PGRS Events – Year 2023

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PGRS Events – Year 2023

Past events


Welcome Party & Singing Competition

Date: 24th February 2023(Friday)
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m
Venue: G001

The welcome party is one of the PGRS event that is held every year to encourage the HDR students to make or strengthen network among each other especially across different faculties and fields. For this year, this session is celebrated with a dinner, singing competition and games. The singing competition is organized for this party to build confidence and more engagement as well as provided opportunities for the HDR students to perform in front of the crowd.


Mental Health Awareness Talk

Date: 24th March 2023
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m
Venue: L001

Swinburne University Sarawak Campus recently hosted a mental health panel discussion in collaboration with the Mental Health Association of Sarawak (MHAS) and the Swinburne Post Graduate Research Society (PGRS). The event, which was the first of its kind to be organized by the PGRS, aimed to break down stigmas surrounding mental health, provide stress management strategies, and educate participants about substance abuse with honest and striking conversations. The panel discussion, held on March 10th, 2023, was moderated by Andrew Tang, vice-president of Post Graduate Research Society, acting as a representative of the Swinburne Post Graduate Research Society. The distinguished panel of experts included Maclean Patrick Sibat, Head of Corporate Communications and Branding for UNIMAS, clinical psychologist Hazel, social policy and social work lecturer Gill (Jill), and Alshanté Al-shahri, Preferred Banking Manager in CIMB Kuching. All of them are part of the MHAS committee, with each holding different roles. The panel discussion focused on three important aspects of mental health – breaking stigmas against mental health issues, stress management strategies, and minor focuses on substance abuse. Each panelist shared their insights and experiences on these topics, providing valuable information and guidance for students and staff. Maclean Patrick Sibat, a survivor of depression and advocate for mental health, shared his experiences with the Mental Health Association of Sarawak (MHAS), for which he volunteers as a speaker or facilitator for their programs. Clinical psychologist Hazel provided insights on stress management, mental health problems, and the importance of community resilience. Gill shared her experiences working in the field of social work and her advocacy for mental health awareness. Alshanté Al-shahri discussed his involvement with the Mental Health Association of Sarawak (MHAS) and Mindbrew, a community organization that facilitates monthly discussions on mental health. Throughout the panel discussion, the panellists emphasized the importance of breaking down stigmas surrounding mental health and creating a more supportive environment for those who are struggling. They also provided practical advice on stress management strategies and substance abuse. In addition to the panel discussion, the event also provided information on helplines and education on mental health issues. Participants were encouraged to engage in an open and respectful dialogue, ask questions, and share their experiences. Overall, the mental health panel discussion at Swinburne University Sarawak Campus was a successful event that provided valuable information and guidance for students and staff. The collaboration between the university, the Mental Health Association of Sarawak, and the Swinburne Post Graduate Research Society demonstrated a commitment to addressing mental health issues and creating a supportive environment for all


Pitch Your Research Competition

Date: 12th April 2023
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Venue: G407

On 12th April 2023, up to 10 PG researchers (2 FBDA and 8 FECS) have pitched their research. The main aim of this event is for postgraduate researchers to share their research which was achieved in this event. Audiences made up of both postgraduates and undergraduates enjoyed the wonderful pitching session and gained additional knowledge on how to present their research to a general audience. All the pitching was judged by four esteemed panellists from both FBDA and FECS. The panellists include Professor Ts. Lau Bee Theng, Associate Professor Fung Chorng Yuan, Ir. Dr. How Bing Shen and Ms. Donna Elizabeth. Constructive feedback was given by all panellists which can help improve the presentation skills of all participants and audiences.


