Portal project

Many staff will be aware that Curtin has embarked upon a significant program of technology-related projects that are increasing the University’s digital capabilities. The Digital Futures Program, formerly Transforming IT at Curtin (TCIT), has been set up to deliver transformational initiatives for Learning and Teaching, Corporate Services, Corporate Relations, and Research.

Digital Futures has already delivered outcomes such as the new Curtin homepage, the Elsie app that is used by more than 16,000 students, the new InfoEd online research management system and four MOOCs on the edX platform, amongst others. The Program is also working to deliver the highly anticipated staff portal that will replace Staff Oasis and help manage our web presence into the future. More information about the staff portal and the Digital Futures Program will soon be available with the launch of a new website.

Welcome home and congratulations to Curtin athletes

I would like to welcome home the Curtin graduates and students who competed in the Rio Olympics as part of the Australian team. We are immensely proud of their efforts and commitment.

You can find information on the competition results online.





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