Curtin University Guild presidents celebrate 50th anniversary


Student Guild president Liam O’Neill, vice-chancellor Deborah Terry and Tom Silvan.
Student Guild president Liam O’Neill, vice-chancellor Deborah Terry and Tom Silvan.

STUDENTS will be students – that hasn’t changed a lot, according to Curtin University’s first Guild president Tom Silvan.

In 1969 Mr Silvan, who was a pharmacy student, was tasked with bringing together the student population and establishing not only a |constitution for the Student Guild but a sense of unity at the newly formed WA Institute of Technology.

A bit older than many of his contemporaries, Mr Silvan was at WAIT as a mature aged student, although he said “I don’t know if 21 or 22 is mature” after spending time at university in Sydney before moving to WA.

Mr Silvan, along with many other |former Guild presidents, recently celebrated Curtin’s 50th anniversary at a reunion at the favourite watering hole of generations of Curtin students, the Tavern.

“Curtin is far more sophisticated these days. It has grown from 1000 to more than 30,000 students at Bentley and the digital age has brought about big differences in the way we communicate,” Mr Silvan said.

As Guild president, Mr Silvan said he wanted the student organisation to be respected and recognised by the university council and all students.

“We managed all that,” he said.

He said he thought student organisations were great for developing industry and political leaders because they provide a grounding in business negotiation.

After graduating, Mr Silvan bought two pharmacies and established a pharmaceutical wholesaling business.

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