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Curtin University
Note to staff

12 June 2017


Curtin climbs on the QS World University Ranking 2017-18

Curtin has increased its position on the QS World University Ranking (QSWUR), rising to 262 in the world, up from 306 in 2016-17. This places the University 15th nationally, up from 16th last year, making it the fastest rising of the top 15 Australian universities.

The QSWUR assesses universities against six indicators. Curtin’s performance improved significantly in Academic and Employer Reputation this year, with a 26 per cent increase in scores on both measures. The score for Faculty to Student Ratio has risen by six per cent and the Citations per Faculty have improved by five per cent. Curtin has maintained a perfect score for International Faculty each year since 2013.

This is a wonderful achievement that reflects very well on everyone at Curtin. Many thanks to all of our staff who have contributed to this positive outcome.

A briefing paper will be available shortly on the Office of Strategy and Planning website.

Healing Centres project

Last year Curtin committed to the ‘Healing Centres for the Stolen Generations Survivors’ project, signing a memorandum of understanding with the Southern Aboriginal Corporation and the Bringing Them Home Committee.

Last week I was privileged to be part of an event to mark the completion of the first phase of the project in which students from Architecture, Interior Architecture, Planning, Construction Management and Spatial Sciences completed an extensive study of the Carrolup-Marribank and Wandering mission sites.

I congratulate all those who’ve been involved in getting the Healing Centres project to this stage, in particular Professor Reena Tiwari from the School of Built Environment.

Healing Centres

With Jim Morrison (Executive Director, Bringing Them Home Committee, far right), Curtin students and members of the Stolen Generations who are involved in the Healing Centres project.

New Director of Properties, Facilities and Development appointed

I am very pleased to advise that the General Manager of the Greater Curtin Project, Tim Urquhart, has been appointed Director of Properties, Facilities and Development, following the resignation of Andy Sharp earlier this year.

Tim is a business executive with over 30 years experience in corporate property development and strategic leadership.  He has worked internationally in the global property market and led a number of major urban infrastructure projects and business operations.

I would like to thank both Lisa Spiers and Dr Rocio Bona for their work when acting in the Director’s role since it became vacant. Please join me in congratulating Tim on his appointment.  He commences in the new role today.

People and Culture

To continue to strengthen our University’s capability and culture, while also responding to the challenges of a rapidly changing external environment, it is important we adapt and evolve the way we deliver our services internally.

An important step in this regard will be the merger of our Organisational Development, Conflict Management and Human Resources functions. These three currently separate functions have significant overlaps in their service offerings and will come together to form a team to be called People and Culture.

I thank all the staff involved for all their work to help bring the groups together in order to further strengthen our capability and culture.  I would particularly like to acknowledge the significant contribution of the Organizational Development Unit over many years.  Their hard work, commitment and focus has contributed to the very good progress that we made in relation to strengthening our culture. Without these contributions, we would not be in a position to make the transition to an integrated People and Culture team.

Consultation on poposed changes to the Academic Calendar

 Building on work undertaken in 2016, the Academic Calendar Implementation Group (ACIG) was convened to determine a preferred option for changes to the Academic Calendar, consistent with the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. This work has been led by Academic Registrar, Associate Professor Jon Yorke.

The ACIG’s Interim Report on the changes proposed to the Academic Calendar has now been released for consultation. I encourage you to read the report and submit your feedback by 7 July 2017. The Report and further details can be accessed here.

Staff achievements

  • Congratulations to Dr Katarina Miljkovic of the Department of Applied Geology on receiving a 2017 Aspire Professional Development Award.  These awards provide staff from universities and other not-for-profit organisations with financial support to attend international conferences. Katarina will use the award to attend the 80th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society (MetSoc), in New Mexico, USA later this year.Katarina was also named as one of American Geophysical Union’s Outstanding Reviewers of 2016
  • Congratulations also to Curtin Malaysia senior lecturer in marketing Dr Shamsul Kamariah Abdullah and her counterpart at the Bentley campus, Dr Aneeshta Gunness, who were joint recipients of the ‘Programs That Enhance Learning for Curtin Business School’ award. The award recognised excellence in the delivery of the Retail Marketing & Distribution unit using distributed learning pedagogy.

New corporate PowerPoint

A new corporate PowerPoint slide deck has been developed which includes useful introductory slides, images and statistics about the University as well as anniversary-related slides.  The slide deck can be adapted to suit your presentation and I encourage all staff to make use of this new resource.

I would like to thank University Marketing for their work in developing the slide deck.


  1. Igor Bray June 12, 2017 2:33pm

    The pptx template still states “top 2%”. It doesn’t give a source, so perhaps stating “top 1% according to QSWUR” would be better.

  2. Juris Varpins June 12, 2017 5:21pm

    Congratulations on all the positive news contained in this note to staff.

    I would like to thank the VC for her acknowledgment of the work of the ODU since it was established as a Unit in 2007. Many staff have been positively impacted by the work of the team, and I have no doubt that Curtin is a better organisation for that work.

    I would like to pause for one moment to make transparent one aspect of the ‘merger’ between Organisational Development and Human Resources.

    I do this in the interests of balancing the tone, but more importantly, as the former Director, to salute the good work of the staff being let go by Curtin.

    A heartfelt thank you to Tony Brown, Jane Bushby, Janice Burmaz, Priscilla Paikos and Robyn McCreery. Together with many other contract staff you have excelled and always given your best.

    Vale ODU.

    • Sian Flynne June 12, 2017 7:04pm

      Very well said, Juris. Thanks heaps to everyone in ODU for all the wonderful prof development you have provided over many years.

  3. Hillary Lambert June 13, 2017 11:13am

    GREAT NEWS that Tim Urquhart is our new Director of Properties, Facilities and Development! We’ve had time to get know and already enjoy working with Tim in the General Manager of the Greater Curtin Project and are really looking forward to learning from his national and international experience in urban development and being inspired by his positive, contemporary approach.

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