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Curtin Commons

Bold. Original. Curated for our community.

A series of thought-provoking articles full of insight and inspiration on the issues most important to you, featuring some of Curtin University’s brightest minds, leaders and creatives.

Image: ‘Small Things’ illustration by Curtin graduate Mel Tregonning.

“Welcome to Curtin Commons, our exciting new space for graduates, students, staff and friends to stay connected with their university. I hope you enjoy reading how your community is striving to create a brighter future through their insight, expertise and unique talents.”

– Caroline Robson, Editor

Features

WA writer-turned-global-director Ben Young on making it in the film industry

WA writer-turned-global-director Ben Young on making it in the film industry

6 September. 10 min read.

Ben Young (BA Screen Arts, 2003) is many things: a Perth-born local, a film student who started out making music videos for his mates, and now a rising star who became a success story overnight after years struggling in the industry.

Finding hope amid a pandemic: stories from around the world

Finding hope amid a pandemic: stories from around the world

2 September. 10 min read.

We spoke to Curtin graduates living and working around the globe – London, Singapore, Perth, Kuala Lumpur, New York and Houston – about experiencing the pandemic where they are, the challenges they’ve faced and how they are managing to get through it.

'Grok' and the grads it inspired: reflections on Curtin's student rag

‘Grok’ and the grads it inspired: reflections on Curtin’s student rag

2 September. 10 min read.

Passed around by Student Guild members, shared among student protestors walking down the streets of Perth’s CBD, and more recently transformed into an online blog, the student newspaper known as ‘Grok’ has a long history in Perth.

The research fighting rising mental illness in young people

The research fighting rising mental illness in young people

2 September. 10 min read.

One in four young people experience a mental illness each year in Australia. If we take those numbers and apply them to young people studying at universities, that’s upwards of 210,000 Australian university students aged 18-25 battling mental illness every year.

A voice for the voiceless: a conversation with Marcus Wong

A voice for the voiceless: a conversation with Marcus Wong

2 September. 15 min read.

Australian photographer and filmmaker Marcus Wong strongly believes you can’t care about something you’ve never seen, and has made it his mission to share the voices of the voiceless with the world.

A special series on…

The Power of Educated Women

Q&A with sustainability and equality champion Dr Sandy Chong

Q&A with sustainability and equality champion Dr Sandy Chong

23 September. 15 min read.

Businessperson, philanthropist, mentor and educator, Dr Sandy Chong has been a champion for change ever since she began her higher education journey. We chatted to Sandy about her belief that being a ‘disruptor’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing; and who are the best disruptors? According to Sandy, the answer is women.

Midwife graduate returns to paint moorditj yorga design

Midwife graduate returns to paint moorditj yorga design

3 September. 5 min read.

Valerie Ah Chee was the only Aboriginal woman in her cohort. Now, she has returned to Curtin to foster a sense of belonging for other Aboriginal women by designing the artwork for the University’s Moorditj Yorga (‘strong woman’) Scholarship.

The transformative power of strong women

The transformative power of strong women

2 September. 5 min read.

Dr June Oscar is a remarkable woman, or ‘moorditj yorga.’ So too is Professor Sandra Eades. And now, Curtin student Janelle Brown, a Bundjalung woman with big dreams, is on her way to becoming a qualified community leader and role model. These First Nations women are all examples of the transformative power of educated moorditj yorgas.

Trauma, healing and triumph: journey of a moorditj yorga

Trauma, healing and triumph: journey of a moorditj yorga

2 September. 5 min read.

‘Moorditj yorga’ means ‘strong woman’ in the Nyungar language and is an apt description of Jill; a Ballardong woman, a grandmother, a domestic violence survivor, and now a student on her way to successfully completing a degree. She hopes her university studies will give her a second chance at life.

Nursing grad Mel Robinson on key to success for Aboriginal students

Nursing grad Mel Robinson on key to success for Aboriginal students

2 September. 5 min read.

As an Aboriginal woman, Melanie Robinson has had to overcome many hurdles on her journey to achieving her dream of improving the health of Aboriginal people. We chatted with Mel about why she attributes her career success to studying hard, pushing herself out of her comfort zone, and being driven to help others.

Mining leader Vanessa Guthrie AO opens doors to education for First Nations women

Mining leader Vanessa Guthrie AO opens doors to education for First Nations women

2 September. 5 min read.

Influential leader in the mining sector, Vanessa Guthrie AO, believes the reason she has been able to achieve so much in her career is her university education. Vanessa founded the Moorditj Yorga Scholarship in the hopes that First Nations women will receive the same opportunities to thrive through the transformative power of education as she did.

Creative spotlight

This month we spoke to Violet Tregonning about her sister Mel’s moving and intricate illustrations, and how her debut novel ‘Small Things’ is opening up important conversations about mental health.

Stay connected …

As a Curtin grad, keep your details up-to-date to automatically receive our e-newsletter; or follow our updates on social media and share your ideas for future stories with us by getting in touch below.

… to find out what your community cares about

Richard Hammond (Architecture, 1974) cares about building homes, not monuments

“I believe in building homes and buildings that are appropriate for people who are struggling… homeless people, people facing housing stress. We need to work for and with the community with architecture that is intentional and human-focussed.”

Kate Brown (BA English, 1990) cares about the future of islands

“Most of my job has been focused on the geopolitical realities that islands around the world face. The next ten years of my life will be focused in this space of the future of sustainability and helping to lift up the people that live on islands.”

Mochamad Ashari (MA Electrical Engineering, 1997) cares about the wellbeing of doctors and nurses

“I helped design a robot to assist nurses and doctors in hospitals, which prevents COVID transmission between the staff and the patients. I believe in creating these innovations in order to help other people.”

Bec Bignell (BA Journalism & Performance Studies, 2007) cares about sharing the stories of regional Australians

“I’m excited to nourish the talent of regional storytellers so that we can start to empower as many regional creatives as possible and make sure they have the same opportunities as anyone else to have their work seen and celebrated.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Curtin University acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which Curtin Perth is located, the Whadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

Help

Get in touch

Curtin Commons is managed by the University Advancement team at Curtin’s Perth campus. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions, ideas for future stories, or feedback about this publication.