Curtin Sarawak staff go back to nature for teambuilding activities

Officers and school department heads who attended the special edition of the Team Power Programme on 13 March 2010.

Miri – 1 April 2010 – Taking a cue from Curtin University of Technology’s green vision for its campuses, Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) is taking some 340 of its staff members ‘back to nature’ for its off-campus Team Power Programme teambuilding activity in April and May.
The programme, organised for the first time by the university’s Human Resources Department, is scheduled for three separate batches of staff over three days on 10 and 17 April and 8 May 2010 at the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort in Lambir approximately 36 kilometres from Miri.

According to Larry Asu, officer in charge of organisational and employee development at Curtin Sarawak, the Team Power Programme can be quite challenging as the participants are required to work in teams to negotiate obstacle courses and devise solutions to complex case studies provided by the programme facilitators.

He related that 29 officer-level staff and school department heads of the university underwent a special edition of the programme, also at the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort, on 13 March 2010, which proved to be a most rewarding experience for those who attended.
Indeed, all the participants gave their thumbs up for the unique opportunity to engage in various teambuilding activities and workshops, and at the same time, experience the lush rainforest environment of 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 see it as a great opportunity to not only enhance workplace collaboration, build relationships and hone leadership skills, but also learn more about our environment,” remarked Larry.

“Being new to Curtin Sarawak, the experience was a great opportunity for me to bond with my peers, many of whom have a wealth of experience and lots of knowledge and skills to impart. I really look forward to rewarding team experiences with all of them in future,” said one of the special edition participants, lecturer Dr. Dereje Woldemichael from Ethiopia. He added that the unique surroundings at the resort made the experience all the more enriching.

According to another participant, Lina Poh, the experience went a long way towards enhancing comradeship, fellowship and loyalty to one another. “It’s great that we all get along and always work hard to develop and maintain our relationships. It’s all about being part of one happy Curtin family and reinforcing our commitment to serving our students, fellow staff and the larger community. I’m certain all the staff will enjoy the programme as much as we did,” she declared.

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Joan Gribble, who is a key supporter of the programme as well as one of its facilitators, commended the participants on their commitment towards the Team Power Programme and enhancing teamwork within the organisation.

“I hope the message of promoting teamwork at the workplace will be similarly visualised and demonstrated in the upcoming Team Power Programme sessions for staff regardless of their positions or the departments they are in,” she said.

She added that the teamwork in an organisation is crucial to promote fast learning, build bonds, ease workload distribution, explore individual creativity, improve performance and increase the quality of work.

Main facilitator Shamsul Kamariah Abdullah, who is also the Dean of the School of Business, meanwhile said that she was glad to have a good team of experienced and capable programme facilitators.

“They are all very committed to our culture of excellence and are able to translate the roles of team leaders, resource managers and motivators. All the participants can be sure the knowledge and skills they gain in the training will be relevant and can be translated to their jobs and workplaces. We should see not only greater teamwork but also enhanced job competencies in our staff,” said Shamsul Kamariah.

Curtin Sarawak is the Malaysian offshore campus of Western Australia’s Curtin University of Technology. Established in 1999 as the first international university campus in East Malaysia at the invitation of the Sarawak State Government, it has in the ten years hence become one of the leading international universities in Malaysia, attracting students from all over the world to its modern campus amidst a beautiful garden setting in Senadin, Miri. Currently, there are some 3,000 students from over 40 countries studying at Curtin Sarawak.

For more information of Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at
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