UNSW Alumni Awards
Our alumni are one of UNSW’s greatest continuing sources of pride. Every year we look forward to recognising the outstanding achievements of our graduates who make a profound impact here and around the globe.
These exceptional individuals come from diverse backgrounds and embody the values we uphold at UNSW - demonstrating excellence and respect, driving innovation, embracing diversity, and building collaboration.
Help us to recognise their role in driving positive change, by nominating an extraordinary UNSW graduate in one of six award categories — Art and Culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Professional Achievement, Social Impact and Service, Research and Teaching, and Young Alumni.
Want to learn more about why you should nominate someone for an Alumni Award? Hear from 2023 Young Alumni Award winner and UNSW graduate, Rix Smith, about what winning an Alumni Award has meant to him.
Want to make your nomination stand out? Use this template to help craft your submission.
Nominations will close at 5 PM AEDT on Monday, 11 December, 2023. The 2024 Alumni Award winners will be announced in mid to late 2024.
Award Categories and Selection Criteria
The UNSW Alumni Awards program is an exciting opportunity for the UNSW community to discover and celebrate the visionaries, pioneers, innovators and change-makers within our alumni community. For all categories, preference is given to nominees whose work, whether professional or volunteer, demonstrates a significant positive impact that has been felt by many. Nominations should include evidence of achievements and their impact.
As a university committed to diversity and inclusivity, we encourage you to consider remarkable graduates from a broad range of backgrounds.
Art and Culture
Recognising alumni who have made positive contributions to society and the arts through design, creative and cultural disciplines. The nomination should clearly outline how the nominee has:
Made outstanding contributions to the arts and/or humanities
Enriched their community's cultural offering and reputation, whether through fine arts, entertainment, artisanship, or other related disciplines
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Recognising visionary alumni who are forward-thinking leaders in their industry, profession, or area of expertise. The nomination should clearly outline how the nominee demonstrates:
The ability to recognise, and act upon, opportunities and works to promote and facilitate innovation in their sector
The way in which their entrepreneurship was able to effect positive change
Recognising outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to their chosen field or profession, including but not limited to industry, government and sport. The nomination should clearly outline how the nominee has:
Achieved sustained success over their career that is noteworthy and exceptional
Contributed significantly to the growth, reach or impact of their industry or profession
Research and Teaching Achievement
Recognising the work of alumni whose research and/or educational practice has produced innovative new solutions, significantly advanced knowledge and practice in their field and is a leader as recognised by their peers. The nomination should clearly outline how the nominee demonstrates:
Excellence in research, leading to the advancement of knowledge in their own fields, discoveries with significant impact on society, and engagement of students in the process and/or
Excellence in education, making impactful contributions that have made an indelible mark on the realms of education, fostering positive change and inspiring future generations
Social Impact and Service
Recognising alumni who are making a tangible difference to people’s lives, the environment, or the world through their organisation, volunteering or other service to the community. The nomination should clearly outline how the nominee has:
Made a significant positive impact to the social, economic, political and/or environmental challenges facing communities
Dedicated their time to advocate on social issues and generate positive social change
Young Alumni Award
Recognising outstanding alumni aged 35 or younger who have achieved significant success or impact in a short career span. The nomination should clearly outline how the nominee demonstrates:
Contributions and impact that inspires the next generation of graduates and the community at large
Leadership qualities in a variety of contexts that could include volunteering, community or professional work which is extraordinary for their age
How to Nominate
You can make your nomination using the online form below.
Any UNSW graduate is eligible to be nominated
A UNSW graduate may not nominate themselves
Current UNSW staff (even if alumni) are not eligible for nomination
Young Alumni nominees must be aged 35 years or younger at the close of the nomination period
Nominations for Alumni Awards may be submitted by anyone including alumni, staff, students and members of the wider community
Nominations can be supported by a second person if deemed relevant
The nominator and seconder are invited to provide supporting evidence
Members of the Alumni Awards Committee review all nominations, then meet together to assess as a group and agree on the winners
The Committee is made up of UNSW graduates from multiple faculties, representing a diverse range of ages, professional experience, and cultural backgrounds
The Committee has a focus on inclusivity, diversity and fair representation of our alumni cohort when considering nominations
The number of awards may vary from year to year and the Alumni Awards Committee reserves the right to make no award in a particular year
The decision of the Alumni Awards Committee will be final and conclusive, no correspondence regarding decisions will be entered into
All information provided in the nomination forms will be verified by the University prior to the presentation of candidates to the Alumni Awards Committee.
Alumni Awards FAQs
Can I nominate someone for more than one Alumni Award category?
No. Nominations will only be accepted for a graduate in one category in the same year. However, the Alumni Awards Committee may move a nominee from one category to another if appropriate.
Can I nominate myself for an Alumni Award?
No, unfortunately the nomination cannot come from the nominee themself.
Can I nominate someone who has previously been nominated?
Yes, you may nominate someone who has been previously nominated. Previous winners however are not eligible.
Can I nominate a UNSW staff member?
No, unfortunately UNSW staff can not be nominated and are not eligible.
What should the Statement of Support include?
The Statement of Support should clearly state why the nominee should be considered for the selected Alumni Award category and should include evidence. You may wish to include examples of their work.
When will winners be announced to the public?
Winners will be announced in October 2024.
Who chooses the winners?
The Alumni Awards Committee, comprising of representatives from the UNSW alumni community, will review all nominations and choose the winners.