Miri – 28 January 2014 – Over 300 staff of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) and their family members, as well students attending the university’s Intensive English Programme and invited guests, attended its first-ever Australia Day Sausage Sizzle last Saturday to celebrate Australia Day which fell on 26 January 2014.
Also attending were Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan, chairman of the Curtin Sarawak Council; Kate Welsh, Counsellor – Education at the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur; Curtin Sarawak’s pro vice-chancellor and chief executive, Professor Jim Mienczakowski; deputy pro vice-chancellor Professor Ir. Yudi Samyudia and chief operating officer Nicholas Ching. Delegates attending the inaugural 5-day IOV-Youth Asia Congress hosted by the university and the International Organisation of Folkart (IOV) also joined in the festivities.
The barbecue event at the foyer of the Harry Perkins Lecture Theatre featured Australian food including the proverbial Aussie sausage on a bun and damper in addition to other barbecue favourites, as well as a raffle. There was also the planting of acacia trees by Datuk Patinggi Dr. Chan, Welsh and Prof. Mienczakowski in an ‘Australian Grove’ on the campus to mark the occasion.
In his welcoming speech, Prof. Mienczakowski expressed hopes that the Australia Day Sausage Sizzle will become an annual feature at Curtin Sarawak and that it would take on a greater Australian ambience so that Malaysians and people of other nationalities attending the event can really experience what it is like celebrating the national holiday in Australia.
Welsh, meanwhile, spoke of Australian government initiatives to promote Australian education in the region as well as the strong bilateral relations between Australia and Malaysia, while Datuk Patinggi Dr. Chan reminisced about the establishment of Curtin Sarawak not only as Curtin University’s first foreign branch campus, but also the first foreign university branch campus in Malaysia, in 1999. He also spoke of the involvement of officials at the highest levels of the state and federal governments in its establishment.
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my, its Facebook page at facebook.com/CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia, Twitter profile at twitter.com/curtinsarawak, YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/CurtinUniSarawak, or Instagram at instagram.com/curtinsarawak.