PGRS Events – Year 2021

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PGRS Events – Year 2021

Past events


Annual General Meeting 2021

Date: 3 February 2021
Day: Wednesday
Time: 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Venue: Microsoft Teams

The PGRS Annual General Meeting was successfully held virtually via Microsoft Teams on 3 February 2021 (Wednesday) from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. The meeting officially thanked the PGRS Committee Session 2020 for their commitment and leadership in steering the PGRS through a challenging year, and also welcomed the newly elected committee members for Session 2021. All postgraduates were strongly encouraged to participate actively in PGRS events and activities, which are good platforms for them to interact and share their knowledge and experience with fellow researchers.

Welcome Party

Date: 25 February 2021
Day: Thursday
Time: 2.00-3.00 p.m.
Venue: Microsoft Teams

On the 25 February 2021, PGRS organized a Welcome Party with a total number of 22 participants. The activity is meant to provide an opportunity for HDR students to get to know PGRS and socialize with other HDR students. PGRS was introduced to the students. Appreciation was given to the 2020 Committee Members, and the 2021 Committee Members were introduced to HDR students. Past and upcoming events were shared with HDR student. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lau Bee Theng then gave a motivating and helpful speech regarding PGRS. After that, there was a Kahoot session which had quiz questions regarding the presentation during the Welcome Party. Finally, a group photo was taken and the meeting adjourned.


Mental Health Awareness Sharing Session

Date: 23 March 2021
Day: Wednesday
Time: 2.00-3.15 pm
Venue: Microsoft Teams

On 23 March 2021, PGRS held a Mental Health Awareness Sharing Session on Microsoft Teams with a total of 19 participants. The session was open to all HDR students and carried a two-fold purpose: to share coping strategies for HDR mental challenges and to provide a platform of support for HDR students. Two invited speakers, Ms. Evelyn Liew (senior counsellor) gave a comprehensive talk on mental health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic while Dr. Ida Fatimawati (Head of School, School of Design and Arts) shared her views and perspectives as a HDR supervisor. Two HDR student representatives, Hari Prashanth P.V.S and Alfred Tan, shared their personal journey of encountering and overcoming mental health challenges. After that, there was a brief Q&A and open discussion session. Finally, a group photo was taken and the meeting adjourned.


PGRS Invited Talk: Life after Postgraduate in the Industry

Date: 7 April 2021
Day: Wednesday
Time: 7.00-8.00 pm
Venue: Microsoft Teams

The Life after Postgraduate in the Industry event was held successfully on 7 April 2021 on Microsoft Teams with a total of 24 participants. All HDR students along with undergraduate FYRP students were invited. This event aimed to provide knowledge regarding postgraduate study and the experience of how fresh postgraduate apply for jobs in the industry. The first speaker, Dr. Tay Jia Jun (Keysight Technologies) gave several meticulous points such as the intention of working in the industry, and also advices on the expectations and Do’s and Don’ts of a fresh postgraduate student seeking for a job in the industry. The second speaker, Dr. Fredrik Phangkawira (Jurutera Jasa) spoke of the benefits of pursuing Masters/PhD and the difference between the challenges faced during postgraduate studies and working in the industry. At the end, both speakers reminded the audience that it is important to stay humble and acknowledge the limitations of oneself when working in the industry.

PGRS Support Group (Session 1)

Date: 16 April 2021
Day: Friday
Time: 4.00-5.00 pm
Venue: Microsoft Teams

On 16 April 2021, PGRS committee has taken the initiative to form Support Group for postgraduates as a platform for more informal and friendly experience sharing and discussions in support of each other throughout their postgraduate journey. 5 attendees attended the virtual meeting via Microsoft Teams. Participants shared about their research journey and had a virtual Skribbl game session. Future sessions are planned to be conducted monthly, or at any time the students would like to meet.


Sharing Session by HDR Students (“Why I became a HDR student?”)

