Nomination guidelines - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Nomination guidelines

The Outstanding Alumni of the Year Awards (the Awards) recognise and celebrate the many achievements of USC graduates, both professionally and personally for outstanding contributions to their profession, community and the advancement of society.

Nominations for the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Awards have closed. Nominations are generally open between July and August each year.

Below are the 2021 terms and conditions. To participate in the Awards, you will need to agree to and comply with these or your nomination may be ineligible.


  • To be eligible to enter the Awards, nominees must have officially graduated from their first degree at USC at least two years prior to nominating (i.e. 2019 Graduation ceremony or earlier).
  • Achievements attained before graduating from USC are taken into consideration, but more weighting is given to achievements demonstrated in the years after graduation.
  • Nominees do not have to be working in the discipline they studied at USC.
  • Previously unsuccessful nominees may apply but are required to complete a new nomination form with any updated information and achievements.
  • The USC Development Office reserves the right to keep select nominees valid for up to two years and these nominees may be asked to submit a new nomination form with updated information.
  • Nominations can be made by any member of the community but must have permission from the nominee.
  • Self–nominations are accepted, provided a letter of recommendation from a key industry representative (such as an employer) is included to verify achievements.

Some additional eligibility criteria will apply to certain categories of Awards. Please see the selection criteria below for more information.

USC is proud of our Alumni and takes the integrity of the Awards very seriously. If we are concerned that you may bring the University or the Awards into disrepute, or we have concerns about the accuracy of some information, we may have to disqualify you.

Award categories

The Award categories are:

  • Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
  • Alumnus of the Year, Regional Achievement
  • Alumnus of the Year, Rising Star

Nominators do not need to nominate for a specific award category, as the judging panel will determine which category is most suitable.

Award conditions

At the discretion of the judging panel, more than one winner in any category may be awarded.

Not all categories need be awarded in any given year and will depend on the calibre of nominations.

By accepting an Award, you agree to participate in and cooperate as required with all reasonable marketing activities relating to the Award. These may include, but are not limited to, being interviewed, photographed and filmed. You must also agree that USC may use your comments, image and name for advertising and publicity purposes and understand that you are not entitled to any additional compensation.

Selection criteria

USC aims to recognise our most outstanding Alumni. Our judges follow a broad range of selection criteria to find and celebrate the most deserving nominees. Here is what our judges are looking for:

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year (first graduated at least 2 years ago)

  • Demonstrated and sustained excellence in their field (professional, academic, research or community)
  • Demonstrated leadership and innovation
  • Evidence of contribution to and recognition by their profession or community at a local, national or international level

Alumnus of the Year, Regional Achievement (first graduated at least 2 years ago)

  • Evidence of contribution to the broader Sunshine Coast region and/or another regional community, which includes:
    • Demonstrated success in their field (professional, academic, research or community)
    • Leadership in their field or community
    • Supporting the development of the regional community and/or economy

Alumnus of the Year, Rising Star (first graduated at least 2 years ago)

  • Aged 35 years or less on the due date of the nomination
  • Demonstrated success in their field (professional, academic, research or community)
  • Evidence of career and/or personal development activities
  • The nominee's future goals and their potential impact

Other considerations

To assist with assessing and comparing nominations, the judging panel may also consider:

  • Degree of difficulty of the achievement and personal sacrifices made by the nominee.
  • Volunteer work.
  • The extent of the nominee’s individual role in a group or organisational achievement.
  • Nature and length of activity or service.
  • Contribution and/or service to USC.
  • Evidence of achievements.

Nomination process

  • Complete the online Nomination Form. This also forms part of our terms and conditions.
  • Nominators will receive an auto-generated copy via email of what they submitted i.e. the nomination form including any attachments.
  • Nominees and nominators will be contacted by the USC Development Office within two weeks of receipt of the nomination to acknowledge receipt.
  • A nominee may be asked to clarify or submit further information and evidence to assist USC in assessing the nomination at any stage of the selection process.
  • USC may also seek verification of the nominee's achievements from their current or previous employer or other relevant individual or organisation representative. By nominating for these Awards (or agreeing to someone else nominating you) you consent to USC contacting these individuals to verify nominations.
  • Nominations will be reviewed and shortlisted by the USC Development Office and nominees who have not been shortlisted will be notified.
  • Shortlisted nominees may, at USC’s sole discretion, be promoted by USC in the lead up to the official recipient announcement and may be asked to submit a brief profile for this purpose.

Selection process

  • Shortlisted nominees will be submitted to the Awards Committee (the Committee) for judging, which is constituted by members of USC alumni and staff.
  • Proposed winners are then agreed upon by the Committee and submitted to the Vice-Chancellor and President (or her delegate) for final approval.
  • If a nominator is on the judging panel, their interest should be declared.
  • If a nominee is on the judging panel, they are not able to vote for their own nomination.
  • Nominees and nominators may be advised of the outcome of their nomination prior to the awards presentation.

Awards presentation 

  • The Awards are presented to recipients (or their delegate) by the Vice-Chancellor and President (or her delegate) at USC’s Sippy Downs campus on the Sunshine Coast in October or November of the nomination year.
  • Winners are officially announced on the night and receive a prize of a trophy and citation (the Prize). Winners may be asked to give an acceptance speech, depending on the format of the event.
  • The presentation is photographed and may be recorded on video for USC’s promotional purposes.
  • Any Prize, or any unused portion of a Prize, cannot be transferred, exchanged or redeemed for cash.


  • USC may disqualify any nominee that we reasonably determine has breached any of these terms and conditions or otherwise engaged in unlawful or other improper conduct that may bring the Awards into disrepute or jeopardise the fair and proper conduct of the Awards.
  • Entries are accepted at the time of receipt by USC. We are not responsible for any entries not received for any reason.
  • USC’s decision is final on all matters relating to the nomination process and the selection of award recipients, and we are not required to provide feedback as to why a nomination was unsuccessful.
  • If for any reason, USC is not able to conduct the Awards as planned (including due to tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud, technical difficulties, pandemic or any other causes beyond our control which impact the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Awards) then we reserve the right in our sole discretion to make any reasonable variation to the Awards or the Prize.

For any enquiries contact Anita Edmonds, Manager, Alumni Relations, via or Tel: +61 7 5459 4564.