Your chance to honour university initiatives which build our future

January 23, 2024


Nearly 23,000 people have cast votes to select People’s Choice winners in an awards program to recognise the contributions universities make to the nation.

Universities Australia acting chief executive Renee Hindmarsh said the number of public votes cast so far was “a real testament to the quality and life-changing benefits their initiatives bring to Australians and the communities we call home”.

“The common denominator between each finalist and their initiative is our world-class institutions that deserve to be celebrated,” she said.

“We encourage the Australian community to get behind the people and projects they think have made the biggest difference to the nation by casting their vote.”

The inaugural Shaping Australia Awards will honour university teams and individuals for achievements in three categories – Problem Solver, which recognises research; Future Builder, which recognises teaching, and; Community Champion, which recognises community engagement.

The public can still have its say in selecting the People’s Choice winners by choosing a favourite from the six finalists in each category until 5pm (Australian eastern daylight saving time) on Tuesday, January 30.

The Shaping Australia Awards are presented by Universities Australia in partnership with The Australian.

A winner in each category will also be selected by a seven-member panel of distinguished judges chaired by former federal Education Department secretary Lisa Paul.

The other judges are former governor-general Sir Peter Cosgrove, CEO of the GO Foundation Charlene Davison, Paralympic gold medallist Kurt Fearnley, editor-in-chief of The Australian Michelle Gunn, special envoy for Southeast Asia Nicholas Moore, and Nobel prize winner and former Australian National University vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt.

Winners will be announced on February 27.

Cast your vote at