Community initiatives

Our staff and community members are driven to make tomorrow better. They demonstrate this through their continued commitment to ERS initiatives, within Curtin and their disciplines.

Students walking across the grass

Financial Toolbox – Empowering women through financial education

In partnership with:

Established in 2016, Financial Toolbox is a registered not-for-profit organisation that aims to build financial knowledge and skills of Western Australian women to give them independence and freedom of choice throughout their lives. Financial Toolbox is run entirely by a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers, and partners with key leaders in this area to develop its programs.

Financial Toolbox focuses on the economic empowerment of women through a range of initiatives:

  • Workshops: providing subsidised financial education for women
  • Your Toolkit: Supporting women facing domestic violence and financial abuse on their journey to an independent, confident and safe life
  • Youth Programs: delivering online financial education material for high school students in partnership with Student Edge

These initiatives support women to:

  • Get ahead of their finances, take control of spending and saving and avoid common pitfalls so they can be financially independent and in control
  • Protect themselves from unexpected surprises in life which can have a big impact on personal finances
  • Learn skills to minimise personal risk and maximise options, should something untoward occur

In addition to the partnerships listed above, Financial Toolbox works closely with a large number of organisations including Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence, ASIC, Legal Aid, Lifeline, WA Police, Department of Communities, Financial Counsellors Network and Headspace.

Financial Toolbox is also a member of the Economic Empowerment Project, which has Lotterywest funding of $604,000, and delivered its first train-the-trainer style financial education in February, aimed at supporting women in refuges.

In 2020, Financial Toolbox is focusing on embedding Your Toolkit as a referral source in key organisations and developing community workshops.

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Curtin Tax Clinic

Henry's Taxing Day

Henry’s Taxing Day 

The Curtin University Tax Clinic’s published book, Henry’s Taxing Day, is now available.

This is the first book in a series targeted towards pre-primary students, and provides a soft introduction to the broad concepts of taxation. The book was created to address several gaps in the delivery of tax and more broadly, financial literacy education.

Given that tax plays a crucial role in transactions, and that the revenue generated from the collection of taxes enables the majority of public services we enjoy, it is essential that future participants of the tax system are informed of their obligations and understand broadly how the taxes we pay are used. Early education and intervention is therefore essential to developing a society conscious of compliance obligations and willing to participate in the tax system authentically and transparently.

It is the hope of Curtin Tax Clinic that the compliance and public services message will resonate with parents and children. This is the first step in developing a culture in future taxpayers that centres on compliance.

Henry’s Taxing Day is available from the Curtin Tax Clinic website.


Curtin Tax Clinic Heads North

In August 2019, the Curtin Tax Clinic, an initiative co-founded by Curtin Law School academics, Annette Morgan and Donovan Castelyn, ventured to the remote, regional community of Broome, Western Australia, with the intent to provide tax related assistance to those most in need.

With the support of the Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry – who facilitated initial promotion, and provided the workspace for the visit – the regional clinic team were well placed to deliver their services to the community.

Over the course of one week, the clinic successfully assisted numerous members of the Broome community with matters ranging from simple lodgements to complex FBT, GST and indigenous corporations advice.


Curtin donations help Indigenous households hit by pandemic

Photo of Deadly Sista Girlz and Curtin University representatives holding up donations

Staff at Curtin University have dug deep to help Indigenous community members in WA hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A donation drive attracted hundreds of essentials items such as towels, pillows, blankets, toiletries and cleaning products, which are being distributed by the Wirrpanda Foundation, through its Deadly Sista Girlz program, to young women and other community members who have lost their livelihoods, or even access to essential items due to the pandemic.

Curtin Cuts the Cups: The C3 project

Hand holding a coffee cup

Curtin Cuts the Cups (C3) is a cross disciplinary collaborative project, focusing on phasing out single use coffee cups at Curtin University. This project is led by PhD student Etienne Rastion, who has connected with and engaged a number of Curtin teams, staff and students in this initiative.

Bridget Tombleson, from the School of Marketing, is on the advisory panel from a communication perspective. Bridget engaged her Transmedia Storytelling unit students in the project by inviting them to create social media stories for C3. Dr Luke Butcher, also from the School of Marketing, worked with C3 in his User Experience Design unit.

Dr Louis Geneste from the School of Management used C3 as the focal case for a Strategy, Change and Innovation unit. Students used design thinking to look at C3’s stakeholders and to analyse the challenges the initiative faced more deeply. Students completed an innovation report detailing actions C3 could put into place to deliver its value proposition, as well as developed business models to help investigate how C3 could be commercialised.  The student work and respective assessments on C3 accounted for 70% of the grades for the unit.

To date, 166 students have been involved in the C3 project from across the university.

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Climate Change Symposium 2019

The purpose of the Climate Change Symposium 2019 was to inform better discussion of and submissions to the State’s Climate Policy process.

Dr Hugh Finn’s presentation, ‘Legal Framework for a State Climate Policy’, featured in the Frameworks for Accountability and Economic Transitions session and explored the question, ‘How would you make a Zero Carbon Act 2020 (WA)?’

Dr Prafula Pearce presented at the Transport and Mobility session, focusing on ‘Transport and future mobility issues in Western Australia and the impact of vehicle electrification: Taxation and Regulatory Approach’. This presentation looked at her research on policies that could be implemented in Western Australia to reduce the use of fossil fuel cars.

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Curtin Alumna named influential leader for work in Indigenous community

Amanda Healy
Advisory Council, Faculty of Business and Law
Managing Director, Kirrikin

Amanda Healy

Ms Amanda Healy, who graduated from Curtin University with a Master of Business Administration in 2017, was named in the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders by AACSB International. Ms Healy is the Managing Director of Kirrikin, a social enterprise that transforms Aboriginal artwork onto luxurious cashmere and silk fabrics, turning them into scarves, ties and clothing, and she is also the CEO of Warrikal, an Indigenous owned and operated mechanical maintenance business providing mechanical support services to the resources sector.

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Legal Capacity Training in Myanmar 

Curtin staff in Myanmar

John Southalan, an adjunct academic at Curtin Law School, has been doing volunteer work on the Thai-Burma border and more recently in Myanmar for many years.  His visits involve two-four weeks, providing legal capacity training.

In September 2019, John extended an invitation to Professor Robert Cunningham, Dean and Head of School, Curtin Law School, to visit Myanmar and work with Burmese Lawyers at the Peace Law Academy.  During their time at the Academy, they assisted with training lawyers and attendees participating in the two year program. John and Robert covered business and human rights, and some introductory trade law issues.

In addition to connecting Curtin Law School with this important work in Myanmar, John is also involved in delivering Business & Human Rights training in Curtin’s Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

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