Swinburne University of Technology Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pascale Quester recently had her first visit to Swinburne’s Sarawak campus in the capital, City of Kuching, after being unable to travel internationally for the past two years.
Accompanying Professor Quester on her visit was Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Karen Hapgood, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) Dr Douglas Proctor and Victoria’s Commissioner to Southeast Asia Ms Rebecca Hall.
It was a deeply engaging trip which allowed the Swinburne senior leaders to meet many Sarawak stakeholders. The visit included a graduation ceremony, town hall session, a tour around campus, including the highly anticipated upgraded facilities such as the Student Village, as well as the Hive Design Studio, Student Central and the library, and an appreciation dinner for Swinburne Sarawak’s Alumni and partners.
Professor Pascale Quester speaking to graduates in Sarawak
The group joined 416 graduates of the Swinburne Sarawak Campus for their graduation, held in late August.
The event was attended by Sarawak Premier and Pro Chancellor of Swinburne Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, who presented the awards to the graduates.
Also present were Sarawak Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Chairman of Swinburne Sarawak Board of Directors Tan Sri Datuk Amar (Dr) Haji Mohamad Morshidi bin Abdul Ghani, Swinburne Sarawak Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer Ir Professor Lau Hieng Ho, Swinburne Sarawak Council and Board members, as well as other honoured guests.
A town hall session with Professor Quester was held during the visit at the Kuching campus, where Professor Quester spoke with Swinburne Sarawak staff.
“How exciting it is to be physically here at Swinburne Sarawak after seeing photos, hearing about the operations, and witnessing the 20th-anniversary celebration online. It is fabulous to see Kuching; it is an absolute marvel of a place,” said Professor Quester.
Swinburne senior leaders at town hall in Sarawak
“It has also been great meeting the tight-knit community here, seeing the facilities that are being designed and built for the students, and meeting with the staff. It has been fabulous because it feels like being back together with family that you have not been able to visit for two years.
“I was also so happy to be at the graduation because this is the affirmation of what the business of the university is all about. It was so pleasing to see parents and family members beaming as their loved ones’ achievements were celebrated. I cannot wait to come back,” she said.
Strengthening the Sarawak partnership
Professor Hapgood expressed her pleasure in visiting Swinburne Sarawak.
“I am having a great time in my new role at Swinburne, looking after research in general and helping to drive this forward – Sarawak is an important part of that,” said Professor Hapgood.
Professor Hapgood said she had met with HDR and PhD students during the visit and had great talks about the research community and the positive student life experienced by PhD students.
“It was so great to see these students graduating and to hear about the projects they worked on.”
It was Dr Proctor’s first time visiting Kuching and he thoroughly enjoyed the conversations he had with Sarawak staff.
“My particular discussions were about the student opportunities that we have – opportunities for students to take an exchange, either in Sarawak or in Melbourne from Sarawak. I am looking forward to conversations about the student profile and the international students that Sarawak is seeking to attract,” he said.
For more information on Swinburne Sarawak, visit its website (www.swinburne.edu.my), Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).