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PVC message, August 2016

It has been another busy month in the Faculty of Health Sciences with lots of exciting developments and impressive achievements from our staff and students.

I congratulate a team of researchers led by Dr Eleanor Quested, Senior Research Fellow, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, who have been awarded a Healthway grant of $293,786 over two years for their project, ‘Aussie Fans in Training: A weight loss program in sport settings’. This innovative project is modelled on a very successful Scottish initiative, which is now being rolled out across various countries.

In other research news, Professor Simone Pettigrew, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, examines the sun-protective behaviours of adolescents, and Master of Philosophy student, Jade Ferullo, is about to start research into the efficacy of tablet computers in distracting children while they undergo painful medical procedures. Jade was awarded a Nursing and Midwifery Office grant for this project, and I congratulate her on this achievement.

The Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards, which were held on Friday 26 August 2016, are a focal point of the innovation calendar in Western Australia. I congratulate Professor Arunasalam Dharmarajan, School of Biomedical Sciences, and his team, for winning the Health Sciences Award. I also extend my congratulations to Anne Furness, and her team from the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, for winning the Teaching and Learning Award, and to Matt Jones, Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA), for winning the Student Award.

We recently welcomed 140 Indigenous students from around Australia to the Girls’ Academy Showcase. The successful three-day event incorporated a basketball tournament, educational activities and discussions about pathways to higher education. A team from Health Sciences held a very successful Expo at the event, and the girls met Cheryl Davis, Director of Indigenous Engagement, and enjoyed activities from occupational therapy, social work, health promotion, nutrition, nursing and midwifery. It was wonderful to hear of the success of this event, and the way the girls engaged with all that is on offer at Curtin in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and in other areas of higher education.

If you are a researcher with a lot of data that’s proving challenging to manage, I encourage you to consider participating in HealthHack, which brings together software developers, user experience designers, data analysts and visualisers to work directly with researchers to create new and better tools for engaging with data.

I was delighted with the success of the recent Arab Film Festival Australia, which travelled to Perth for the first time this year. Approximately 200 guests attended the free screenings over two evenings at Curtin, and many more enjoyed the pre-screening promotional activities around campus. Dr Maggie McAlinden, Coordinator, English Language Development, was involved in the delivery of this event, along with colleagues from the School of Education.


Pro Vice-Chancellor.