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Most Successful Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative

Championing and celebrating traditionally underrepresented groups of people helps to create inclusive environments and safer communities. It builds a culture that supports students to maintain positive social relationships, and develop a sense of belonging among their peers, their university, and the community.  Submissions in this category will be about EDI education, support of inclusivity, and the celebration of diversity. Therefore, intervention programs will be considered part of the ‘Wellbeing and Support Program’ category rather than the EDI Category.

Underrepresented groups include people who identify as (but are not limited to):

  • Culturally & Linguistically Diverse / English as a Second Language
  • Lower Socio-Economic Status
  • Indigenous / First Nations
  • People with Disabilities and Carers
  • Other demographics (e.g. mature-age students/ non-school leavers)

An excellent EDI Initiative at its core will focus on uplifting others and celebrating inclusivity. It will raise awareness of the challenges experienced by those in our communities, foster allyship of related causes, and build our cultural capacity to support and celebrate the differences of others. It will also foster inquiry, open communication, and safety, and may even provide a lifeline for those feeling excluded or struggling to understand their place in the world.

This award celebrates excellence in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives, and must have been run by a SEN member organisation during 2022/23.

Initiatives can include but are not limited to: social connection initiatives, advocacy programs, disability peer support, resiliency education programs, diversity and inclusion plans, education and awareness training, mardi gras events, EDI specific cultural competency training for club execs, ally training, lower SES initiatives, events and inclusions, ESL support programs and events, culture festivals, international markets, indigenous strategy initiatives, NAIDOC Week celebrations, etc

The Jury will be looking for entries that demonstrate excellence in the following:

  • Astute recognition for the type of initiative required within your campus community
  • Good adaptability to changing needs of campus communities
  • Tangible and measurable goals and objectives
  • Evidence of strong strategic planning
  • Creative techniques used to deliver the desired outcomes
  • Effective use of resources (teams, tools, assets)
  • Accessibility and environmental considerations
  • The quality of the initiative
  • Student and campus community engagement and experience factors
  • Evidence of success and positive impacts with measurable results
  • Innovation, Leadership, and Recognition*(applies to ‘Best of the Year’ submissions only).
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AWARD of DISTINCTION 2022 - Arc@UNSW 'Respect Week'

Award Submission Criteria

Submissions need to address each of the following criteria:  

  • Name of organisation  
  • Organisation logo 
  • Name & contact details of the person completing the submission 
  • Full-Time Student Load (Total Student Enrolments) 
  • Name of initiative 
  • Number of participants 

This category of the SEN Awards has two levels of recognition – ‘Award of Distinction’ and ‘Best of the Year’.

For your submission to be considered for an ‘Award of Distinction’ you will be required to complete the first 3 sets of criteria PLUS provide supporting evidence.

For your submission to be considered for the ‘Best of the Year’ Award you will be required to complete all of the ‘Award of Distinction’ requirements, PLUS the additional Innovation and Leadership criteria.

Tell us the WHY of your initiative. 

  • What was the reason for the initiative? 
  • What were you aiming for and why?  
  • What were the goals and objectives you were hoping to achieve? 

Tell us the HOW of your initiative.  

  • What key strategies were identified and used to deliver on the goals and objectives of your initiative 
  • What creative techniques were used? 
  •  What effective use of resources was applied? (teams, assets, etc) 
  • Was there student input into the initiative and if so in what capacity? Did you engage with any external partnerships and if so, what was their input? 
  • What communications and marketing did you use to promote your initiative? 
  • How did you ensure your initiative was inclusive, diverse, accessible, and responsibleYou can reference details such as: race/gender/cultural diversity inclusions, inclusivity frameworks, equitable access to the initiative, WCAG guidelines, use of environmental and sustainable materials/products/collateral, sustainable and inclusive event guides, support of a social/startup company as initiative partner etc 


  • What was the outcome of your initiative 
  • Which of your goals and objectives did you achieve?  
  • What was the overall engagement and experience outcomes of your initiative on students and/or the campus community? 
  • What were the tangible and measurable positive impacts for students and your organisation?  How have you determined the initiative’s success? 
  • Funding overview

This section may be used to support your submission by providing evidence of your claims, it is not a substitute or an additional opportunity for answering the criteria in your submission. 

The quality of your supporting documents will be measured against the rubric.  

Relevant examples will include documentation that adds value and validation to your submission which could include links to:  

  • Before and after comparative data (quantitative & qualitative) 
  • Hero photos that capture the success of the initiative 
  • Initiative website page or feature 
  • Initiative social media campaigns 
  • Initiative video files 
  • Initiative PR or media 
  • Storyboards 
  • Financial documentation
  • Feedback forms  
  • Written articles 
  • Evidence of innovation, leadership, and formal recognition*  (applies to ‘Best of the Year’ submissions only).

You can collate supporting documents into a word doc to minimise the number of your uploads.

To progress your submission for consideration at the ‘Best of the Year’ level, you will be required to complete the following criteria. 

  • What was innovative about your initiative 
  • What stands out about this initiative from other Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity initiatives you have offered or seen before 
  • What did you incorporate, and how was it coordinated or promoted that was completely innovative and different from anything you have offered or seen before? 
  • How does this initiative provide meaningful and significant leadership outcomes for your students, organisation, campus community and/or within the sector?  
  • How has this initiative gone over and above in addressing and delivering on an identified need within your organisation?
  • How is it positively influencing other organisations in the sector?  
  • How is the initiative replicable and are you offering support for its development at other organisations?  
  • Have you received official recognition for your initiative within your own organisation, within the sector, or broader industry fields?   

Please ensure that you have uploaded adequate supporting documentation to support your claims including any reference to formal industry and/or organisation recognition. 

Each category has a rubric that will be used as a scoring guide by the Awards Jury Panel against criteria responses in your submission.

Please note:

  • Criteria Responses that are a direct copy and paste from previous criteria fields in the same category submission will be marked as Basic.
  • Submissions that do not provide supporting evidence of the stated claims will be marked as Basic.
  • In the event of multiple applications achieving equal scores, the award decision is at the discretion of the Awards Jury Panel.
  • In order to be eligible to win ‘Best of the Year’, your application will need to achieve a score of at least 13 out of 15.
  • Applications submitting for ‘Best of the Year’ that do not meet the higher score ranking required to win can also be considered for an ‘Award of Distinction’ at the judge’s discretion.

Category-specific rubrics will be available to download on the submission page of each category. 

Click HERE to see an example.