Date: 5 May 2021
Day: Wednesday
Time: 2.30-3.30 pm
Venue: Microsoft Teams

The Sharing Session by HDR Students event was held online on 5 May 2021 on Microsoft Teams with 39 participants. The four speakers – Shella (PhD FBDA), Yvonne (Masters FBDA), Phil (Masters FECS), and Jasman (PhD FECS) were invited to share their experience about postgraduate studies and “Why they became HDR students?” Briefly, Shella focused on giving tips about postgraduate studies, Yvonne talked about her passion in pursuing Masters, Phil mentioned about gaining research experience before pursuing PhD and Jasman listed out a number of his motives and challenges in his PhD studies. Mainly, the aim of this event is to encourage the audience to pursue postgraduate studies.


Virtual Festival Gathering

Date: 3 June 2021
Day: Thursday
Time: 3.30-4.30 pm
Venue: Microsoft Teams

The Virtual Festival Gathering was held on 3 June 2021 (Thursday) on Microsoft Teams with 20 participants. The purpose of this activity is to provide opportunity to the participants to share about their culture and festivals and the same time strengthen the bonds among the Swinburne students. The activity started with the introduction of Sarawak’s demographics, followed by the festivals (culture and food) celebrated by the main ethics groups, which are Dayak, Malay, Chinese, and Melanau in Sarawak, then the open sharing session among the participants. Lastly, Kahoot session was conducted to allow the participants to win prizes back.


Writing Competition and Typing Competition

Date: 30 June- 23 July 2021 (Writing), 31 July 2021 (Typing)
Time: 3.30- 4.30 p.m. (Typing)
Venue: Microsoft Teams

The PGRS 2021 Writing Competition began on the 30th of June 2021, and had a deadline on the 23rd of July 2021. Participants would submit a 100 word essay or three minute video on an interesting pastime or hobby that they have started doing in lockdown. Winners would be announced a week after the deadline at the end of the Typing Competition event, and would win interesting prizes.

The PGRS 2021 Typing Competition event was held online on the 31st of July 2021 on Microsoft Teams with 13 participants. Participants gathered to have a typing speed competition on a website (typer.io). Using the website, each participant had three timed sessions where their word per minute count were averaged to find the fastest typist. After the typing competition, the winners of the PGRS 2021 Writing Competition were announced.


PGRS 2021 Food Donation

Collection Date: 28 July- 13 August 2021
Distribution Date & Time: 21 August 2021 7.00 a.m.- 10.00 a.m.
Venue: A401, Swinburne Sarawak (collection point), Kampung Tema Saan, Tebedu (distribution)

The PGRS Food Donation event aims to collect food contributions from members of Swinburne Sarawak to aid poor families that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The collection period was from 28 July 2021 to 13 August 2021, with 30 participants. Some donations were done via Grab/foodpanda delivery services. The food collected includes rice, sugar, salt, biscuits, canned food, cooking oil, flour, cordials, Milo, oats, milk powder, instant noodles, etc. After the food collection has ended on 13 August, PGRS committee members have bought additional food items to top up the food items to the targeted amounts. The food items were then packed into individual packs and sanitized before they were sent out to the recipients.

In total, the society has collected 60 bags of rice and the other items were packed into 86 food baskets. The recipients were villagers at Kampung Tema Saan, Tebedu, Sarawak. On 21 August 2021, after obtaining permission from the Tebedu district office and PDRM, the committee members headed off to Kampung Tema Saan in Tebedu to deliver the contributions. The handover ceremony happened at 9.30am, and was witnessed by PGRS advisors Dr Victor Bong and A/Prof Dr Lau Bee Theng, PGRS committee members, headman Mr William Batong, SAO Tebedu Ms Angela, and Penghulu Mr Gaup Anak Takip.


PGRS Mental Health Awareness Sharing Session

Date: 29 September 2021 (Wednesday)
Time: 2.30 – 3.30 p.m.
Venue: Microsoft Teams

On Wednesday, September 29, Swinburne’s Counselling Services and PGRS collaborated to discuss matters relating to mental health – namely anxiety, stress and depression. The session was moderated by postgraduate student Isaac Asante, and featured Senior Counsellor Evelyn HuiYann Liew, as well as the School of Research Director, Dr Lau Bee Theng. Both speakers shared some PowerPoint slides in the first half of the session and provided useful tips on how students can clear their thoughts on a daily basis and improve their mental health.

