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Tom O’Sullivan Memorial Award

This award is named in honour of Thomas Joseph O’Sullivan (1957-2011).

Tom was among the most significant influences on the social life and culture of Australian universities. With over 25 years commitment to the tertiary sector, Tom created great student experiences, lobbied for the rights of student organisations across the nation and at a time of increasing competition between universities, brought student service organisations together.

Tom first began his career in the tertiary sector at the University of Sydney Union where he became General Manager and later as the CEO of UTS Union. He also played a leading role in ACUMA, serving as the Vice President and then President.

As the President of ACUMA, Tom (in conjunction with Australian University Sports (AUS) the National Union of Students (NUS) as well as other universities across the nation) led the lobbying for the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) legislation. He was, as former Australian PM Julia Gillard acknowledged in a letter read at Tom’s funeral ‘…principally responsible for the return of the student union funding in October 2011’.

TAG and ACUMA awarded Tom for his outstanding contribution to the tertiary sector and he was acknowledged for his exceptional service to UTS union with the university’s Distinguished Service Award (an honour experienced by only five people as at 2011).

This award is in recognition of exceptional service to the student services industry such that the influence exerted is long lasting, significant and beneficial.

  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.
  • Nominations are open to anyone who has worked extensively in the tertiary services sector.
  • This award is deeply considered and not necessarily awarded annually.
  • Nominations will be reviewed, and the winner appointed, by the SEN board.

Award Submission Criteria

  • Name of organisation
  • Name and contact details of the person completing the nomination
  • Nominator’s relationship to the Nominee
  • Name of nominee
  • Nominee’s current position
  • Nominee’s organisation of employment
  • Nominee’s length of employment within the sector
  • Photo of the nominee (required)

Please tell us in 1000 words or less about the exceptional service and long-lasting benefits this nominee has contributed to the student services sector and why you believe the nominee deserves to receive this award.

This section may be used to support your nomination by providing evidence of your claims.

Relevant examples will include documentation that adds value and validation to the nomination which could include:

  • Hero photos that capture the success of the nominee
  • Any media features or videos relevant to the impact and success of the nominee
  • Testimonials from peers and colleagues
  • Written articles relating to exceptional service and contributions made by the nominee
  • Evidence of leadership, long-lasting benefits, and/or formal recognition received by the nominee over the course of their time in the student services sector

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