Celebrating students making a difference

Students who get involved in uni life above and beyond their time in the classroom make a world of difference to the University of Newcastle community. It’s this engagement in campus life and professional development that paves the way to a successful future.

At the University of Newcastle, we take pride in the achievements of our students who make a difference to university life. The Student Experience Awards is where we celebrate them.

This year’s awards recognise students over five categories: Pathways Student Award, Indigenous Community Engagement Award, Club of the Year, Global Citizen Award, and Volunteer of the Year Award. The University of Newcastle Students' Association (UNSA) also recognises students over four award categories for both undergraduate and postgraduate students: Student Perseverance Award, Student Peer Support Award, Campus Contribution Award, and Student Excellence Award. You can find more information about these awards and nominate for them on the UNSA website.

Nominations for the 2021 Student Experience Awards close 5pm Friday October 22.

Student Experience Awards Categories

2021 Indigenous Community Engagement Award

The Indigenous Community Engagement Award celebrates the work of an Indigenous or non-Indigenous student who has contributed to positive cultural relationships within or outside the University through activities to support and strengthen relationships and knowledge sharing. This award is available for students from the second year of their program of study.

Nominations will be judged in terms of:

  • Reach and impact of engagement activities within the University and/or community
  • Demonstrated commitment to Reconciliation
  • Positive impact on other students and/or community stakeholders

You can nominate for this award here.


2021 Pathways Student Award

The Pathways Student Award celebrates the achievements of a student who progressed to an undergraduate program via an Enabling program. This award is available for students from the second year of their undergraduate program of study.

Nominations will be judged in terms of:

  • Leadership skills
  • Supporting their fellow students
  • Accomplishments in terms of extra-curricular or co-curricular activities
  • Positive contribution to the University community

You can nominate for this award here.


2021 Global Citizen Award

The University Of Newcastle Global Citizen Award celebrates the work of a University Of Newcastle student who has embraced global experience and diversity in their educational journey and who shares this passion with their peers.

Nominations will be judged in terms of:

  • Demonstrated commitment to engage globally and/or encourage others to do so
  • Quality of global activities and engagement
  • Positive impact on other University of Newcastle students and/or external stakeholders

You can nominate for this award here.


2021 Club of the Year Award

The recipient of the Club of the Year Award is a club or society that works hard to engage a broad range of students across University of Newcastle. The club will be well organised, active, inclusive, involved in the University of Newcastle community, and the executive ensures the group helps others have a great time.

The club/society you nominate will be judged in terms of:

  • Sound governance and leadership through a well organised and cooperative executive
  • Accomplishments of the club or society including membership and impact of events and activities
  • Collaboration and engagement within the University of Newcastle community
  • Development of new ideas and initiatives to improve the student experience at University of Newcastle.

You can nominate for this award here.


Volunteer of the Year

The University of Newcastle Volunteer of the Year will be a student who is enthusiastic and generous with their time, they show initiative, are reliable, friendly and helpful.

The nominations will be judged in terms of:

  • Demonstrated commitment as a University of Newcastle volunteer
  • Quality of volunteering activities and engagement in the University of Newcastle volunteer program
  • Positive impact on other students and/or external stakeholders

You can nominate for this award here.


Student Perseverance Award (UNSA Award)

Ask any student, undergrad or postgrad, and they'll tell you just how challenging student life can be. Group work, deadlines, essays and assignments, late-night classes, examinations, journal articles, thesis chapters, lectures from your supervisor… The academic rigours alone can be intense.

For some students, however, there are even greater challenges than these. Injury or illness. Family problems. Homesickness. Financial hardship. Trying to juggle work, study and parenthood. For some of us, this year has been a constant battle just to keep standing, to keep moving forward – and something to celebrate when we do.

The Student Perseverance Award highlights those students who have continued to make progress in their degree despite the enormous adversities and challenges they have faced this year. It
goes to those who've shown exceptional fortitude and resolve, adapting to new circumstances or bearing sudden upheavals without ever giving up.

Nominations will be judged in terms of:
- Nominee’s commitment to their studies, despite personal challenges or hardships;
- Nominee’s demonstrated resilience; and
- Nominee’s positive impact on other university students and/or external stakeholders because of these.

Nominate an undergraduate student here.
Nominate a postgraduate student here.


Student Peer Support Award (UNSA Award)

University is not just a place to study, but to make new friends. And rightly so: good friends make our time here even richer, more exciting and enjoyable. They help us feel connected to community, something bigger than the classroom. And our best friends keep us going when nothing else can – when life, and our studies, become too difficult to navigate alone.

The Student Peer Support Award recognises those students who are always there to help their friends. The ones who make time to catch up with you, and are always there to listen when you need to vent your frustrations or talk about your fears. The ones who do all the little things day that support you, encourage you, and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

Recipients of this award are true friends that make a positive difference in the lives of their fellow students. They cheer you up when you’ve had a rough week, help you move house, and lend you a pen when you've forgotten yours. They are kind, thoughtful, selfless and reliable, looking out for others and making them feel welcome in the office, the classroom or online.

Nominations will be judged in terms of:

- Nominee’s commitment to supporting those around them;
- Nominee’s scope and nature of support; and
- Nominee’s positive impact on other uni students and/or external stakeholders.

Nominate an undergraduate student here.
Nominate a postgraduate student here.


Campus Contribution Award (UNSA Award)

The best part of student life is student community. A thriving student community allows you to make new friends, learn new skills, get strong support and feel included. There are tons of amazing clubs, social groups and initiatives on campus, but none would exist at all without students to start them – those who have an idea, make plans, bring people together and get the ball rolling, so that something new and incredible can grow.

The Campus Contribution Award celebrates those students who cultivate a positive, supportive and vibrant student culture, and who demonstrate outstanding commitment to enhancing the experience of their fellow students. Recipients of this award are involved, active and inclusive in the community, either on campus or online; they are social connectors that draw other students in to participate in clubs, activities and events, and help them have a great time.

Those who are involved and enthusiastic, network widely among their peers, attend numerous events, lead highly successful clubs or build community and joy are all ideal nominees for this award.

Nominations will be judged in terms of:

- Nominee’s leadership and organisational skills;
- Nominee’s support of their fellow students;
- Nominee’s collaboration and engagement with different student groups; and
- Nominee’s development of new ideas and initiatives that improve student experience at the University of Newcastle.

Nominate an undergraduate student here.
Nominate a postgraduate student here.


Student Excellence Award (UNSA Award)

For the student who has everything! The Student Excellence Award celebrates a true all-rounder: someone whose dedication to their studies is complemented by strong participation in community groups and organisations, volunteering, professional development, student leadership and advocacy, or any combination of the above.

Recipients of this award take on a range of responsibilities in their daily lives, be it personal, professional or academic, and go above and beyond to make a positive impact on university culture. They seek diverse opportunities and frequently step outside their comfort zone. They help give voice to their fellow students. Their multitasking skills are legendary.

In short, the Student Excellence Award celebrates true student champions that embrace with vigour every part of university life. If you know someone who inspires you, does a thousand and one things and seeks constantly to develop themselves, this is a fantastic opportunity to recognise them.

Nominations will be judged in terms of:

- Nominee’s leadership skills;
- Nominee’s commitment to skill-building and self-development;
- Nominee’s accomplishments in terms of extra-curricular or co-curricular activities;
- Nominee’s commitment to volunteering and/or community engagement; and
- Nominee’s positive impact on other uni students and/or external stakeholders.

Nominate an undergraduate student here.
Nominate a postgraduate student here.

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.