Alumni Research Sharing

Date: 10th May 2023
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m
Venue: B006

On 10 May 2023, PGRS organised Alumni Research Sharing at B006. We invited 3 speakers for this event, Dr Fredrik Phangkawira, Dr Marc Weissmann and Mr Yeo Lip Siang to share their experiences. A total of 20 postgraduate students and 26 undergraduate students join this sharing session. Dr Fredrik graduated with a PhD in Civil Engineering and is currently working in the industry. As for Dr Marc, he graduated with a PhD in consumer behaviour and is currently with Swinburne Sarawak as a lecturer. They shared their postgraduate research experience and also life after postgraduate. Mr Yeo has submitted his thesis and completing his Master’s in Engineering with a topic on oil and gas circular economy. He was here to share effective visual aid for presentation. This session serves as a platform for postgraduate students to seek advice or get ideas on how to progress in their research journey. This session also exposes undergraduate students to what postgraduates are doing and it is not something too far away from them. Effective visual aid for presentations can benefit both postgraduates and undergraduates to efficiently deliver our ideas and concept during presentations. Group photos were taken before the sharing session started as Dr Fredrik needed to leave first. At the end of the session, a token of appreciation was given to the speakers, and 3 lucky draws were given to 3 lucky audiences.


Outing to Abba Paradise

Date: 11th June 2023
Time: 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Venue: Abba Paradise

On 11th June 2023, PGRS organized an outing to Abba Paradise with a total number of 23 postgraduate participants and 3 undergraduate helpers. The main aim of the event was for postgraduate students to get closer to nature, unwind from the stresses of research, and to grow closer as a postgraduate community. On the day before, the committees went to the supermarket to buy supplies and food items to prepare food for the following day. On the day itself, the participants gathered in Swinburne lobby for a group photo, loaded the items into the cars, and then went on a 50-minute journey to Abba Paradise by carpooling. Once reached, the participants unloaded the goods at the site that was chosen, along with the rented canopy, canvas, and barbeque spit. There were three main attraction sites – a pool, a short trek to an elevated platform, and a cave. Once the BBQ fire was started, some helpers remained while others went to visit the cave, platform, and took a walk around the site. After the short visit, all went back to camp to assist with the food. After eating, chatting with each other, and playing in the pool, all participants had another group photo, before packing up and leaving the venue.


Sport & Gaming Day

Date: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Venue: Swinburne Multipurpose Hall (MPH)

The Sports & Games Event, on 08 July 2023, featured three teams of five postgraduate students each, showcasing their skills in various game categories. Participants enthusiastically participated in reaction-based games like dodgeball and musical chairs, physical competitions such as tug of war and basketball throw contests, and brain games like general trivia questions and flash card memory games. The event provided a delightful experience for attendees as food and drinks were generously provided for everyone. The atmosphere was filled with excitement, with participants displaying impressive skills, determination, and camaraderie.


Charity Event

Date: 1st to 15th September 2023
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Venue: Display stand/Banner; A-, B- and G-block (via online bank-in and SPay)

On 1st to 29th September 2023, PGRS organized a fundraising activity to donate food and cooking ingredients to Soup Kitchen. The aim of the activity is to create awareness in Swinburne students and staff of the needs of the less privileged community in Kuching, especially the elderly. On 1st September, PGRS announced the opening of the event fundraising to students and staff in Swinburne. All interested donors were encouraged to donate in monetary form, so that all donations can be used to buy goods in bulk to be used by the staff in Soup Kitchen. The fundraising activity closed on 22nd September, with 42 donors and a generous accumulated donation of RM4,213.80. With the collected funds, the committees contacted (Chai Jee Kiong (CJK) Trading and converted 100% of the donations into items such as rice, cooking oil, biscuits, canned food, and powdered drinks. On 29th September 12.30pm, PGRS committees went to Kuching Community Social Support Centre (CSSC), where Soup Kitchen is situated. The passing of the goods was conducted, where CJK transported all the goods directly to CSSC, and group photos were taken. With this, the event was wrapped up successfully. PGRS would like to express sincere appreciation to all donors for their efforts to this good cause and thank CSSC for their volunteering efforts for the local community.



Date: 31 October 2023 – 6 November 2023

The event’s registration ran from 16 October 2023 to 30 October 2023, spanning a two-week period. Fifteen individuals participated, with twelve from FECS and three from FBDA. Eight participants engaged with the theme “Life as a researcher,” while seven centered on “My research motivation.” Each participant provided their social demographic details, picture titles, and brief captions explaining their submissions. The competition unfolded from 31 October 2023 to 6 November 2023, lasting approximately a week. Their submitted works were shared on PGRS Instagram to accumulate likes. The results were analysed on 7 November 2023, and the cash vouchers were sent via announcement emails to the six winners. We also publicly announced the results on PGRS Instagram, congratulating the winners and acknowledging all participants for their support. The event shed light on the diverse facets of Swinburne’s Postgraduate students, showcasing not only their professional endeavours but also their daily lives, research motivations, challenges, and the unique experiences of being a researcher.


