Awards guidelines

Aim of the Awards

The National Disability Awards (Awards) are the Government’s main celebration of International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), aiming to honour and recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams and organisations that have improved the lives of Australians with disability and contributed to increased recognition of equality and human rights for all Australians.

IDPwD is a United Nations sanctioned day that occurs annually on 3 December. It is unique among community awareness days, as it unites disability organisations, businesses, federal, state and local governments and the community. The day is a collaborative effort to celebrate and acknowledge the rights of people with disability to be active citizens. Both individuals and organisations across the country are encouraged to celebrate.

Celebrating IDPwD and the Awards each year provides an opportunity to ensure that the achievements and needs of Australians with disability, their families and carers remain visible.

The Awards are broadly aligned with the key priority areas for action under the National Disability Strategy, and strongly recognise that disability is more a reflection of societal barriers and discrimination, rather than a person’s diagnosis.

The Awards strive to demonstrate and highlight best practice that can then be replicated nationally to improve mainstream responses from individuals, organisations, businesses and governments so that we are all encouraged to think in terms of an inclusive, rights-based Australian community.

The National Disability Strategy, 2010–2020 sets out a ten year plan for improving the lives of Australians with disability, their families and carers. Produced in partnership by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments under the auspices of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), the Strategy represents a shared vision for an inclusive Australian society that enables Australians with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens.

2017 Award Categories

1. Lesley Hall Leadership Award

The Lesley Hall Leadership Award recognises excellence in development of reform opportunities that improve the lives of people with disability.

2. Employer of the Year Award

The Employer of the Year Award recognises excellence in workforce diversity by providing sustainable employment opportunities for people with disability.

3. Community Excellence Award

The Community Excellence Award recognises excellence in improving access and participation in Australian life for people with disability.

4. Excellence in Innovation Award

The Excellence in Innovation Award recognises excellence in innovation in services, places, communities or accessible technologies to improve the lives of people with disability.

5. Excellence in Education and Training Award

The Education and Training Award recognises excellence in inclusive education or vocational training that delivers improved economic and social outcomes for people with disability.

Important Dates and Information

Nominations close:
11:59pm AEST Sunday 6 August 2017
Late nominations will not be accepted.

Awards ceremony:
Sunday 3 December 2017
National Museum of Australia, Canberra.

How to send in your nomination form

To nominate an individual, workplace, business or service provider for a 2017 National Disability Award, you can complete the online nomination form or download a nomination form. Alternate formats can be requested by phoning (free call) 1800 672 682. TTY users please phone 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 672 682. An audio version is available by using the Listen feature on this website.

Completed hard copy nominations forms can be emailed to disabilityawards@dss.gov.au or posted to:

National Disability Awards Manager
Supported Employment Policy, Access and Engagement Branch
GPO Box 9820
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Note: If submitting by post the nomination must be post marked on or before 6 August 2017.

Nomination attachments:

Note: Online nominations can include attachments with the following file types: PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF; however the size limit is 2MB.

Emailed nominations can include attachments with the following file types: PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF; however the size limit is 10MB. Any nominations including attachments which exceed this size limit will need to be split between multiple emails and the same reference MUST be made in the subject line to ensure all emails are connected. If sending photos as attachments, please limit to 3 photos only.

Two referees must be submitted with your nomination by either providing:

  • Names and contact details for two referees and/or nominators, or
  • Copies of two written references that support your nomination.

Nominations will be acknowledged via email.

You will also need to agree to abide by the Conditions of Entry of these Guidelines.

Award Criteria

The Awards will be judged on the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Lesley Hall Leadership Award
  • Relevance of the nomination to the category description;
  • Demonstrated outcomes, success and positive impact on Australians with disability that distinguish the approach from others or that could be replicated by others;
  • Demonstrated commitment to upholding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to enable a disability rights-based culture; and
  • Degree to which the individual has achieved well above national benchmarks and standards.
  1. Employer of the Year Award
  • Relevance of the nomination to the category description;
  • Increased access to sustainable employment for people with disability, or providing opportunities in employment for people with disability;
  • Increased employment of people with disability either within a team, organisation or nationally; stable or increasing retention rates;
  • Implementation of successful organisational change and practices promoting the employment of people with disability; and
  • Degree to which the nominee has achieved well above national benchmarks and standards.
  1. Community Excellence Award
  • Relevance of the nomination to the category description;
  • Demonstrated excellence in improving access and participation for people with disability and their families;
  • The outcomes achieved are sustainable and/or can be replicated; and
  • Degree to which the nominee achieved well above national benchmarks and standards.
  1. Excellence in Innovation Award
  • Relevance of the nomination to the category description;
  • Demonstrated excellence in innovation in services, places, communities or accessible technology through a new or significantly new approach to improve the lives of people with disability;
  • The outcomes achieved are sustainable and/or can be replicated; and
  • Degree to which the nominee has achieved well above national benchmarks and standards.
  1. Excellence in Education and Training Award
  • Relevance of the nomination to the category description;
  • Demonstrated excellence in inclusive education or vocational training that delivers or will likely improve, economic and social outcomes for people with disability;
  • Reducing disparity in educational outcomes for people with disability and others; and
  • The outcomes achieved are sustainable and/or can be replicated.

Further details on what the judges are looking for in each category.

Judging and Award Presentation

  • An independent judging panel, comprising National Disability and Carers Advisory Council members, disability and subject matter experts from industry and service sectors, Commonwealth, State and Territory government agencies, and people with disability, will review the nominations and make recommendations to the Government, with finalists announced in a national media release.
  • The judges’ decision will be made using the assessment evaluation criteria and will be final, and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.
  • The Awards ceremony will be on Sunday 3 December 2017 at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
  • All finalists will be invited to the ceremony, where Award winners will be announced.

Contact Us

Phone: 1800 672 682
TTY Users: Please phone 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 672 682
Email: disabilityawards@dss.gov.au
Online Enquiry