The UQ Awards for Excellence celebrate the achievements and successes of our colleagues that reflect and support our values.

These awards celebrate leadership behaviour and staff achievement across all levels of the organisation, regardless of position. Recognising our colleagues makes a statement about the culture we value and aspire to achieve at UQ.

UQ Award for Excellence – Reconciliation

The Reconciliation award category has been introduced to recognise and celebrate individuals and teams for their achievements and outstanding contributions to promoting reconciliation at UQ. This category will be included in all future nominations from 2021.

Key dates for 2021

Nominations for all award categories

  • Nominations open: Monday 24 May 2021
  • Nominations close: Sunday 27 June 2021

UQ Awards for Excellence ceremony

  • Ceremony date: Friday 22 October 2021.

Award categories

The UQ Awards for Excellence recognise and celebrate individuals and teams in the areas of:

  • Innovation: implemented innovative, effective workplace practices or initiatives, including the development of new systems that improve UQ’s effectiveness and efficiency
  • Service: outstanding and significant contribution to delivering excellence in service to students, staff or the wider community
  • Reconciliation (new category as of 2021): contributed to promoting reconciliation at UQ, specifically through exceptional practices, or implementation of one or more of UQ’s Reconciliation Action Plan deliverables in collaboration with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples.
  • Community, diversity and inclusion: outstanding effort in promoting equity, diversity and inclusion within UQ and proactively enhancing a sense of community among staff, students and partners
  • Mental and physical health, safety and wellness: implemented innovative and exciting ideas and practices which contribute to the mental and physical health, safety and wellness of our staff and students
  • Leadership: exemplary leadership supporting a positive, performance-based culture and contributing to the achievements of UQ.

Depending on the quality of the nominations, up to two award winners may be selected for each award category. Subject to the quality of the nominations for a category, an award may not be made.

See the award-specific criteria


All UQ employees are eligible to be nominated. This includes professional and academic staff (continuing, fixed-term and casual) employed at UQ.

Learn more about the eligibility criteria

Awards ceremony and prizes

The UQ Awards for Excellence Ceremony will be held on Friday 22 October 2021. 

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the UQ Awards for Excellence Ceremony will be strictly invite only. Venue capacity will be managed according to COVID-19 restrictions, and attendees will be informed of COVID-19 protocol and event changes as they occur. We encourage you to watch the ceremony via live stream to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our colleagues. Details will be shared via UQ Update closer to the event.

COVID-19 Event Health and Safety Requirements (For in person attendees only)

  • On arrival, you will be required to fill out a sign in for COVID-19 contact tracing requirements
  • Social distancing to be adhered to throughout the event
  • If you feel unwell or if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, we kindly ask that you do not attend.

UQ Award winners receive a certificate of recognition, a trophy and monetary award prize.

The monetary award prize must be collected through salary payment or used for professional development within 12 months of receipt of the award, unless otherwise approved. Relevant taxation and superannuation arrangements apply to one-off salary payments.

Any award recipient who is no longer employed by UQ at the time of the announcement of the awards will be issued a certificate of recognition, but they will not be entitled to an award prize.


Individuals receive $5000 award prize as either:

  • a one-off salary payment
  • professional development (for example, seminars, conferences, training courses or journal subscriptions).


Teams receive up to a maximum of $20,000 shared per team (based on standard team composition of 10 team members) as either:

  • a one-off salary payment
  • professional development (for example, seminars, conferences, training courses or journal subscriptions).

The selection committee recommends the prize awarded to each team member for the Vice-Chancellor and President to consider.


Nominees whose nomination is considered to be of a very high standard but who are not endorsed as the category winner may receive a commendation on the recommendation of the selection committee. This is at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor and President.