Curtin fine art students Benjamin Bannan and Claire Gillam showcased their artworks in this year’s Hatched: National Graduate Show at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. We spoke with Bannan about his Hatched piece, his artistic approach and promising career.
“I chose to study Internet Communications at Curtin because I wanted to ‘future proof’ my career. The lecturers and tutors were inspiring and knowledgeable. I wouldn’t have been able to complete my degree without them.
I was the first ‘digital creative’ [Newcastle Live] had employed. The theory and references I had learnt and collected during my degree were invaluable when justifying the direction I was advising the company to take. My favourite part of my current role is building community around the media Newcastle Live creates.”
UN internship an Australian uni ‘first’
Working for the United Nations Assistant Secretary General, meeting a prime minister and interviewing remote farmers were just some of the experiences international relations student Laurelle Neugebauer had when she undertook a six-month UN internship in Timor-Leste.
Thirst for fashion: journalism alumna lands career with Gucci
Not many people could say they’ve met Cate Blanchett or Beyoncé, but brushing shoulders with celebrities is all in a day’s work for Curtin alumna Stephanie Epiro, who is living the dream of many modern journalists as Gucci’s social media manager in Milan.
“Choosing Literary and Cultural Studies as a major was a result of my indecision about which field to enter. At the time, I was interested in philosophy, literature, media and psychology: Literary and Cultural Studies provided me with a place in which I not only read from each area, but where I could actively combine the disciplines to explore aspects of popular culture that intrigued me.
The analytical skills taught in the Literary and Cultural Studies units fit seamlessly with other Humanities courses, and have equipped me with the ability to research in multiple areas with relative ease. Lastly but importantly, a Literary and Cultural Studies major is fun and exciting. Not only did I get to use cookbooks, watch Buffy and read fantasy novels in the name of research, but my experience with these texts led to meaningful critique of the function of popular culture.”
Fortune favours the fearless
For Ashley Barron, her love affair with cinematography began in her teens. Born in Russia and raised in Ireland, she moved to Australia during her high school years, and after the discovery of photography and media in the school curriculum, her life took a creative turn.
Study Human Rights at Curtin and become a great human being
Why are people treated differently because of their age, sex, culture, race, religion or nationality? Watch how Misty Farquhar addresses her experience of difference and becomes an advocate for justice, inclusion and equality for all.
“I was keen to put my interests and skills in communications to use but was a catch 22. Lack of experience was preventing me from moving to the next phase of my career but no one was willing to offer me a chance.
I had seen that knowledge of social media and online communications had become pretty hot in demand and Internet Studies offered an opportunity to diversify my skills and explore emerging trends.
What’s the best thing about this degree?
It’s relevant, timely, practical and fun. We got to study things as they were happening, like the Kony 2012 campaign, so the skills we were learning were immediately and directly applicable to the real world.
Choosing to study fully online maximised my experience of Internet Studies and I really enjoyed how engaging the course was, making full use of the tools and channels available on the web. Working together online was often the most rewarding part of the degree, and was directly relevant to the way we work in the modern workplace.
My proudest study achievement was my final Web 507 project, where I created a range of online content to explain the concept of transmedia in a creative and engaging way. It was a huge amount of fun to create and gave me the highest mark I’d received for any project at university.
I’d love to go back to my early career and convince myself to start postgraduate studies earlier on, but I think everything happened at the right time and it took my cumulative experiences to bring me here.
How has this degree benefited your current role?
My knowledge of communication principles, of new and emerging platforms, my skills in writing for different audiences and platforms, and methods for engaging with communities are important in carrying out my role, where I help to create and develop concepts and content and run communications campaigns across multiple platforms.
What is your greatest career achievement to date?
I helped design and oversee the ‘Humans of Curtin’ equity campaign, which is all about celebrating people from all walks of life and demonstrating that people from all backgrounds can succeed in higher education. The campaign is centred on storytelling. We collect stories from students and staff within the Curtin community and publish these online, similar to Humans of New York. The stories are shared across a variety of digital and print platforms and have organically performed incredibly well.
The second component to this campaign was to design marketing collateral targeted towards equity target groups within the community. We developed visual and audio advertisements that promote positive messaging around racial, sexual and geographical diversity and published these in selected metro and regional places all around the state. This allowed the University to connect with niche and wide-ranging community groups beyond the bounds of who we usually communicate with and advertise to.
Humans of Curtin has attracted attention from around the University, including staff at senior levels. It’s also demonstrated the value of organic content for the use in Curtin marketing campaigns. I’m immensely proud of this project and it’s allowed me to utilise the perfect combination of my creative interests and learned skills.
I’ve just begun my PhD in Internet Studies. I want to build up a profile as an academic and pop culture commentator, and hopefully an expert in transmedia. I’m interested to see where my studies might take me around the world.
Beyond that I think I’d like to eventually engage in teaching and lecturing. One day I’d like to produce a great creative work. I feel like my study is leading me to do something creative.”
8000 miles to Malta
What began as an interest in history, politics and travelling has seen Curtin international relations graduate Natasha Howells travel to the other side of the world, working as an executive assistant and public affairs officer for the Australian High Commission in Malta. Her role ranges from political and economic reporting and research analysis, to public and economic diplomacy and aid programs.
Bolstering Bangladesh: Curtin researchers help nation on the path to sustainability
Curtin University Sustainable Policy Institute (CUSP) recently worked with the Government of Bangladesh’s Governance Innovation Unit to help implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.