PGRS 2023 Annual Grand Meeting

Date: 1st November 2023

On 1st of November 2023, PGRS held the AGM at A412 in Swinburne Sarawak Campus, which gathered 19 attendees, including committees from PGRS 2023 and PGRS 2024. The main highlight of the AGM was to recap the events organised throughout the year 2023 and acknowledge the hard work of everyone involved to make it happen. The annual dinner started with Slyvester’s opening speech, welcoming everyone who joined the AGM, followed by a brief introduction of the PGRS 2024 team with confirmed positions. Satchitananta is elected as the president, whereas Zahra is voted as the vice president. Jung Lin will be the secretary for PGRS 2024 with the help of Lit Yen as vice-secretary. Yick Eu will manage PGRS 2024 finances as treasure in 2024. The committee team of PGRS 2024 are yet to be confirmed, with Jonathan and Alwi inside the team. Lin Hui continues his service as a photographer. After a brief introduction of the PGRS 2024 team, a recap video is played in the AGM. After the recap video, PGRS 2023 president, Slyvester gave his presidential speech to officially wrap up PGRS 2023 as well as give PGRS 2024 a soft kickstart. Satchitanantha gave his president-elect speech shortly after Slyvester and everyone gave round applause for his welcoming speech to every PGRS 2024 committees. After both presidential speech, upcoming November events are discussed, which is the “Professional Title Talk” by Slyvester, and the “Research Sharing by Lecturers” by Andrew. Also, there is an outstanding budget of RM400 which cannot be carried over to PGRS 2024 finance, so a session specifically for team building is proposed for PGRS committee from 2023 and 2024. The tentative date is set on December 2023. After all the discussions, it is finally refreshment time! Huge credit to Emily for preparing all the food, snacks and drinks. Everyone had their refreshments, and the room was cleaned up properly for housekeeping. The AGM is officially wrapped by having all attendees, including online ones with a group photo.


Date: 8th November 2023

Venue: B005

On November 8th, 2023, our Professional Title Talk brought together a diverse group of 25 attendees, including postgraduates, undergraduates, and alumni, emphasizing the universal relevance of professional titles across different career stages. This dynamic mix of participants reflects the widespread applicability of professional titles, regardless of one’s career progression. The event featured esteemed speakers, IR A.P Viknesh Andiappan (FECS) and A.P Fung Chorng Yuan (FBDA), both faculty members with distinguished professional titles. Their insightful perspectives shed light on the significance of professional titles in their respective fields, emphasizing the common ground and nuanced differences between FECS and FBDA disciplines. A key highlight was the engaging Q&A session, where attendees and speakers delved into questions surrounding professional titles, spanning from local to international contexts. The lively discussions provided valuable insights into the diverse perspectives on professional recognition. The event concluded with an appreciation plaque ceremony, presented by the PGRS 2024 President, Satchitanantha Sivakumaran, to express gratitude to the speakers. Positive feedback from attendees underscored the success of the event in fostering knowledge exchange and networking opportunities. In summary, our Professional Title Talk was a resounding success, fostering a collaborative atmosphere and offering valuable insights into the importance of professional titles across various career paths.


