Universities Australia launches the Shaping Australia Awards

September 20, 2023


Universities Australia has launched the Shaping Australia Awards – a new program to celebrate the significant contribution universities and the people within them make to the nation.

The Shaping Australia Awards – presented in partnership with The Australian – will recognise excellence across teaching, research and community service, celebrating the contribution universities and individuals make to Australia and Australians.

Submissions are now open for the 2023 Shaping Australia Awards

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the awards would shine a light on the extraordinary work universities and the people who work in them do to shape Australia’s future.

“True to the Australian spirit, university staff and students work to improve the lives of all Australians, regardless of their postcode,” Ms Jackson said.

“As Australia navigates a series of multigenerational challenges – including the energy transition, security challenges and an ageing population – unis have a key role to play, as they always have.

“From performing research and development to educating skilled workers and serving communities through good and bad times, universities play a significant role in shaping Australia’s future.

“We’re delighted to be delivering our new awards program to honour the people who go above and beyond for their students, for their communities and for the nation.

“These are the people who help make Australia a modern, progressive and prosperous nation.”

Individuals and teams from Australian universities are invited to submit entries in one of three categories:

  • Teaching | The Future Builder Award recognises an individual or a team that has gone over and above to equip their students with the knowledge and skills they need to make a positive impact in the world.
  • Research | The Problem Solver Award recognises an individual or a team’s work, research or otherwise, that has changed or has the potential to change the lives of Australians for the better.
  • Community service | The Community Champion Award recognises an individual, team or university with strong links to its community and the people who call it home, not just those who attend the institution.

A panel of eminent Australians will judge the awards, which so far includes:

  • Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM (Former Secretary of the Department of Education and recently appointed University of Canberra Chancellor)
  • Sir Peter Cosgrove AK CVO CNZM MC (former Governor-General of Australia and former Chief of Army)
  • Mr Kurt Fearnley AO PLY (Chairman, National Disability Insurance Agency, former Paralympian, New South Wales Australian of the year)
  • Ms Michelle Gunn (Editor in Chief, The Australian)
  • Mr Nicholas Moore AO (Special Envoy for Southeast Asia and former CEO of Macquarie Group), and
  • Professor Brian Schmidt AC FAA FRS (Current Vice Chancellor, Australian National University and Nobel Laureate).

Submissions are now open and close 20 November 2023. Australians will be able to get behind their favourite entries when People’s Choice voting commences 22 November 2023.

Further information and entry criteria can be found at shapingaustraliaawards.com.au.