Vice Chancellor and President’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards

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Vice Chancellor and President’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards


Applications for the Vice-Chancellor and President’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards have now closed.

The Vice-Chancellor and President's Diversity and Inclusion Awards were established in 2015 to recognise and reward staff, students, and graduates of the University who have made an outstanding and demonstrable commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion within the University and/or its broader community over a sustained period of time.

The Vice-Chancellor and President's Awards presentation, is held the morning of Monday 20 August 2018, at the opening address of USC Diversity Week as part of the annual Diversity Week breakfast.

Selection process

The Vice-Chancellor and President’s Equity and Diversity Committee will assess all nominations. Up to six awards may be made each year, although in exceptional circumstances, the Committee may recommend additional awards be granted.

Nominations will be assessed on the basis of outstanding achievement in one or more of the following categories for each award:

Reconciliation Award

Inclusion Award

Initiatives and professional activities to achieve the vision and goals set out in the University of the Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Action Plan 2017-2019

Developing teaching practice, curricula or learning environments that foster inclusion for a diverse range of students

Commitment to building and promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

Building and supporting inclusion and diversity at USC, fostering inclusive teams and positively influencing the working and/or learning environment

Contributions to implementing strategies to increase the participation rate of Indigenous Australian students in higher education study

Enhancing cohesion and understanding in a diverse community for staff and/or students and/or community

Contributions to implementing strategies to increase the number of Indigenous Australian academic and/or professional staff

Engaging with the wider community to encourage participation by disadvantaged groups

Awards will not be granted for individuals or groups who have undertaken work that is an aspect of their University employment, or role as a student, which might be considered to be within normal expectations of staff or students of the University.

Nominate someone today

The Committee encourages nominations for initiatives, activities and programs that foster inclusion for a diverse range of staff, students and/or community members. This may include encouraging or enabling the participation of disadvantaged or underrepresented groups, or initiatives that make a significant contribution to reconciliation.

Complete the nomination form (in PDF format*) available here. Self-nominations are accepted.

To give your nominee the best support, please provide the following information and documentation:

  • Completed Nomination Form
  • Any relevant supporting documents (media clippings, brochures etc) if available (up to a maximum of 5)
  • One letter of endorsement (for self-nomination only)

Nominations to be emailed to or submitted to Access and Diversity Unit, Level 5, Building J, Sippy Downs Campus or Student Central at other campuses.

* Please note: PDF nomination forms will need to be saved to your computer first, then opened from that location with Adobe Reader before you can complete them. The free Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page.

For further information, please contact the Access and Diversity Officer at 

2017 award recipients
Staff awards
Ms Emma Kill

Preparatory and Enabling Unit

Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering, and Mentoring (STEMM)
Emma Kill has facilitated the TPP courses for the STEMM program delivered at Burnside State High School for the past 8 years, however her referees note that Emma’s contribution to the program extends beyond the role of Associate Lecturer, TPP. Emma regularly provides a flexible program which is a key element for successful completion, and provides mentoring and outreach to the young women involved in the program. Emma is described as a ‘genuine advocate for young mothers’, and is known to provide extra tutoring during holiday periods, organise food hampers and transport, and connects young women with support services when they are in need. Emma’s authentic and engaging approach has transformed many lives of many young women.

Dr Florin Oprescu and Dr Michele Verdonck 

School of Health and Sport Sciences

Suncoast Spinners Reverse Inclusion Program
In Semester 1, 2017, Dr Florin Operscu and Dr Michele Verdonck assisted a local wheelerchair basketball club, Suncoast Spinners, to develop a program and successfully apply for government funding to extend the program to the Sunshine Coast community across 2017 and 2018. The program includes activities, lectures and workshops that aim to increase awareness and promote the participation of people with disabilities and able-bodied people in the same sporting activity by reversing the inclusion.

Student group awards
USC Law Student Association

In the past year, the USC Law Student’s Association have coordinated a range of events equity and diversity focused activities,including:

  • LGBTIQ forum during Diversity Week 2016
  • The annual Women in Law High Tea
  • Inaugural Indigenous Reconciliation Breakfast
  • Mental Health talks
  • Amendment of competition rules to accommodate competitors with a disability and the creation of the ‘Law Buddy Program’ in place of the Student Mentor Program
Amnesty International USC 

In Semester 1, 2017, Amnesty International USC coordinated a range of events including:

  • ‘Letters for Love’ event which obtained 280 actions for equal rights for marriage eligibility in Australia
  • Panel discussions for IDAHOT and National Reconciliation Week
  • Participated in the recent Relay for Life Cancer Council event on campus, raising almost $2,000
Callum Lee

President of USC Law Association

We would also like to Acknowledge Callum Lee current President of the USC Law Student Association, in his positions he has worked toward creating a positive, inclusive community for USC Law Students, key activities he has engaged in are:

  • Volunteer Mentor for Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience Program (AIME)
  • Completed USC Ally and Unconscious Bias Training, taking his knowledge from the training to ensure events and activities are delivered in an inclusive manner.
  • Investigative report presented at Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) on issues facing Rural, Remote, Regional and Boutique (RRRB) law students around Australia.
2016 award recipients

View the 2016 Diversity Award winners.

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