Engagement Excellence Awards

Recognises and celebrates outstanding contributions and collaborations with our community and industry, and to advancing the University’s global capabilities and profile.

The Engagement Excellence Awards are awarded under three categories:

Community Engagement Award

Awarded to an individual or team who have made an outstanding contribution to the community or built strong links with the community through outstanding partnership and collaboration.

Nominee/s must demonstrate excellence in collaboration and engagement with the community. Community engagement may involve a range of activities, including:

  • Service to the community, including providing voluntary services as a consultant or advisor, leadership positions on boards and committees or community activism which enhances the reputation of the University in the wider community
  • Partnerships with the community, such as planning and engagement in joint University-community events and activities, which builds and strengthens the community’s engagement with, and perception of the University

Global Engagement Award

Awarded to an individual or team who have advanced the University’s international engagement capability and profile.

The criteria for this Award has been has been updated to reflect the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nominee/s must demonstrate excellence in an initiative or project under at least one of the following criteria:

  • Outstanding contribution to facilitate UON’s capability in forming new global partnerships
  • Demonstrable contemporary approach in meeting acute challenges posed by attracting international students in an increasingly sophisticated global education market
  • Outstanding innovation in internationalising curriculum and learning experience
  • Exceptional initiative/achievement in enhancing University of Newcastle’s performance/profile in world university rankings
  • Outstanding innovation in internationalising services and co-curricular activities across the whole spectrum of student affairs
  • Outstanding contribution to facilitate University of Newcastle’s capability in forming new global partnerships
  • Demonstrable contemporary approach in meeting acute challenges posed by attracting international students in an increasingly volatile and competitive global education market
  • Outstanding contribution to reciprocity through student and community engagement that enhances mutual appreciation of the contribution of international students to the local community and Australia and vice-versa

Industry Engagement Award

Awarded to an individual or team who have worked with industry in a way that goes beyond standard commercial relationships and have contributed to positive outcomes for both parties.

Engagement with industry could include a range of activities, including:

  • Research and development institutes, joint ventures and groups, industry-integrated courses and programs; industry-led educational innovations, industry-informed learning standards and assessment development, collaborative policy initiatives, etc.

Nominee/s must be able to demonstrate engagement excellence with industry under the following criteria:

  • Describe how the initiative/strategy was initiated, or how the problem or challenge that industry was seeking to address was discovered?
  • What were the mutual benefits and outcomes of the engagement, including benefits to industry and the University?

For the purposes of the Industry Engagement Award, “industry” is defined as publicly- and privately-owned businesses and enterprises, as well as Government Business Entities and employer bodies such as industry skills councils, industry and professional associations, unions, regulatory and licensing bodies, etc. Collaborations with branches of government and not-for profits are eligible under the Community Engagement Award.

Eligibility and How to Nominate

As a staff member, you can nominate an individual or a team for a University of Newcastle Excellence Award.

Self-nominations are permitted, but nominees are responsible for informing their supervisor about the nomination detail before a nomination is submitted.

All University of Newcastle employees are eligible to be nominated, including professional staff (casual, fixed-term and ongoing) and academic staff (continuing, fixed-term, conjoint and sessional). Staff employed by an agency do not fall within the eligibility requirements.

Depending on the quality of the nominations, one award winner may be selected for each award sub-category. Subject to the quality of the nominations for a category, an award may not be made. Depending on the award category, you may choose to nominate an individual, or a team.

Individual nominations
You may choose to tell the person that you are nominating them before submitting your nomination. However, all nominees will be advised of their nomination via email once all submissions are received.

Team nominations
Team nominations would not normally exceed 8 members unless exceptional circumstances apply. You must advise team leaders of the nomination before you submit it to ensure that team composition and contributions are accurately reflected. A team member may be defined as someone who has made a significant contribution. Prize money for team awards will be distributed equally amongst all team members.

A nominee or recipient of a University of Newcastle Excellence Award is only eligible for re-nomination in subsequent years on the basis that there were significant new achievements or developments to be considered.

Awards ceremony and prizes
All finalists are invited to attend the annual awards ceremony, where the award winners are announced. Award winners receive a certificate of recognition, a trophy and monetary award prize.

Monetary award prizes are $1,000 for individuals and 2,000 for teams (shared equally amongst all team members) which must be collected through salary payment. The exception is the UON Values Award, which is a $2,500 award prize awarded to an individual or team (shared equally) and must be used for professional development within 12 months of receipt of the award, unless otherwise approved. Relevant taxation and superannuation arrangements apply to one-off salary payments.

Any award recipient who is no longer employed by the University at the time of the announcement of the awards will not be entitled to an award prize.

After clicking on the ‘nominate now’ link, you will be taken to an online form, where you will be asked to choose which award and category you would like to submit a nomination for, and following this, the relevant template will appear for download.

You will be prompted to upload a PDF version of the completed template before you submit the nomination.

As part of the online form, you will be asked to input:

  • Your full name and email
  • The nominee/s name, email, Faculty/Division. For team nominations, details will need to be provided for all team members
  • A 75 word succinct overview of the nomination, including
    • a description of the contribution, initiative, program, project or activity; and
    • how this outstanding and exceptional achievement or success exceeds normal expectations of performance
  • Your response to the selection criteria (max 500 words in total, with the exception of Values Awards max 750 words).
    Please prepare your response to the selection criteria in the relevant nomination template and upload as a PDF named as:
    Nominee (or Team Leader for team awards) FirstName LastName_Award Name

    e.g. Joe Smith_Teaching Excellence Award

    Your response should include:
    • a brief reiteration of the contribution, initiative, program, project or activity; and
    • how this significant and outstanding achievement addresses the award-specific criteria listed in the nomination form template