Date: 10th November 2023

Venue:Cafe Cafe at The Original Carwash

On 10th of November 2023, PGRS held the annual dinner at Cafe Cafe at The Original Car, which gathered 52 guests, including postgraduates, supportive lecturers and staffs from the School of Research. The main highlight of the annual dinner was to recap the events organised throughout the year 2023 and acknowledge the hard work of everyone involved to make it happen. The annual dinner started with Andrew welcoming the guests who joined us on the night, followed by a recap video of the PGRS 2023 events. Edwin and George performed a song for us before the commencement of dinner. After enjoying the delightful buffet dinner, George, as the gamemaster, begins the game session by grouping all the guests into 4 groups according to the straws they got. The games played were “Guess who am I”, “Chemistry test” and “Guest the song”. Group D was the final winner and won the hamper. After the fun, we have the presidential speech by Slyvester as the president of PGRS 2023. He expresses gratitude for the successful conclusion of the PGRS 2023 term, highlighting the theme “Your Network is Your Networth” and the valuable connections formed, concluding with confidence in the incoming president, Sath, in guiding PGRS 2024 to excellence. Next was the presidential speech by Sath. He acknowledged the effort PGRS 2023 put into every event organised by PGRS 2023 and hopes that PGRS 2024 can continue the legacy of PGRS 2023. He also introduces his committees for PGRS 2024. This was followed by a song performance by Emily and Rachel. Last but not least, the giveaway session! We invited Dr How Bing Shen, Ms Leela, Ms Dolly and Ms Dayang Salwa to present the awards and prizes. The “Best-Dressed” awards were given to Edwin and Rachel for their effort in dressing up for the event. Next, “Most Loyal Member” were awarded to Chew Yick Eu and Bong Zhang Ru for their strong support of the PGRS 2023 events. Then, committee members each receive a plaque of appreciation and a Grab voucher for their contribution to PGRS 2023. Lucky draws follow next with the lucky number written on the mocktail umbrella. 6 lucky winners were selected from the spinning wheel: one grand prize, one 2nd prize, one 3rd prize and three consolation prizes. The evening for PGRS 2023 annual dinner was concluded with group photos.


Date: 4th October 2023 to 22nd November 2023

Venue: Online Survey Form (Microsofts Form)

The PGRS Swinburne Sarawak has created a survey form to collect feedbacks from postgraduate students in order to improve Swinburne Sarawak’s services and facilities. This survey form comprises of 19 questions. Feedback and suggestions are requested on facilities and resources provided by campus as well as supervision experiences throughout the research are also rated and given comments on. Students are also encouraged to rate their experiences in terms of milestones and research progress. The future planning and career development of students are also rated on a satisfactory basis. With students’ mental health being an essential aspect of their studies, students are also requested to rate their level of stress following different type of questions. Financial situations of students are also discussed. The best aspect and worst aspect of being a Swinburne HDR student is also rated. Students are requested to leave their Swinburne corporate email in order to participate in a lucky draw that gives a RM20 grab voucher.


Date: 29th November 2023

Venue: Room B005

The Research Sharing Event successfully brought together a diverse assembly of postgraduates and undergraduates, all eager to explore the intricacies of research. The primary goal of the event was to offer insights into the research journey and the pursuit of higher degrees by research. Distinguished guests, Professor Basil T. Wong, Director of Research for Swinburne University, and Dr. Rodney Lim, representing the Faculty of Business, Design, and Art, were specially invited to contribute their perspectives. This event provided a unique opportunity for participants to embark on a collective journey of exploration alongside seasoned researchers in their respective fields. Professor Basil and Dr. Rodney shared their personal experiences and research journeys, highlighting the challenges and successes that led them to their current positions. The ensuing discussion delved into the pros and cons of pursuing research degrees, considering the economic uncertainties and diverse responsibilities faced by today’s young generation. Both Prof. Basil and Dr. Rodney addressed the common perception of limited positions in academia for those pursuing higher degrees by research. They encouraged participants to follow their true interests, whether in research, work, or other pursuits. The conversation further explored the perceived value of qualities gained through pursuing higher degrees by research and emphasized the importance of aligning individual paths with personal goals. The engaging session concluded with questions from the audience and the presentation of tokens of appreciation to the esteemed speakers, marking the end of a insightful and collaborative Research Sharing Event.



Date: 2nd December 2023

Venue: Megalanes King Centre

On the 2nd of December 2023, 10 committee members joined the event. There was a mix of both committees with most of the incoming committee members attending the event. The event featured a lunch gathering and bowling session in which two teams were comprised of either committee. The sport provided a lively time for the participants who enjoyed the activity and for some participants to play the sport for the first time. The event concluded with all participants receiving a gift of appreciation that had a unique motivational quote to inspire perseverance and grit in postgraduate studies. In summary, our Team Building Session was a success with the development of an energetic atmosphere and new sporting experience for several participants.