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Jarrad Martyn Host

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: This month’s Creative Spotlight features Curtin graduate and Australian artist, Jarrad Martyn’s (BA Fine Art 2012 & BA Hons 2013) painting, ‘Host’ is a finalist in this year’s John Leslie Art Prize. Artwork pictured is Host, 2022. Oil on canvas, 89 x 137 cm.

“Welcome to Curtin Commons, an online storytelling space for Curtin alumni, staff, students and friends. Featuring a series of thought-provoking articles intended to inspire and enlighten, Commons celebrates the many amazing contributions of our Curtin community and how they are striving to create a brighter future for us all.”

– Carmelle Wilkinson, Editor-in-Chief

Latest

Features

Perth’s pretzel queen turns business into lucrative and highly delicious brand

Perth’s pretzel queen turns business into lucrative and highly delicious brand

10 August. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read.

When Curtin graduate Brittany Garbutt invested $100,000 of her savings to start her pretzel business in 2017, she had no idea it would become the popular brand it is today. With 11 stores across Australia and more on the way, the Founder of Pretzel Australia shares her secret to sweet success.

From tragedy to triumph: Carrolup artworks help in healing

From tragedy to triumph: Carrolup artworks help in healing

27 July. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 15 min read.

When an opportunity arose to safeguard the previous artworks by children of the Stolen Generations at John Curtin Gallery manager Kathleen Toomath didn’t hesitate. Created by the renowned Carrolup child artists of the 1940s, including her extraordinary Mum Alma Toomath, the treasured pieces give us hope for a better and brighter future.

Education: The biggest weapon to fight any war

Education: The biggest weapon to fight any war

22 July. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read.

Afghanistan refugee and nursing graduate Ezz Rahmati said attaining a tertiary education degree at Curtin changed his life. Using his nursing degree, he hopes to work in developing nations, where he can help those less fortunate access common medicine and prevent unnecessary deaths from treatable infections.

Kalgoorlie engineer strikes political gold as first female MP for Swan in 101 years

Kalgoorlie engineer strikes political gold as first female MP for Swan in 101 years

8 July. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read.

On May 21, 2022, Curtin alumna and former Guild President Zaneta Mascarenhas was voted in as Federal Member for Swan. The first female to hold the position in Swan’s 101-year history, the Science and Engineering graduate and Mum of two brings a wealth of advocating experience and diversity to the House of Representatives.

Fashion creatives adapt to new consumer priorities as Curtin’s Fashion Course celebrates 20 years

Fashion creatives adapt to new consumer priorities as Curtin’s Fashion Course celebrates 20 years

24 June. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read.

Emerging from the pandemic haze, stronger than ever, fashion companies are adapting to new consumer priorities and shifting their focus towards more sustainable and ethical wear. As Curtin celebrates 20 years of fashion studies this year, Head of Fashion Anne Farren reflects on the evolution of the industry and celebrates the significant contributions of our diverse collection of fashion alumni and recent graduates.

Hospitality trailblazer on quest to revitalise Perth’s social scene

Hospitality trailblazer on quest to revitalise Perth’s social scene

17 June. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read.

Seven years ago, former commercial property valuer Ross Drennan quit his day job in pursuit of greater flexibility and creative freedom. Today, the 35-year-old entrepreneur and his childhood friend and business partner Drew Flanagan are managing large scale festivals and events around the country.

Mentoring program helps guide future Nightingales

Mentoring program helps guide future Nightingales

19 May. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read

While nursing as a profession has evolved over the years, the career itself remains true to those who are motivated to serve and save others. Hear how Curtin’s new Nursing and Midwifery Mentoring Program is helping our final year students make a smooth transition from study to frontline.

Thick skin and resilience key to illustrious media career

Thick skin and resilience key to illustrious media career

13 May. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read.

Nine News presenter Tracy Vo has become a familiar and friendly face on our television screens. Forging a successful career as one of Australia’s leading journalists, the Curtin graduate discusses how her Vietnamese heritage and parent’s bravery and resilience as refugees helped pave the way for her bright and promising future.

Sunrise swims give rise to body positivity

Sunrise swims give rise to body positivity

5 April. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read.

When Curtin graduate Tara Jeisman shared a video of herself on TikTok enjoying a sunrise swim at Mullaloo Beach in February this year, she had no idea it would evolve into a body positive movement that would later sweep the nation.

Creative spotlight

Recently nominated for the 2022 John Leslie Art Prize, Curtin graduate Jarrad Martyn’s (BA Fine Art 2012 & BA Hons 2013) Host’ is just one of the mesmerising works from his Relics collection. Through the evolution of collective memory, Relics represents modern and ancient ideas and imagery in new contexts and narratives. Some of the collection is currently on display at STALA Contemporary.

Image courtesy of Linden New Art. Photography by Laura May Grogan.

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… and find out what your community cares about

Valerie Ah Chee

Valerie Ah Chee (BSci Midwifery, 2011) cares about fostering a sense of belonging for Aboriginal women

“My biggest inspiration and role model is my mum, Dr Rosemary van den Berg, who was the first Nyungar woman to graduate with a PhD from Curtin. I worked on a painting to represent that intergenerational support, and hopefully empower other Aboriginal women to thrive at Curtin through their Moorditj Yorga Scholarship Program.”

David Gribble

David Gribble (BApp Sci 2001, MBA 2006) cares about delivering impactful community safety programs for families in WA

“I have felt empowered to create change as part of some wonderful organisations that benefit many inspiring people – currently this is for the Constable Care Foundation in my role as CEO. Ethical decision-making, integrity and creating change for the better are my guiding personal values.”

Molly Ryan

Molly Ryan (BA Fashion, 2020) cares about creating sustainable fashion

“The mindless consumption of apparel is a major contributor to the fashion industry’s shameful environmental impacts. I want to promote responsible consumption of fashion products through education, awareness and innovation. We have the power to catalyse change by consuming less.”

Letter to the Editor from Ken Gibbons (BApp Sci Biology, 1977)

“I read with interest the latest issue of Curtin Commons and especially the history of Grok and Curtin FM. I was the Student Guild President from 1977-1979 in a rather turbulent period in the Guild’s history. Grok played an instrumental role in the survival of Curtin FM and also in the WA School of Mines (WASM) in Kalgoorlie; the University Administration was going to defund CurtinFM (formerly known as 6NR) and close the station. There were also recommendations that WASM should be closed and the courses transferred to the Bentley campus in Perth. Grok was involved in sharing the strong opinions of students who were against these proposals and was a vanguard for social issues on campus. I hope that the rich history of Grok has been preserved, as it is perhaps the best record and testament of the living history of students, their Guild and their stories of the past half century.”

Dikshita Awotarowa (BCom Banking and Finance, 2020) cares about inspiring women to see themselves in finance

“I founded the Women in Finance and Investment Network to address the underrepresentation of women in these fields and evolve the public’s perception of what a female expert in finance looks like. Hopefully by increasing our visibility, we can motivate the next generation of young girls to study finance.”

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.