WMSCU & Curtin University Alumni Working Together to Inspire Society
(UKWMS-11/2/2018) Since the formation of Curtin University Alumni Chapter Indonesia (CUACI) in August 2017, this group has seriously thought about how to mobilize alumni to make a real contribution to the people of Indonesia in accordance to each member’s expertise and competency. “Collaboration is possible if there is a platform where people can find out about each other’s respective profession as well as a place to exchange knowledge together,” said Josephine MJ Ratna, MPsych, Ph.D, a Lecturer in the Faculty of Psychology at Widya Mandala Surabaya Catholic University as the elected President of CUACI 2017-2019.
Curtin University, a university that has its main campuses in Perth – Western Australia and others in Singapore and Malaysia, is a place for many Indonesians to continue their studies from undergraduate to doctoral levels. The rough data of Curtin University alumni from Indonesia is approximately 6,500 people. However, the number is still inaccurate, in which case one of the reasons to have CUACI is so that alumni data registration can be improved. Josephine herself is a Clinical Psychologist practitioner who completed her Master and Doctoral degrees at Curtin University in Perth. She emphasized that, “Many Curtin University alumni in Indonesia occupy strategic positions in various fields and it is time to collaborate and contribute to the nation through the various expertise they have.”
Supported by the MoU between WMSCU and Curtin University, which was signed earlier in 2016, and with a burning enthusiasm to collaborate and contribute, CUACI’s 2018 Inspiring Talks was then held. “Indeed, WMSCU has cooperation agreements with Curtin University, such as the student articulation program, which means students between the two campuses can exchange and take courses that can later be recognized in each university,” said Erlyn Erawan Psy.D. as the Head of the WMSCU Office of International Affairs. In the inaugural meeting under the CUACI banner, approximately 80 Curtin University alumni gathered from various parts of Indonesia. Held on February 13, 2018 in the 4th floor Benedictus Auditorium in the Dinoyo Campus WMSCU, CUACI Inspiring Talks 2018 took place from 10:00 to 17:00.
The schedule of event was packed tightly. In addition to the seven-hour meeting, a guest lecture seminar given by Professor Sambit Datta as a speaker from Curtin University was also held where students from various WMSCU majors attended.. He is an expert in the application of computing and digital technology in architecture. The theme presented was ‘World Class Innovation and Research Commercialization.’ Utilizing technological innovation is a challenge for society and the environment. This discussion focuses on the role of a design that extends as adjustments to technological change. In the public lecture in front of this student, Prof. Sambit Datta explained about his research designs in architecture, urban design and cultural heritage projects, “We will explore the possibility of technological design in the form of digital-physical interface,” he said. Underlining the transformation of the design, Prof. Sambit and the lecture participants also discussed the process that was passed from the expanding role of information and the tools used to process it. He even predicted future possibilities related to social integration, spatial and environmental design that involved technological innovation.
“I talk about the future because you students are now learning to prepare for the future. In the next 20 or 30 years you will grow and start a new career, enter a profession, and develop abilities that will be different from 30 years ago,” he said. He also added that in welcoming the future, we must be prepared to change and adapt to various technological innovations, one of them is artificial intelligence. “We all know there are many things that machines can do better than humans. Then what will we do about it?” challenged Prof. Sambit Datta to hundreds of students participating in his guest lecture. Before discussing further material, Prof. Sambit began with a simple example; if in the past a beautiful glass had to go through a complicated manufacturing process done by humans with special skills, now it only needs a 3D printer to make one, which certainly is a big change.
He further revealed that the world of education must also adapt. Curtin University in Perth, Australia, is trying to apply this to its campus. “We try to imagine how Curtin will be in the next 30 years, a ‘smart city’ where students can explore many things. Technology is applied in forms such as temperature sensors, weather and others. There are also entertainment venues, such as the theater, café that can also function as a place of learning where people can stay, study and work there. We want to change the campus to become a city. I am sure this can also be applied in Indonesia,” he explained.
Not only that, technology can also be used for cultural and historical places. In an example of an island, the historical study of the island can be done by capturing data from objects and then measuring the data digitally so that the results can be studied and compared. “In the future, various disciplines are needed when developing a technology, so students can learn and support each other,” explained Prof. Sambit. The same thing was also emphasized by Josephine, “Nowadays, it is no longer the era of competition. This is the time for us to collaborate using what we have and get from our study abroad to work with domestic universities such as WMSCU so that this knowledge can be enjoyed by the community.”
Meanwhile, Associate Professor Simon Leunig opened the eyes of alumni about the development of campus and the collaboration that had been carried out by Curtin University in Indonesia and other countries. Also present was the Australian Consul General in Surabaya, Chris Barnes, and the Commissioner and representatives of the Western Australian Government, Ms. Jennifer Mathews, as a form of support for CUACI and the collaboration between WMSCU and Curtin University. (Red)