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Curtin University
  VC's Excellence Awards for Professional Staff

Award guidelines

The VC’s Excellence Awards for Professional Staff recognise the innovative work of high performing staff who demonstrate outstanding achievement aligned to the University’s vision and values. The awards aim to inspire, encourage and support a shared commitment to realising the University’s 2030 vision to be a recognised global leader in research, education and engagement.

The VC’s Excellence Awards for Professional Staff will be held annually with the Vice-Chancellor calling for nominations mid-year and winners announced and recognised at an end-of-year event.


  • The Awards are open to current Professional staff who were employed by Curtin during the award period (1 July 2017 - 30 June 2018) and meet the following eligibility criteria:
    • Individual nominees must be either a fixed term or continuing professional staff member
    • Team nominees can be a casual, fixed term or continuing professional staff member
  • Individuals on MERC 3 and above positions cannot be nominated.
  • Nominations are encouraged from all faculties and areas across the University and may be submitted for an individual or for a team.
  • Nominated teams may operate within or across Faculties and/or Areas.
  • Professional staff who have been nominated for other Faculty or Area awards are encouraged to nominate in the VC’s Excellence Awards for Professional Staff.
  • Professional staff who have received a Curtin award for teaching excellence or a Curtin Research Award Recognising Excellence will not be eligible to win a Professional Staff award.
  • Staff cannot be nominated for the same project as an individual and a team member.


  • Nominations must relate to achievements which have been accomplished within the award period which is 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.
  • Self-nomination is permitted in conjunction with a referee endorsement. A Referee must be a current staff member (although they can provide additional evidence or testimonials from an external contact as an attachment).

Nomination category and criteria

Nominations must be made under ONE of the following four categories:

Excellence in Innovation

Implementing an innovative and effective solution which supports Curtin’s strategic objectives. Developing a new approach or system which responds to a challenge we are facing or measurably improves our effectiveness and efficiency.

Excellence in Collaboration

Successful engagement with external partners to enrich our local or global community. OR Proactive and effective collaboration with other faculties/portfolios to build successful and productive partnerships and achieve a shared goal.

Excellence in Leadership

Leadership may be demonstrated by staff at any level of the organisation by fostering a positive inclusive culture, whilst modelling our values of integrity, respect, courage, excellence and impact. An outstanding leader enables others to excel, embraces continuous improvement and delivers outcomes in support of Curtin’s Strategic Plan 2017-2020.

Excellence in Service

Providing consistently exceptional service to create more positive and engaging experiences for our colleagues or students and leading change to improve service delivery and enhance our customer’s ‘Curtin experience.’

How to nominate a person or a team for an award

  1. Log into Staff Portal, select HR Applications from the apps carousel and click the link to "VC's Excellence Awards for Professional Staff."
  2. Select the appropriate award type and category.
  3. Complete Nominator and Nominee details.
    • When nominating a team, the nominator will provide a team name, team representative and select other key members of the team.
    • A team member may be defined as someone who has made a significant contribution.
    • Consult with members of the team prior to submission to ensure that team composition and contributions are accurately reflected.
  4. Self-nomination is permitted in conjunction with a referee endorsement.
    • Referee must be a current staff member.
    • Referee must be able to comment on the nominee’s achievement.
  5. Complete the nomination statement.
    • For help writing a nomination, please refer to the guide to writing a nomination statement
    • Nominations statements must provide specific and identifiable reasons for the award nomination.
    • It is important to highlight how the achievement or success exceeds normal expectations of performance.
    • Statements should be clear, concise and compelling.
  6. Upload relevant attachments (optional)
    • Nominator can upload relevant attachments in support of the nomination such as images, diagrams or testimonials
    • Total documentation should not exceed six (6) pages and must be provided in .pdf format.
  7. Once submitted, nominee will receive an email notification and is required to accept or decline the nomination, OR
  8. Referee will receive an email notification and is required to endorse or decline the nomination and provide a referee statement.
    • If a key stakeholder/customer/beneficiary of the nomination is external to Curtin, the referee can attach additional evidence or testimonials from the external contact.
    • If the nomination is for a team, the reference should apply to the whole team.
  9. Nominator will receive email confirmation that the nomination has been accepted/endorsed. The online nomination form can then be digitally signed and submitted.
  10. Nominator will receive email confirmation that the nomination has been submitted.

VC’s Awards Committee

An Awards Committee will be established each year to review the nominations and make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor in relation to the granting of award(s).

The committee will determine the awards based on the evidence presented in the nomination.

In assessing nominations, consideration will be given to the following criteria:

  • Level of contribution to the Curtin Strategic Plan 2017-2020
  • Actions above and beyond the normal expectations of a role
  • Exceptional achievement or success
  • Level of impact/outcomes for staff, students, faculty or area
  • Long term sustainability of improvements

All steps in the deliberative process are managed confidentially, and a nominee will not be notified of the progress of a nomination until the selection process is completed. Nominees will receive written advice of the outcome from the Chair of the Committee.

The committee’s judgement will be consistent with the University’s values and be applied consistently, be evidence based and free from conflict of interest.

2018 Awards Committee members:

Name Title
Ian Callahan Chief Operating Officer and Chair
Professor John Cordery Provost
Professor Jill Downie DVC Academic
Val Raubenheimer Vice-President Corporate Relations
Marco Schultheis Chief Strategy Officer
David Menarry Chief Financial Officer
Bridget Halbert Executive Officer to the Vice-Chancellor
Ian Jackson Director, People and Culture
Catherine Clark University Librarian
Shirene Varendorff Faculty Business Manager, Humanities
Phil Hocking Faculty Business Manager, Health Sciences


There can be team and individual award winners within each of the four award categories. Award prize money is to be used to access opportunities for knowledge building, personal or career development. The award will be held in a University Account for the award recipient(s) to utilise within one year of the award being presented/announced.

Individual awards

Individual winners will receive a prize of up to $4,000 to be used for a professional development opportunity such as attending an interstate conference, or undertaking a new qualification.

Team awards

Winning teams will receive a prize of up to $4,000 per person (up to a maximum of $20,000 per team), to be used for a team-based professional development opportunity or activity, such as attending an interstate conference or study tour. Winning teams are encouraged to look for unique and valuable opportunities to access new knowledge or skills or establish new networks with industry-aligned teams.

Additional awards may also be given to a number of finalists at the discretion of the Committee.


Recipients’ names and a synopsis of their achievements and contributions will be acknowledged on the VC’s Excellence Awards website.

Award nominees and recipients will be acknowledged at a university event – details will be announced upon completion of the nomination period.

Successful nominees and nominators will be expected to make themselves available for the production of audio-visual promotional material, as well as attend the awards ceremony.

The award recipients may be expected to participate in seminars or presentations.

Awards ceremony

The Vice-Chancellor will present the awards at a university event. All staff will be advised once the details are finalised.

Redemption of award

  • Only award recipients can redeem their Award (prizes cannot be delegated to another staff member).
  • The prize limits are non-negotiable and any additional costs are to be met by the staff member or their work area (with prior approval).
  • Any award recipient who is no longer employed at the time of the announcement of the awards will be presented with a Certificate of Recognition but they will not be entitled to an award prize.
  • Staff must be employed at the University in order to redeem their award.

More information

For further information, please contact:

Caroline Ellis, Project Coordinator, People and Culture
Tel: +61 8 9266 2320  

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