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Esperance tragedy

[Posted: 19 Nov 2015]

We have all been shocked by the terrible fires near Esperance this week. Four people have lost their lives and the homes and livelihoods of many others have also been directly affected.

We learned today that a Curtin graduate and former staff member, Anna Winther, appears to have among the four who tragically perished in the fires. Anna was an international student from Norway, who completed both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master in Human Rights Education at Curtin, and worked in a number of areas of the University. She was a strong student, passionate about her studies and changing the world for the better, and very much liked by her classmates and colleagues.

Counselling Services have been in contact with the areas where she worked and studied to offer support and sympathy to all who knew her.

I am also aware that some of our Agribusiness students are from the Esperance region and may need to go home to be with family members, and to help address the impact of the fire on homes and livestock. Where needed, we will arrange flexibility of study arrangements over this period for students affected.

A number of other Curtin students also have direct links with the region and may know those affected, including farmer Kym Curnow who was tragically killed alerting others to the impending danger.

I would like to remind all students of the support available through Counselling Services and the Student Wellbeing Advisory Service and encourage you to seek any assistance you need.

Professor Deborah Terry