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Excellence Awards Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The primary purpose of the University's Excellence Awards is to recognise and reward the excellent achievements of University staff.

(2) The Awards are intended to:

  1. recognise and reward excellence;
  2. instill notions of best-practice and excellence in all aspects of work at the University;
  3. boost staff morale and productivity;
  4. identify and support nominees for all award schemes;
  5. foster ongoing professional development;
  6. encourage loyalty and commitment to the University;
  7. strengthen the University's culture of scholarship;
  8. showcase commitment and improvement to Work Health, Safety and Wellbeing; and
  9. provide a platform to showcase staff achievements.

(3) The Awards support the strategic goals of the University and act as a channel for monitoring and celebrating achievements by individuals and groups.

(4) This policy should be read in conjunction with the Excellence Awards Procedures and information relating to each award category provided on the University Excellence Awards webpage.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) Each year there will be a call for nominations for awards to those whose outstanding dedication, creativity and excellence in performance and service have had, or are having, a significant impact on the University's progress towards the achievement of its mission.

(7) These awards will recognise:

  1. groups who demonstrate the capacity to collaborate effectively towards shared goals and who achieve excellence in outcomes in the nominated area of activity;
  2. individuals who demonstrate the capacity to work innovatively and in an exemplary manner and who achieve excellence in the nominated area of activity; and
  3. groups or individuals who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to service both within and beyond the institution.


(8) For individual nominations, currently employed staff who have worked at the University for a minimum of one year are eligible for nomination, or as leaders of group nominations. Sessional staff are eligible for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic Awards as per the Excellence Awards Procedures. External contractors are not eligible.

(9) For group nominations, staff and students who do not satisfy the eligibility criteria, but whose contribution to the Award initiative is to be acknowledged, may be included as members of a group nomination. In the case of external contractors, they may be included in a group nomination for acknowledgement purposes but are not eligible to receive financial awards.

(10) On occasions, additional relevant Excellence Awards, under the listed categories, may be awarded to students, where specific outstanding performance has been identified. These are separate to student academic awards which are covered under the Graduation Policy.

(11) Winners of awards (either individuals or groups) in a particular category are not eligible for nomination (as an individual or group leader) in the following year in the same category. However, previous recipients of highly commended nominations may reapply if their nomination demonstrates progress from their previous year’s submission.

(12) If staff who implement initiatives and policies relating to the Excellence Awards are nominated for an award as an individual or part of a team, they should refrain from organising any part of the category they are nominated within. This category should be coordinated by other staff members through the whole process.

(13) Excellence Awards are intended to recognise achievements over the previous one to three-year period, although in some award categories it is anticipated that submissions may include briefly summarised background material from longer than three years ago in order to contextualise these achievements and/or accommodate any career interruptions.

(14) Nominations must be made in the appropriate published method for each award as outlined in the Excellence Awards Procedures.

(15) Members of awards panels or support staff may make further enquiries, of a factual nature, regarding nominations.

Excellence Award Categories

(16) The categories of Excellence Awards are:

  1. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award
  2. Vice-Chancellor’s Service Excellence Award
  3. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision Award
  4. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in University Engagement and Sustainability Award
  5. Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Excellence Award
  6. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Research – Researcher of the Year Award
  7. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Research – Early Career Researcher Award
  8. The College Award for Excellence
  9. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) – Research Excellence through Partnership Award
  10. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) – Excellence in Research Interdisciplinary Group Award
  11. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) - Excellence in Indigenous Research Award
  12. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) - Excellence in Internationalisation Award
  13. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) – Excellence in Teaching Award
  14. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) – Excellence in Indigenous Teaching Award
  15. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) – Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

(17) The Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award is awarded to a recipient of a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) – Excellence in Teaching Award. The University teaching awards are designed to align with the Australian Awards for University Teaching.

(18) Award details are provided in the Excellence Awards Procedures.

(19) Awards need not necessarily be made in every category or at both winner and highly commended levels.

(20) Multiple award winners may be recommended to the Vice-Chancellor and President for approval, at the discretion of the relevant Excellence Award Panel.

Funding and Expenditure

(21) The total allocation of funds for Excellence Awards and their distribution across the Award categories will be determined on an annual basis by the Vice-Chancellor and President. These allocations are detailed in the Excellence Awards Allocation Schedule.

(22) Award funds are to be spent within the next calendar year following receipt of the award at the University's annual Excellence awards ceremony. Refer to the Excellence Awards Procedures for conditions regarding the expenditure and acquittal of the Award funds.

Administration of the Awards Scheme

(23) Overall administrative co-ordination of the Awards scheme will be undertaken by the Office of People and Success, in close liaison with relevant areas funding the award and choosing recipients. The Excellence Awards Procedures and the University Excellence Awards webpage outline the roles and responsibilities of these units, as well as the annual timeline for the scheme.

Excellence Awards Panels

(24) Details regarding the membership of the Excellence Awards panels is outlined in the Excellence Awards Panel Membership Schedule. Where members are unavailable, the Vice-Chancellor and President or Vice-President, People and Advancement will approve substitute members. Each Excellence Awards Panel will consider nominations against the specified selection criteria and make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(25) Representatives on The College Excellence Award Panel are determined by the Western Sydney University Enterprises Board of Directors.

Advice of Excellence Awards

(26) Awards will be presented at the University's annual Excellence Awards ceremony. Announcements about Excellence Award recipients will be disseminated broadly across the University.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(27) See the Excellence Awards Procedures.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(28) Refer to the University Excellence Awards webpage.