Seven John Curtin Leadership Academy ambassadors to initiate community projects
MIRI: Seven student ambassadors of the John Curtin Leadership Academy (JCLA) of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) are set to initiate projects over the next few months that will benefit the local community here in Miri. The JCLA is Curtin University’s flagship student leadership and entrepreneurship development programme.
As a prelude to the commencement of their projects, which are key to participation in the elite JCLA programme, the ambassadors briefed a gathering of university officials and industry partners and potential employers on their individual and group projects at the recent 4th Annual JCLA Networking and Poster Presentation event.
The seven ambassadors who are in the advanced phase of their participation in the JCLA are mechanical engineering students Michael Wong Chou Khong and Lim Sen Sen; banking and finance student Noor Atiqah Mudzalifah binti Musa; chemical engineering students Chung Swee Fong and Nixxon Norman Teo; mass communication student Reine Beryl Masudal; and engineering first-year student Ysabel Lim Bing Bing.
Their respective individual projects are Wong’s ‘Driver’s Ed Level Up’ to increase occupational safety levels of driving instructors through defensive driving courses, Sen Sen’s ‘Hello World’ to train teenagers to be proficient in basic C++ programming, and Noor Atiqah’s ‘FIGHT – Self Defence for Women’ to enhance the self defence skills of female students in secondary schools, and Chung’s ‘Love to Move Campaign’ to nurture an exercise habit and help those who are overweight lose weight through exercise.
Meanwhile, Teo’s ‘Senadin Security Initiatives’ project aims to create a safer living environment in Senadin through the implementation of a fully-functional neighbourhood watch, Reine’s ‘Movie POMP’ project will provide a platform for amateur movie makers in Sarawak to showcase their work and network with industry experts, while Ysabel hopes that her ‘Heartbeats’ project will create a deeper sense of cultural understanding through cultural dance.
Present at the event were Curtin Sarawak’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jim Mienczakowski, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Yudi Samyudia and representatives from Interhill Group of Companies, Noble AV-Partners Sdn. Bhd., Polar Light Sdn. Bhd. Sarawak Information Systems Sdn. Bhd. (SAINS), Technip and the Samling Group of Companies.
Besides exhibiting posters and fielding questions from those present about their respective projects, the ambassadors also gave slideshow presentations on their group projects – ‘Going Green to Save Green’ and ‘Health Awareness Programme for Kampung Masjid, Kuala Baram’.
The presentations provided insights into the issues concerned, including a lack of public awareness about them. They also gave the ambassadors the opportunity to invite feedback from the industry representatives and explore possible support from them for their projects.
In his opening speech, Professor Mienczakowski said that since he became the pro vice-chancellor of Curtin Sarawak last year, he has been most impressed with the JCLA’s projects, adding that the student ambassadors’ experience in the JCLA will provide them a solid foundation to become exemplary employees and leaders after they graduate and enter the workforce.
“We have seen this success repeated year after year as testimony of the JCLA’s effectiveness, not only as a leadership programme, but also the hard work and dedication of those involved,” remarked Professor Mienczakowski.
The JCLA is a year-long leadership programme developed by Curtin University in honour of John Curtin, the fourteenth Prime Minister of Australia, with the objectives of instilling in student leaders the three core values of Vision, Leadership and Community Service.
The programme aims to produce student leaders who can ensure the sustainability of campus clubs and societies, improve campus life for students, contribute meaningfully to the community, and be given the opportunity to get a head start in their career.
It consists of workshops, seminars and two semester-long projects. The Foundation Project teaches fund-raising, relationship-building and networking skills, while the Advanced Project focuses on developing students’ work ethic and business acumen, along with other skills such as project and conflict management, presentation and communication skills, as well as entrepreneurship.
Previous batches of JCLA ambassadors have carried out projects dealing with caring for the elderly, palliative care, women’s welfare, mental illness, and supporting rural communities in Sarawak and Cambodia.
Among the more notable projects are the RM20,000 Solar Panel Project installed at Long Makabar about 200 kilometres from Miri; ‘Project Don’t Dump Bario’ aimed at promoting sustainable waste disposal in Bario; ‘A Closer Look into Kampong Speu – With a Desire to Give Back’ project aimed at raising awareness of poverty in Cambodia among Malaysians; and ‘The Forgotten Smiles’ project aimed at improving the dental health and hygiene of the Penan community.
For more information on the JCLA, contact Manager of University Life Haslina Malek at 085-443 877 or e-mail to [email protected]
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.
1_Group presentation on the project ‘Health Awareness Programme for Kampung Masjid, Kuala Baram’.
2_Group photo of the ambassadors with Professor Jim Mienczakowski (4th right) and Professor Yudi Samyudia (5th right).
3_Ambassador Lim aims to spread awareness on the importance of cultural understanding through cultural dance.
4_Ambassador Teo hopes to create a safer living environment by implementing a fully functional neighbourhood watch in Senadin.