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Most Successful Volunteer or Development Program (new)

Excellent Volunteer or Development Programs enable students to extend their education by accessing opportunities to develop skills and beneficial relationships outside of their degree. These programs are often a mutually beneficial collaboration between students and staff and can sometimes involve external community organisations.

A successful program will facilitate active student learning through participation in specific activities. It will show evidence of developing a student’s skills in a particular area or a group of areas, that better prepares them for life and work both on and off-campus. It will showcase adaptability to the needs of students, providing them with opportunities for engagement at multiple levels, and a positive lasting experience with meaningful outcomes.

A program being submitted in this category can be a new program or a recurring one that has been held on or off-campus, or online. This award celebrates excellence in Volunteering and Development Programs and must have been run for students by a member campus during 2021.

Initiatives can include but are not limited to: volunteer programs, student development programs, peer-to-peer support development programs, internships etc.

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

  • Astute recognition for the type of program required to best meet student needs
  • Good adaptability to the changing needs of students, the campus community, and beyond
  • Tangible and measurable goals and objectives
  • Evidence of strong strategic planning
  • Creative techniques used to deliver on the desired outcomes
  • Effective use of resources (teams, funds, assets)
  • Inclusivity, diversity, accessibility, and environmental considerations
  • The quality of the program and initiatives
  • Student 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).

Award Submission Criteria

  1. Name of Organisation
  2. Organisation logo
  3. Name & Contact details of the person completing the submission
  4. Full-Time Student Load (Total Student Enrolments)
  5. Name of Program 
  6. Number of participants in the program

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 program.

    • Describe the program
    • What were you aiming for and why?
    • What were your goals and objectives?

Tell us the HOW of your program.

  • What key strategies were identified and used to deliver on the goals and objectives of your program?
  • What creative techniques and effective use of resources were applied?
  • Was there student input into the program 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 program?
  • How did you ensure your program was inclusive and responsible?  You can reference details such as: race/gender diversity, inclusivity aspects, accessibility to the initiative, WGAC guidelines used, use of environmental and sustainable materials/products/collateral to deliver the program etc.

EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS

  • What was the outcome of your program?
  • Which of your goals and objectives did you achieve?
  • What was the overall engagement and experience outcomes of your program on students and/or the campus community?
  • What were the tangible and measurable positive impacts for your organisation and students? How have you determined the program’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 Program
  • Program website page or features
  • Program social media campaigns
  • Program video files
  • Program PR or media
  • Storyboards
  • Financial documents
  • Written articles
  • Evidence of innovation, leadership, and formal recognition* (applies to top tier ‘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. 

  • How was your program innovative?
  • How does it stand out from other volunteer and development programs you have offered or seen before?
  • What did you incorporate in your program that has not been incorporated or done before?
  • How was it coordinated or promoted in a completely different manner from anything offered before?
  • How does this program provide meaningful and significant leadership outcomes for your organisation, students, campus community and/or within the sector?
  • How is it positively influencing other organisations in the sector?
  • How is the program replicable and are you offering support for its development at other organisations?
  • Have you received official recognition for your program 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 a Basic.
  • Submissions that do not provide supporting evidence of the stated claims will be marked as a Basic.
  • 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.
  • In the event of multiple applications achieving equal scores, the award decision is at the discretion of the Awards Jury Panel.
  • 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.

Rubric available to download here.