My connection to Curtin University is multi-layered.
My great grandfather (WD Johnson) was a prominent trade unionist and Labor Party politician in the first half of the 20th century. He was a close friend of John Curtin. My grandfather lectured me from an early age on his exceptional qualities – not just as a wartime leader and politician but as a man who found redemption in serving others. Similarly, the institution named after him elevates and gives meaning to those who pass through its lecture theatres and its public spaces.
Whilst at primary school I attended films screened by the then WAIT Guild. Whilst I was an indifferent student, I was more involved in university life than most and was fortunate to be elected Guild President in 1993 – a great experience! The photo I have attached is of me (in the middle!) with 2 other Guild “hacks” that we have titled the Dead Presidents. I have fond memories of the university leaders that I had contact with like Lance Twomey, Will Christensen, Jeanette Hackett, Ian Fairnie, Doug Yorke and the fierce Mike Williamson. I learnt much from them without fully appreciating it at the time.
On campus I made many friends from different countries and cultures who I am still in contact with today and this had a huge impact on my career trajectory. I worked for the university’s consulting company for a year following graduation before heading into the world. Years later, I am enjoying a stimulating career in oil and gas and have lived in and travelled to many places around the world. I am proud to be a product of Curtin University. My time at Bentley was transformative for me and informs my approach and attitude every day.