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Curtin University
Note to staff

1 May 2017


Welcome back to everyone who took the opportunity to take extra leave between Easter and Anzac Day.  I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful break.  I have recently returned from attending graduations at our campus in Malaysia.  It was wonderful to see over 400 students graduating across two ceremonies.  I also enjoyed the annual Curtin Malaysia Awards evening and really appreciated the opportunity that I had to spend time with a group of Bentley-based students from the School of Built Environment who were visiting Sarawak as part of a mobility experience.  My thanks to Associate Professor Khoa and Dr Emil Jonescu for all their work to organize such an rich and enriching experience for the students involved, an experience that we hope increased numbers of our students will have the opportunity to access in the future.

VC Forum

I look forward to sharing the high-level results of the recent Your Voice survey, and other updates including the implications of the impending Federal Budget, at this year’s first VC Forum. It is to be held on Wednesday 17 May from 12:30pm -1:30pm in the Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre. I’ll also be very happy to take questions on these or any other subjects, as will other members of the Senior Executive Team (SET).

All staff are invited to attend. A light lunch will be provided from 12pm onwards. I look forward to seeing you there, if however you are unable to attend in person, the Forum will be webcast live and also recorded.

Opening of the Sarich Neuroscience Research Institute

The $37.7m Sarich Neuroscience Institute at the QEII Medical Centre was officially opened by Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson, AC Governor of Western Australia on 26 April. The state-of-the-art Institute will provide medical scientists with the sophisticated laboratory access required to find solutions to neurological diseases and physical neurological defects. Curtin is one of the four foundation partners in the new Institute – the other partners include:

  • Perron Institute for Translational and Neuroscience Research (previously known as the West Australian Neuroscience Research Institute – WANRI);
  • Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (previously known as the McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation); and
  • The Ear Science Institute Australia.

We are delighted that two of our major research groups will be housed in this impressive new research institute. Professor Melinda Fitzgerald’s research team will be focused on understanding and preventing the loss of function that occurs following injuries like traumatic brain injury, whereas Associate Professor Julian Heng’s team will be working on the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the formation of neural circuits during brain development.

The $37.7m Sarich Neuroscience Institute at the QEII Medical Centre

The $37.7m Sarich Neuroscience Institute at the QEII Medical Centre

New Hayman Theatre opening

The new Hayman Theatre was officially opened on Wednesday night in building 302 with a formal plaque unveiling by Honourable David Templeman, Minister for Local Government; Heritage, Culture and the Arts. The official opening was followed by a special theatrical adaption of Kit Williams’ iconic picture book ‘Masquerade’ written by Kate Mulvany. Kate is one of Australia’s leading playwrights and a Curtin Theatre Arts graduate.

The Hayman Theatre has played a special part our history and many graduates, like Kate, have built successful careers in the arts. It is fitting that we celebrate this new chapter for the theatre as we celebrate our 50 Years of Innovation.

New Hayman Theatre opening

L-R: Professor Alan Dench (PVC Humanities), Minister David Templeman and Professor John Cordery (Provost), unveil the plaque to officially open the new Hayman Theatre

Professor Daube receives highest award for health leadership

I am delighted to announce that Professor Mike Daube, Curtin’s Professor of Health Policy, was awarded the prestigious Hugh Leavell Award for Outstanding Global Health Leadership during the 15th World Congress on Public Health 2017 held in Melbourne earlier this month. Professor Daube was recognised for his tireless and substantial work as a public health advocate for tobacco control and across other areas. The Hugh Leavell Award is the highest honour conferred by the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

Please join me in congratulating Professor Daube on this outstanding achievement.

Winners of the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Awards

The Student Guild’s 2016 Excellence in Teaching Awards were held recently.  The Awards provide an opportunity for students to recognise members of staff who have excelled in providing encouragement and guidance and who have displayed excellence in their teaching and interactions with students over the course of the year.  Congratulations to all winners. You can see the full list of awards and recipients on Staff News.

Excellence in Teaching Awards 2017

Award recipients with Student Guild President, Liam O’Neill

Curtin University St Georges Terrace awarded 6 Star Green Star rating

I am very pleased to announce that Curtin University St Georges Terrace has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star rating for its Interiors from the Green Building Council of Australia.  The rating assesses the sustainability outcomes of interior fit-outs across nine categories including management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovation.

This is a significant achievement and reflects our leadership in sustainability and commitment to reducing environmental impact across our campuses.  Thank you to everyone involved in this achievement. You can read more about this in our media release.

Agribusiness student receives Rural Bank Scholarship

Curtin Agribusiness student, Tristan Clarke, is one of nine Rural Bank Scholarship recipients for 2017. The scholarship program is open to first-time undergraduate university students enrolled in studies that will enable them to contribute to the Australian agricultural industry. Congratulations to Tristan on winning this major scholarship.

Vale notices

Sadly, three current and former Curtin staff have recently passed away. Our thoughts are with their friends and families and all who mourn their loss:

  • Melat Habtemariam worked at Curtin for 11 years. She began her career in Engineering, and then went onto work in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Medical Radiation Science within the School of Science.  She was a much loved and respected member of staff who will be hugely missed by all who worked with her.
  • Mark Oliver was the IT Service Centre Manager for CITS, and had worked at Curtin since 1993. He will be remembered for his passion for his team and dedication to continuously improve the Curtin experience for students and staff.
  • Shri Manohar was a lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning from 1971 to 1991. He is remembered by those who knew him for his passion for planning and his quiet, unassuming and polite manner. 

Please remember that Curtin provides free confidential counselling services to all staff.  If you would like to speak to someone please contact the service on 9266 7850 to arrange a meeting during work hours.  An off-campus, external counselling provider, Optum, is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1300 361 008.

 Significant dates

Today is May Day, or International Workers Day, which is celebrated every year on 1 May around the world. The annual May Day Festival recognises the achievements of working people while celebrating the significance of the eight-hour working day.



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