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John Curtin Day
John Curtin Medallists

Margaret Culbong (1999)

As part of her vision of improving the health and welfare of Aboriginal people, Margaret Culbong has been instrumental in setting up Aboriginal-controlled health services and in raising the profile of Aboriginal health issues throughout Western Australia.

As an enrolled nurse, Margaret worked in both the Kimberley and the Murchison Gascoyne regions, experiencing first-hand the many health problems faced by Aboriginal communities.

Since the early 1970s she has worked both within government agencies and Aboriginal organisations to develop health services relevant to Aboriginal needs.

As a founding member of the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service committee, and its Executive Director since 1996, she has helped develop this Aboriginal-run and controlled organisation, which now offers a full range of health services to Aboriginal people, including mental health services. She has also used her significant energy and determination to help establish similar services in Wiluna and Carnarvon and to set up a mobile clinic which services out-stations in the Murchison Gascoyne region.

Growing up as an Aboriginal in a post-war Central Wheatbelt town - discriminated against and with no real voice - Margaret has fought in many arenas to ensure that Aboriginal people are heard and their rights respected.

As well as being instrumental in getting more Aboriginal Health Workers employed by the Health Department, she has been involved in establishing the role of Aboriginal Education Workers within the Education Department and in establishing the need for an Aboriginal Visitors Scheme within WA prisons.

In addition, Margaret has provided leadership at local, state and national levels through her membership of a range of health and social justice bodies, including the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation, the Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation, the Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health, the State Aboriginal Justice Council and the Health Department of Western Australia's Ethics Committee. She is an Executive Member of both the State and National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Despite her numerous commitments, and that she has been beset by health and family problems, Margaret has always been available to her community. She is regularly contacted as an adviser, a counsellor and as an agent of change in issues ranging from housing to welfare, legal assistance and family support.

The awarding of the John Curtin Medal to Margaret Culbong enables the University to recognise the significant contribution she has made to Aboriginal health and welfare and the wonderful role model she provides for Aboriginal people.

Recognising her outstanding vision, leadership and community service will help to emphasise the importance of self-determination for Aboriginal people and will solidify the respect that is held for Margaret within the Aboriginal community.

John Curtin Medallists

Monique Lin (1999)

Monique Lin's vision of building business links between Australia and China is taking shape at a very rapid rate, thanks to her exceptional work commitment and skills as a facilitator.

Monique left China to come to Curtin as a full-fee paying student in 1988 and completed postgraduate studies in business in 1990.

Since then, she has demonstrated extraordinary leadership qualities, forging significant business links between China and WA and has been named as one of China's twenty best known women business leaders.

Her current roles include advising the Geraldton Fisheries Corporation, managing the marketing of WA beauty care in Beijing and the marketing of Chinese restaurants in Perth, assisting Curtin University's China Projects and helping the WA Department of Commerce.

She has also co-ordinated the visits of important Chinese business and political leaders to WA over the past 10 years and has assisted Curtin in establishing a number of strategic links with universities in China.

Her community contributions include helping to develop the WA Chinese Chamber of Commerce, of which she was an inaugural executive member, and providing advice and assistance to a number of WA business, political and educational delegations visiting China.

Her efforts have received support from both the Western Australian Premier, Richard Court, and the Prime Minister, John Howard, who has acknowledged her for her generous assistance to the Australian business community.

Monique is a quiet achiever who, like John Curtin, approaches all her endeavours with great humility.

The awarding of the John Curtin Medal to Monique Lin enables the University to recognise one of its own alumni who has become a true citizen of the world, using her knowledge and learning to further international co-operation and understanding.

Recognition of her outstanding vision, leadership and community service will help establish Monique as a role model for international students to become ambassadors and bridge-builders in creating global links and improving international relations.

John Curtin Medallists

Peter Moyes (1999)

Peter Moyes has played a leading role in education in WA over the past 40 years.

As part of his vision of creating a progressive education system, he has focused community attitudes about education and provided the intellectual and motivational leadership needed to promote change.

As well as being an inaugural member of the Commonwealth Schools Commission, when it was set up under the prime ministership of Gough Whitlam, he was responsible for setting up the first remedial education centre in WA.

Peter was the Principal of Christ Church Grammar School for 31 years and prided himself on his ability to remember the name of every boy who went through his school. Today, Christ Church is widely recognised as one of our most outstanding schools with a well-deserved international reputation.

Peter was also a founding member of Curtin University's first Council, in the days when it was the Western Australian Institute of Technology, and helped provide it with direction in its important early days as a new-style centre of learning.

After retiring from his position at Christ Church in 1981, he set up the Anglican Schools Commission, became its first Chairman, and was directly responsible for the establishment of five Anglican schools which offer low fees to students.

He has until recently continued to work at a furious pace for his community, demonstrating an extraordinary ability to meet challenges and to energise those around him.

His life has been a celebration of the values of honesty and selflessness.

To commemorate his exceptional achievements, an Anglican community school is currently being built at Mindarie which will bear his name.

The awarding of the John Curtin Medal to Peter Moyes enables the University to also recognise the enormous contribution he has made to the field of education, and to celebrate a career of true service.

Recognising his outstanding vision, leadership and community service will help to cement the close ties that he holds with this institution and highlight the important difference that committed and far-seeing individuals can make within their chosen field.

John Curtin Medallists

Professor Tommy Koh (1999)

Tommy Koh's vision is to build a gentler, more sophisticated and cosmopolitan Singapore, with strong diplomatic and cultural links world-wide.

An international leader in promoting environmental responsibility and a reduction in international conflict, he has also taken the lead in championing the arts and greater creative freedom in Singapore and has consistently supported a number of difficult and unpopular causes throughout his career.

He is a consistent advocate of cross-cultural learning, understanding and co-operation.

A lawyer by profession, Tommy has held the positions of Dean of the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore, Singapore Ambassador to the UN and the USA, Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation and Chairman of the National Arts Council.

His commitment to community service within Singapore and internationally has often been at the expense of his own legal career.

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, who has been one of the most influential humanitarian voices in the UN General Assembly and a most effective diplomat in negotiating peace agreements over the past three decades, provides the following assessment of Tommy:

Amid an era of historic transformation, Ambassador Koh has remained a steadfast advocate of dialogue and co­operation to resolve problems through mutual accommodation, for the greater common good. He has also been a constant supporter of the United Nations as a unique instrument of global service.

The awarding of the John Curtin Medal to Professor Tommy Koh applauds his commitment to peace, co­operation and creative freedom and recognises the significant contribution he has made to international relations over the past 30 years.

Recognising his outstanding vision, leadership and community service will hopefully provide an incentive to Tommy to build the same links with Australia as he has built with Europe and the United States of America.