Miri – 16 June 2010 – The ‘Team Power Programme’, Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak)’s programme to promote Curtin’s culture of excellence, produce effective leaders and enhance workplace collaboration has been hailed a great success by its participants, including newly-appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Kerr.
Taking a cue from Curtin University’s green vision for its campuses, Curtin Sarawak took 266 staff members ‘back to nature’ for the programme at the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort located approximately 36 kilometres from Miri.
They were divided into three batches for three separate sessions on 10 and 17 April and 8 May 2010. The challenging sessions required them to work in teams to negotiate obstacle courses and devise solutions to complex case studies provided by the programme facilitators.
“It was a truly exceptional experience. Everyone was really enthusiastic about the whole affair, and challenging as it was, all seemed to have a great time. I came away with a very good impression of the calibre of staff we have at Curtin Sarawak,” said Professor Kerr, who participated in the 8 May session just five days into the job as Pro Vice-Chancellor.
“The teamwork demonstrated by everyone in the activities was great. I really appreciated the support of my teammates when attempting the obstacle course. Despite my plus size, I made it through, including what seemed like an insurmountable wall at the end, thanks to them,” said Cecilia Anthony Das, postgraduate coordinator and lecturer with the School of Business.
ICT maintenance and support assistant Petrus Kalom meanwhile said, ”Kudos to the university for conducting the Team Power Programme. It was fun and tiring at the same time, but most importantly, very effective. I’ve noted a change in our working environment as a result. Our campus seems to be a lot livelier, staff members acknowledge each other more, and the academic and professional staff members seem to have found a common bond.”
28 facilitators comprising department heads and officers were involved in conducting the programme. They were led by Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Joan Gribble, Dean of the School of Business Shamsul Kamariah Abdullah, Human Resources Manager Maizatul Azni Abdul Mutalib and Human Resources Officer Larry Asu.
Commending the facilitators on their contribution, Professor Gribble said, “The programme was a wonderful opportunity to train 28 staff to become trainers; to develop their planning and organisational skills and manage large groups of colleagues in a training format. They are to be congratulated for their enthusiasm and motivation to improve their leadership capabilities.”
Professor Kerr, too, had high praise for the facilitators. “They did an excellent job. I thought the programme was a great success in terms of teambuilding and creating links and friendships across faculties, departments and areas at Curtin Sarawak. The facilitators’ coordination, firm control and direction throughout the programme were an important ingredient of this success.”
Maizatul Azni, whose department conceptualised and coordinated the programme, said, “We’re glad we were able to carry out the initiative. Taking everyone away from their normal work to work together in a different setting was a challenge, but everyone took it positively, seeing it as an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary with their colleagues.”
Indeed, all the participants gave the thumbs up for the opportunity to engage in the teambuilding activities and workshops, to get to know their colleagues and understand the university’s strategic priorities better, and at the same time, experience the lush rainforest environment at the resort.
“We wanted to do something really different with the Team Power Programme, and what better way than to have it amidst the lush greenery and cool, fresh air of the resort. We saw it as a great opportunity not only for teambuilding, but also learning more about our environment,” remarked Maizatul Azni.
Curtin Sarawak is the Malaysian offshore campus of Western Australia’s Curtin University of Technology. Established in 1999 at the invitation of the Sarawak State Government, it has become one of the leading international universities in Malaysia. Currently, there are some 3,000 students from over 40 countries studying at Curtin Sarawak. For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my.