Curtin’s Young Alumni Advisory Board (YAAB) formed in June 2017 and we officially launched the Young Alumni Program with a sell-out event that November. We spent several months developing our Terms of Reference and internal processes, designing roles and responsibilities and creating a set of objectives to align with Curtin’s 2017 – 2020 Strategic Plan. Months of research and planning resulted in the creation of events, programs and communications designed to celebrate our young alumni, support their personal, social and professional development, and raise funds to help current students in need.
We delivered events
Our Young Alumni Program Official Launch Party was held at Perth’s Flour Factory in November 2017 and attracted 250 registrations. Along with a welcome presentation from the YAAB, guests enjoyed networking, live music, decadent grazing tables and drinks. Photo credit: Samuel Hesketh.
In 2018, we held four young alumni events, including our inaugural Young Alumni Leadership Breakfast at Curtin St Georges Terrace in May. We were delighted to have four inspirational graduates to share their leadership journeys:
- Ashlee Harrison, Founder and CEO, zero2hero
- Boyd Hauff, Digital Account Manager, Dapper Apps
- Clinton Heal, Founder and CEO, melanomaWA
- Marquis Pohla, CEO and Managing Director, Metrix Consulting
In April, we hosted 50 young alumni at a Perth Comedy Festival performance, Jokes Magotes, at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco. The show featured Curtin graduate and comic, Colin Ebsworth, and was preceded by a networking event with drinks and dessert canapés.
Despite gale-force winds and heavy rain, we welcomed 16 young alumni at our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) in August. During the AGM, we voted in several new Executive Board Members, celebrated our achievements, shared plans for the future and networked over light refreshments.
Our final event for 2018 was an entertaining and interactive skills development networking workshop with comedian, business owner and Curtin graduate, Amy Hetherington. Held at the Hayman Theatre at Perth Campus, 55 young alumni and guests learnt and put into action new networking tips and techniques.
We celebrated young alumni
In 2018, we launched #Talks4Change, a podcast series that aims to share innovative ideas that inspire change across various disciplines. #Talks4Change is available on numerous podcast platforms including Castbox, Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and has received over 800 listens on Castbox alone.
We published five interviews featuring incredible Curtin graduates:
- Social worker, human rights advocate and PhD student, Rebecca Gorjy
- Co-founder of The Cat Café Puurth and architect, Christopher Mewburn
- Comedian and Darwin-based business founder, Amy Hetherington
- Founder of Asia Photo Collective and co-lead of SheSays Singapore, Meera Jane Navaratnam
- Rhodes Scholar and advocate for universal access to clean water and sanitation, Robert Ferritto.
We also published a recording of Clinton Heal’s presentation from the Young Alumni Leadership Breakfast as a special edition podcast.
Young alumni stories
Created by Curtin’s Content team, we shared numerous stories showcasing the achievements of our graduates. Thousands of readers enjoyed stories on our young alumni including (but certainly not limited to!):
- The Quick Flick founder, Iris Smit
- Law graduate Sita Samtani, who is challenging family violence in the North West of Western Australia
- Digital designer and texture artist, Andrew Joseph, who has worked on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar and War for the Planet of the Apes
- Grubs Up founders, Paula Pownall and Amanda Abou Rjeily.
Young Alumni Award winners
Over 2017 and 2018, three young alumni were recognised at Curtin’s Alumni Achievement Awards for demonstrating excellence in their field of endeavour or making a significant contribution to the community through volunteer service. Members of the YAAB were pleased to attend the ceremonies to congratulate young alumni award winners, Shelley Cable (2017), Melissa Davey (2018) and Travis Bailey (2018).
We supported current students
The Young Alumni Helping Hand Fund launched in September through the 2018 Alumni Annual Appeal. During the appeal, over $4000 was raised by Curtin’s young alumni community. These funds alone will provide over 20 grants to students experiencing financial stress. The first grant was awarded in late 2018 and we look forward to supporting more students in the years to come. To those who donated, we wish to thank you for lending a helping hand.
We raised our profile
Filmed and edited by Screen Arts students Michelle Vuaillat and Stephanie Cole (who graduated in 2018) with help from Curtin’s video production team, we created a clip introducing the YAAB and the Young Alumni Program.
We also launched the Curtin Young Alumni Facebook Page to build awareness of Curtin’s young alumni community by sharing young alumni stories, events, opportunities and behind the scenes insights. We supplemented this with a Young Alumni Community Facebook Group to encourage collaboration and engagement between members of our young alumni community. If you haven’t already, make sure you join us on Facebook to be kept up-to-date with our future initiatives.
We connected globally
Through our communications, podcasts, stories and events, as well as connecting directly with other alumni chapters, groups and networks located outside of Perth, we did our best to celebrate young alumni, share content and connect globally wherever we could. We look forward to expanding our global connections in the years to come.
Curtin’s Alumni and Community Relations team would like to thank all of the dedicated, enthusiastic and creative volunteers who served on the YAAB over 2017 and 2018. The success of the program so far is 100% attributed to the ideas, knowledge and planning of these outstanding graduates:
|Nicholas Anderson||Cordelia Gibbs||Jordina Quain|
|Claire Bott||Boyd Hauff||Kieron Safstrom|
|Taylor Clark||Htat Nandar (Annika) Htun||Rhia Saggers|
|Phillip Dundas||Christopher Jenner||Sidharth Savadia|
|Jacinta Ebsworth||Trent Jones||Ryan Soares|
|Bronwyn Fraser||Milan Mathew||Sarah Vagliviello|
|Carissa Gautam||Kathryn Paddick||Simone Yule|