Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement 2021

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 government secondary schools, who are in Year 12 and will complete their Higher School Certificate in 2021, 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. 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:

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

Successful applications will articulate, with evidence, a student’s achievement across all of the areas above.

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)
  • 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)
  • 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)

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

Who selects the recipients?

It is anticipated that the selection panel will include representatives of the NSW Department of Education, the Public Education Foundation and an independent representative from the education sector. All applicants will be reviewed according to the criteria set out. Recommended nominees will then be presented to the Minister for award selection.

 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 application standard is not sufficiently compelling.

 When is the closing date for applications?

Applications close at 11.59pm on Tuesday 15th June 2021. No late applications will be considered.

For further information including terms and conditions

Call the Public Education Foundation on 02 7814 2806 or email us at We also encourage you to visit our website

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