MEDIA Release

MEDIA Release

Finalists in the Engagement Australia 2020 Excellence Awards Announced

Some 29 of Australia and New Zealand’s most exceptional university community-building and economic-advancement initiatives have been shortlisted in the Engagement Australia 2020 Excellence Awards.

The Awards identify and celebrate the transformative engagement activities undertaken by universities that demonstrate far-reaching impact and innovation in Australia and New Zealand.

In its first year of transition from the Business-Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Awards we are delighted that it has been one of the busiest years yet for judges, with 124 submissions from 35 universities across Australia and New Zealand.

The judging panel commented on the exceptional quality of the 2020 nominations.

Please visit our Awards page for more details about the finalists. The winners will be announced at an online event on 1 December.

Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Recognising outstanding collaborations between communities, higher education and industry for societal benefit. Emphasis placed on partnerships that engage rural, regional, urban, disadvantaged or marginalised groups within Australia and New Zealand.

  • Environmental Long-Term Intervention Monitoring and Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Programs: Charles Sturt University
  • Pain Revolution Program: University of South Australia
  • The ‘Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered’ Program: University of Newcastle
  • Wunungu Awara (A Strong and Healthy Country): Monash University
  • Yarning Up: Bond University

Award for Excellence in Community Engagement: Closing the Gap

Recognising outstanding collaborations between communities, higher education and industry that directly reduce disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

  • The Djirruwang Aboriginal Mental Health Worker Education and Training Program: Charles Sturt University
  • Cherbourg-QUT Partnership Project: Queensland University of Technology
  • Wunggurrwil Dhurrung Centre – Closing the Gap for Aboriginal community in Wyndham and the West of Melbourne: Victoria University
  • Poche Oral Health Program: University of Sydney
  • Macquarie-Yaegl Partnership: Macquarie University

Award for Excellence in Industry Engagement

Recognising outstanding contributions to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching in higher education by members of tertiary education institutions, community and industry partners.

  • Collaboratively Supporting Placements Through a Pandemic: University of Newcastle
  • CrowdCARE Program: University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Youth Work: Victoria University
  • RMIT Industry Training Nursing Model: RMIT University

Award for Outstanding Engagement for Research Impact

Recognising excellence in research and development activity, that makes a substantial difference to the community, or Australian prosperity, undertaken jointly by researchers in tertiary education institutes and partners in the community, business and industry. 

  • NSW COVID-19 Mapping Tool: University of Sydney
  • Novel Pest Management Program: Charles Sturt University
  • Professionalising Fire Safety Engineering: University of Queensland
  • PainChek®: Curtin University
  • Machine Learning for better data-driven decisions in the operation of Australia’s national electricity grid: University of Melbourne
  • Using marketing to improve the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable people: University of Wollongong
  • Development of natural technologies based on the use of naturally occurring microorganisms for the removal of contaminants from the environment: RMIT University

Award for Excellence in Student Engagement

Recognising outstanding contributions that improve student engagement on campus, with industry and/or in community.

  • BioDesign Innovation Melbourne: University of Melbourne
  • IBM – Federation University Australia Collaboration: Federation University Australia
  • Inside Out Prison Exchange Program: RMIT University

Award for Excellence in Alumni Engagement

Recognising outstanding contributions to enhancing the quality alumni engagement and support in higher education. 

  • Global Discovery Program Study Tour: Monash University
  • Thoughtful engagement begets investment: University of Sydney

Award for Outstanding Leadership in Engagement

Recognising an individual who has made notable contributions to engagement above and beyond that expected for their role, resulting in sustained and impactful partnerships. 

  • Karen Jackson: Victoria University
  • Danielle Godbier: University of Sydney
  • Dr Anita Smith: La Trobe University
  • Professor Roger Stone: University of Southern Queensland

Please join us online as we celebrate the Awards winners on Tuesday 1 December 6-8pm (AEDT) –  register here for this complimentary event.

About Engagement Australia
Engagement Australia (EA), a membership organisation of 22 Australian universities, champions the unique role universities have within society to address contemporary global challenges and trends through teaching, learning, research and partnerships. EA achieves this by offering a range of leading-edge engagement programs and events, producing the peer reviewed journal Transform: the Journal of Engaged Scholarship, and coordinating the sector’s premier Engagement Excellence Awards (formerly BHERT Awards).


Further enquiries
Callista Thillou
Deputy Chair Engagement Australia
Executive Director Communications and Engagement, Flinders University
0428 375 664