University Design Competition

Think you have a $5K idea

The university is looking to create a place marker. A place where students can capture a moment in their university life that they will cherish and remember long after they have completed their degree. To do this, we are holding a competition and encouraging our students to pitch a design idea that can be created and installed on our Callaghan campus.

The Design a Place Marker Competition is an opportunity for students to develop designs and deliver a place marker object and ceremony space to improve the student experience on Callaghan campus. By undertaking a competition, we are also enhancing the student learning experience and enabling them to tackle a real-world opportunity.

The competition is open to eligible student from the School of Architecture and Built Environment (SABE) and the School of Creative Industries (SOCI). The winning idea will be chosen by a panel led by The University of Newcastle's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, in early September with a view of have the idea come to life by the end of the year.

The successful student will win them self $3000 or $5000 for a team as well as the opportunity to work alongside the manufacturer who will be engaged to ensure the idea is constructed and installed according to code.

To help guide registered students an Information session and Ask an Expert panel has been scheduled with representatives from across a range of fields including design, documentation, construction, IP, surveying, and sculpture.

For terms and conditions click here (PDF, 320KB).

Register here to Design a Place Marker

Once you have registered you will be sent an information pack that includes the creative brief as well as the conditions of entry. You will also be allocated a unique competition number that must be used on your entry. All entrants must submit their design in accordance with the conditions of entry by the closing date (11.59pm Tuesday 8 September) to be eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will have approximately three weeks to submit your design idea. Applications close on Tuesday 8 September 2020.

An eligible entry must meet a number of requirements. Please refer to the full competition Terms and Conditions for details.

The winning idea will be chosen by a panel comprised of:

  • Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, Vice-Chancellor and President
  • Professor Sue Anne Ware, Head of School of Architecture and Built Environment
  • Professor Paul Egglestone, Head of School of Creative Industries
  • Tracy Chalk, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Julie Rich, Director, Infrastructure and Facilities Services
  • Adelaide Cowan, Project Coordinator, School of Architecture and Built Environment

Yes, you will need to register your interest so that you can get a unique entry number. This number must be on your submission in line with the Terms and Conditions for the competition.

There no mandatory word or acronyms required, however it is advised to avoid the acronym 'UON'. This acronym is no longer in line with our brand moving forward.

A specific location has not been identified however it will be within 100 metres and an easy, accessible walking distance from the Great Hall. The location will be selected in consultation with the winner.

The University will undertake additional landscape embellishment works including pavements, access paths, sandstone wall and garden planting around the placemaking object.

Additional help

To ensure your entry meets the eligibility criteria, it is recommended that you attend the online Ask an Expert Workshop.

Ask an Expert Workshop

Date: Tuesday, 1 September
Time: 12pm
Location: Zoom

You will be sent a Zoom meeting invite to attend this workshop when you register.

For more information, please email:

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.