The second half of the session consisted of a live Q&A, during which participants – primarily postgraduate students under the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science (FECS) and Faculty of Business, Design and Arts (FBDA) – further sought clarifications and insights on matters pertaining to mental health.


PGRS The Trivia Master 2021

Date: 15 October 2021 (Friday)
Time: 4.00 – 5.00 p.m.
Venue: Microsoft Teams

Trivia is a fun, challenging, and competitive game where participants were team up as a group to answer the quizzes. This activity aims to provide the opportunity to the participants to expand their general knowledge and provide entertainment and engagement among the HDR students. There were three rounds of quizzes. The first round was a general knowledge MCQ. The second round was guessing the movie title, and the third round was continuing song lyrics. For each correct answer, the group will get 10 points.

On the event day, the PIC started by dividing 11 participants into 4 groups and explaining how to play the game. Then, the trivia game was started and the participants were so excited and supportive during the game. At the end of each round, the scores were given in the chat room. Finally, group 1 answered the question correctly and became the winner. The winners were Alfred Tan, Ally Tian Lee, and Dayang Sharyati Bt Datu Abdul Salam. Each of the winners will get a notebook as the prize of winning the game. Group photos were taken before the event ended.


(1) PGRS Your Voice Matters 2021

Date: 22 November – 3 December 2021 (Part 1)
Time: 2.30 – 3.15 p.m. (Part 2)
Venue: Microsoft Teams + A416 (Part 2)

Your Voice Matters (YVM) is an event to gain feedback from students of the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students in Swinburne Sarawak regarding their program. It is also part of the effort to conduct program monitoring, review, and continual quality improvement of Swinburne’s HDR courses. For this year’s event, PGRS decided to collect student feedback in an interactive manner. Therefore, this event was organized in a two-part format. As an incentive to participants, students who participated in the events were rewarded with Shopee e-vouchers.

Part 1: HDR Online Survey

In Part 1, an online survey form was created to obtain students’ general feedback based on 7 categories – facilities and resources, supervision, milestones and progress, future planning and career, stress and wellbeing, conducting research amid Covid-19, and finances. These were mostly multiple-choice questions for students to rate their general research experiences.

Part 2: Interactive Forum Using Padlet

The interactive forum in Part 2 aimed to provide a platform for students to anonymously post their feedback on what they liked about their HDR program, and what they wished could be improved on their program. This event was held in a hybrid format (physical + virtual). During the event, the result from the survey in Part 1 was shared to the participants. After that, the main Padlet discussion was conducted for 15 minutes, where topics of interest from the Survey were brought forward for discussion, and new feedback was posted and discussed by the students. At the end of the session, a Shopee e-voucher lucky draw was held before officially concluding the event.

(2) PGRS Annual General Meeting 2021

Date: 10 December 2021 (Friday)
Time: 3.30 p.m.- 4.25 p.m.
Venue: A416 Meeting Room + Microsoft Teams

On the 10th of December 2021, PGRS organized an Annual General Meeting with a total number of 19 participants. The main aim of the event was to elect a new committee team for the 2022 term. Prior to the AGM, students were given about a month to nominate candidates for the upcoming term. A total of 3 nominations were received. During the AGM, Jonathan Cheng (Secretary & moderator), Jasman Chai (President), and Dr. Victor Bong (Advisor) welcomed everyone to the meeting. The past events of the year were also shared to the public by Ally Lee (Vice Secretary). Finally, the list for the new committee team was shared to the public.

(3) PGRS Annual Lunch 2021

Date: 18 December 2021 (Saturday)
Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm
Venue: Sunnydale 1928

The aims of the annual lunch were to: (1) thank all the committee members and advisors for their contribution throughout the year, and (2) allow HDR students to network with other HDR students. It is the first physical networking event for the year. Besides PGRS 2021 committee members and advisors, the committee members from PGRS 2020, PGRS 2022, and other HDR students were also invited. The participants were able to enjoy a buffet and network with each other throughout the event. Finally, after the lunch, everyone posed for group photos. It was ensured that everyone adhered to social distancing measures.