Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement 2024

The Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement is a prestigious award presented to students who have demonstrated high achievement in academic excellence, leadership and commitment to the school community.

Who can be nominated?

Students in NSW government secondary schools, who are in Year 12 and will complete their Higher School Certificate in 2024, are eligible to be nominated.

Who can nominate a student?

A student must be nominated by a teacher, principal or school community member.  Nominations cannot be made by students or parents. All nominations must be endorsed by the school Principal.

 What are the selection criteria?

The Award recognises students’ achievements over the secondary school years with particular emphasis on achievements in Years 11 and 12.

Students who are nominated must demonstrate achievement in one or more of the following:

  • academic excellence;
  • sporting and/or cultural achievements;
  • leadership skills;
  • commitment to the school community; and/or
  • values such as integrity, excellence, respect, responsibility, cooperation, participation, care and fairness

Successful nominations will articulate, with evidence, a student’s achievement across any one or more of the areas above.

Who selects the recipients?

The selection panel will include representatives from the NSW Department of Education, the Public Education Foundation and other representatives from the education sector. All nominations will be reviewed according to the criteria set out.

How many awards are made each year?

Up to 40 students from across the state receive awards each year. A school may submit a maximum of 2 nominations per year for this award. The selection panel reserves the right to award fewer than 40 students if the nomination standard is not sufficiently compelling.

How to nominate?

All nominations for this award are now accepted by the Public Education Foundation’s online application system. To access this system visit and click on the relevant award.

All nominations are to be are to be written by the school, not the student.

Principals must sign off on the nomination and acknowledge they have read and support the nomination. The Principal is also asked to provide a citation to be used in the Awards program should the nomination be successful.

Prior to starting the online process, the nominator is encouraged to gather the necessary information ready to submit:

  • Nominee and school details (including phone numbers and emails)
  • Nominator’s statement supporting the student’s achievement and display of values (completed online – not as an attachment) (Max 500 words)
  • Evidence of the student’s academic attainment (This should be a summary with a maximum one page in pdf format.)
  • A photograph of the nominee (preferably head shot only – not a thumbnail image)
  • Principal’s statement and endorsement (the nominator must initiate a request via the online nomination to the Principal. This will result in an email being sent to the Principal requesting them to endorse the nomination, and provide a 100 word citation online). The Principals citation will be used in the program should the nomination be successful. As such – please do not use phrases such as “It is a pleasure to nominate”, “I am delighted to nominate” “Student is a worthy nominee”.

Please note – due to the high number of nominations received, no additional attachments will be considered during nomination reviews by the Selection Panel.

When is the closing date for nominations?

Nominations close at 11.59pm on Tuesday 14th May 2024. No late nominations will be considered.

When are the Awards announced?

Nominators will be advised of the outcome of their nominations in early July 2024.

Winners of the Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence will be officially announced at the Public Education Awards event, to be held at the Sydney Town Hall on Monday 5th August 2024.

For further information including terms and conditions

Call the Public Education Foundation on 02 7814 2806 or email us at