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Curtin students lend a hand in Laos

Media release

While other new graduates are out celebrating, ten Curtin University primary teaching graduates will be diving head-first into a community teaching and development project in Laos.

The graduates, who will be in Laos for two weeks in November, have given up their holidays to travel to Laos with their lecturers Dr Rachel Sheffield and Mrs Leith Hogan, and a team of nine Rotary Club volunteers. 

This is the first time that Dr Sheffield and her Curtin education students have been involved in an overseas aid project of this nature.

Each student will cover their own costs, supplemented by their own fundraising efforts.

Dr Sheffield said she was impressed by the enthusiasm of the young students and their determination to use their skills to make a difference before they had even hit the workforce.

“I am so proud of our students taking this huge step into the unknown to help those less fortunate to build their communities,” Dr Sheffield said.

“Although our Curtin graduates do not speak the local language, they will be kept very busy assisting teachers and young students with village projects, including building toilets for the community.

“Each of the graduates has also been involved with a West Australian primary school, teaching the children about the communities in Laos and gathering a collection of pencil cases and book bags to give to the students and teachers over there.”

The projects in Laos are being carried out in conjunction with A Helping Hand, a not-for-profit charity organisation affiliated with the Rotary Club of Mill Point in Western Australia and Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS).

More information about the schools and communities that will benefit from the graduates’ work and about A Helping Hand can be found at

Dr Rachel Sheffield, Primary Education Lecturer Curtin University
Tel: 9266 2163, Mobile: 0407 999 995 Email:

Kate Selth, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 3353, Email: