Student Excellence Awards

Nominations Open

Nominate Now

Celebrating our outstanding students

The Southern Cross University Student Excellence Awards recognise outstanding students who have distinguished themselves in the areas of leadership, volunteering, community engagement and sport. Winners of the 2023 Student Excellence Awards will be announced at a presentation held at the Lismore campus and live streamed on SCU Facebook.

Portrait of Vice Chancellor Tyrone Carlin

A message from
the Vice Chancellor

Professor Tyrone Carlin

The annual Southern Cross University Student Excellence Awards acknowledge our students' contribution to leadership, volunteering, sporting life, and arts at SCU, and their contribution to university and community engagement. 2023 will be our 15th year of acknowledging these significant student contributions. I wish all nominees the very best and congratulate them on enhancing the student experience and fostering positive change.

The Awards

In 2023, the Student Excellence Awards are presented to five outstanding students and one of these being the Student of the Year.

The Student of the Year recipient receives:
A monetary prize of $1000, a trophy and Acknowledgement of award on their Australian Higher Education Statement (AHEGS).

Student Excellence Award recipients (4) receive:
A monetary prize of $500, a framed certificate signed by the Vice Chancellor and acknowledgement of award on their Australian Higher Education Academic Statement (AHEGS).

Important Dates  
Monday 11 September Nominations open
Tuesday 3 October Nominations close
Thursday 30 November Awards presentation


Nominating for a Student Excellence Award

Step 1

Please read the 2023 SCU Student Excellence Awards Information


Step 2

Please read the Tips Sheet to guide you on the nomination


Step 3

Please read the Checklist before submitting a nomination


Step 4

Please submit your nomination by the deadline

Nominate now

Nominations are now open

All SCU students and staff are eligible to nominate a student for the Student Excellence Awards and students can self-nominate.


Nominate now

2022 Student Excellence Award winners

Marian Bailey, Doctor of Philosophy, 2022 Student of the Year

Marian went above and beyond in the February 2022 floods while volunteering at the SCU Evacuation Centre working every day for weeks, sometimes working 12-hour shifts. Marian is also very active with many important charities and not-for-profit initiatives, like Treasurer of the LEXSA Student Association, a chair of the SCU RISE Conference, and often participates in and leads social events.

Marian Bailey portrait

Mekhala Egodawele, Master of Business Administration

Mekhala is actively involved in the SCU community, championing positive change as a CoastRs Student Association committee member and an International Student Ambassador, and has taken part in campus tours, Orientation events and the Fusion Festival in 2022. She has also volunteered for a number of community events hosted by the Study Gold Coast, Placemakers, and Multicultural Families Organisation.

Mekhala Egodawele portrait

Benjamin Hockey, Bachelor of Education

Ben is an active and passionate member of the Southern Cross University and Coffs Harbour communities. He is the Vice President of the Student Advisory Group for Education and a UniMentor. Benjamin is also a volunteer with the one-foot forward charity, a blood donor and umpires for local AFL juniors.

Benjamin Hockey portrait

Corina Murray, Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours

Corina has been a longstanding UniMentor at SCU and is also the Student Council Equity Representative for Women. She has also been involved in various volunteer roles at SCU and in the community with the Gilchrist Foundation, Surf Lifesaving and local primary schools.

Corina Murray portrait

Gurpreet Singh, Doctor of Philosophy

Gurpreet has fostered the relations between SCU and the broader community through his work as a Student Ambassador. He is involved with ACE Performance, NRL RISE and the Sydney Swans Academy, where he helps improve youth athlete performance. Gurpreet has also served on the University Council and the Higher Degrees by Research Committee.

Gurpreet Singh Portrait


You can self-nominate or nominate a student by completing the nomination form found above. The form must be complete and submitted before the closing date.

Any Southern Cross University staff member or student.

All nominees must be an enrolled Southern Cross University student, or on approved leave of absence, for at least one teaching period in 2023. Nominees can be enrolled full-time or part-time and can be from any academic cohort, such as undergraduate or postgraduate.

You can only self-nominate once, however, you can be nominated multiple times by staff and/or students.

Nominations need to articulate how the student is eligible for a Student Excellence Award. Nominations must include the following information.

Staff nominating a student:

  1. Endorsement of the nomination, including evidence of the achievements/reasons for the nomination (approx. 300 - 500 words)
  2. Supporting documentation e.g., photos, social media posts, media coverage, testimonials, videos etc.

Students nominating another student:

  1. Endorsement of the nomination, including evidence of the achievements/reasons for the nomination (approx. 300 - 500 words)
  2. Supporting documentation e.g., photos, social media posts, media coverage, testimonials, videos etc.


  1. Description of the nomination, including evidence of the achievements/reasons for the self-nomination (approx. 300 - 500 words)
  2. Supporting documentation e.g., photos, social media posts, media coverage, testimonials, videos etc.
  3. Letter of support for the nomination on a letterhead from an individual or organisation that the nominee has been involved with, for example, an SCU staff member, stakeholder, community organisation, club or group.

  1. Award criteria

Student Excellence Awards will be granted in recognition of a student who has demonstrated excellence and impact through a significant contribution to enhancing the student experience, fostering positive change or engagement with communities leading to lasting impact. Please address in your nomination how you meet some or all of the below indicators of excellence.

Outstanding Leadership

Evidence of outstanding leadership of a club or society, or other significant student focused leadership activity either individually, managing a team or as part of a program run by the University.

Community Engagement 

  • Supporting community in times of crisis.
  • Significant contribution to the enhancement of relations between Southern Cross University and the wider community.
  • Significant work in a volunteer or paid capacity leading to positive social change or community advancement.

SCU Engagement

  • Significant positive contribution and/or impact to the campus culture and life of Southern Cross University (e.g., through the UniMentor, Peer Assisted Learning (PALS), Orientation and Events, and Ambassador programs).
  • Evidence of outstanding leadership and/or contribution to sporting life at SCU, either individual or team (e.g., playing, coaching, supporting, volunteering, team management).

Awards and Recognitions

  • Evidence of recognition for your work in co-curricular, sporting, art, literature etc. at SCU, state level or national level.

Nomination closing date: The closing date for nominations is 11.59pm on Tuesday 3 October, 2023. No late entries will be accepted. Incomplete nominations will not be accepted.

Read the Student Excellence Awards check list and tip sheet. This will assist in highlighting what points to include and then help in the drafting of the nomination.

Each winner receives $500 and acknowledgement of their win on their Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement and a framed certificate presented at the award presentation on Thurs 30 November at the Lismore campus.

Student of the Year receives $1000, a trophy and acknowledgement of their win on their Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement.

The selection panel will determine how many awards are awarded using the judging criteria. Of these students, one is awarded the Student of the Year.

The Student Excellence Awards selection panel is made up of SCU staff who have been selected for their knowledge and expertise.

At the Student Excellence Awards presentation on Thursday 30 November 2023.

In October 2023, all nominees are notified of the outcome of their nomination by email and the award finalists will be invited to attend the awards presentation.