The Minister's Awards

Every year up to 10 students from community languages schools are recognised for their hard work and excellence through the Minister's Awards for Excellence in Student Achievement.

The Minister's Awards and certificates for students who are highly commended and commended, are presented at a special awards ceremony.

Your community language school can nominate one student only for each category (junior and senior). If more than one nomination per category is received, your school will not be considered.

Organisations who are applying for an Establishment grant are not eligible to nominate students for an award.

Students who have previously received a Minister's Award are not eligible for any additional award.

The judges consider a student's:

  • accomplishment in language
  • achievement and fluency
  • appreciation of cultural background and demonstration of intercultural understanding.

Important dates

Nominations for the 2020 Minister's Awards for Excellence in Student Achievement will be open from 1 May to 29 May.

The presentation ceremony for recipients of the Minister's Awards and certificates for recipients of Highly Commended and Commended awards will be held at the University of NSW on Monday 7 September.

Awards categories

There are two categories of awards.

Junior category

Students who attend mainstream school classes from Kindergarten to Year 6 may be nominated for an award in the junior category. Please note that students who are enrolled in their mainstream school in Kindergarten, Year 1 or Year 2 will NOT be eligible to receive a Minister's Award. They will be eligible for Merit, Commended or Highly Commended Awards.

Senior category

Students who attend mainstream school classes from Years 7 to 12 may be nominated for an award in the senior category.

How to nominate a student

We recommend that your school creates a committee to select which student/s should be nominated. The committee should select the most suitable student for each category.

It is the responsibility of your organisation and management committee to make sure teachers and students are told about the awards and to make sure nominations are made through a fair, transparent and appropriate process.

Assessing students for nomination

When assessing students for language proficiency, the school selection committee should refer to the Community languages schools proficiency descriptors taking into consideration:

Reading and listening tasks

  • understanding the broad context of the text
  • understanding specific details of the text
  • extracting the main points from the text
  • using appropriate strategies for deducing information.

Speaking tasks

  • establishing and maintaining a conversation appropriately
  • using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures to express ideas clearly and appropriately
  • demonstrating fluency and proficiency appropriate to the age and length of time that the student has been studying the language
  • using correct pronunciation and intonation.

Writing tasks

  • organising and expressing ideas clearly and accurately using a range of vocabulary and language structures
  • demonstrating accurate use of writing system, including correct grammar in a range of text types.

How nominations are assessed

The Awards Selection Committee is made up of members of the NSW Community Languages Schools Board and staff from the Community Languages Schools Program. This committee assesses nominations for the awards and decides on the category winners.

In making their decisions, the selection committee only assesses information provided in the online nomination form.

Examples of student work or of certificates previously awarded are not to be included with the nomination form.

Please note the decisions of the committee are final. The committee and program officers will not enter into discussion or correspondence on this matter.

2019 - The Honourable Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning with 10 recipients of the Minister’s Awards for Excellence

Award winners

In 2019 the Honourable Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, presented Minister's Awards to 10 recipients at a ceremony conducted at the University of New South Wales on 9 September 2019.  The names of the students are:

Back row L to R

  1. Julia Fenik (Polish)
  2. Se Eun Yang (Korean)
  3. Amrit Kaur (Punjabi)
  4. Thenuhaa Thanikairajan (Tamil)
  5. Taiga Kita-Leong (Japanese)

Front Row L to R

  1. Niya Parakkal (Malayalam)
  2. Lara Otel (Hungarian)
  3. Luca Odello (Italian)
  4. Rachel Sarang Oh (Korean)
  5. Sophia Mandziy (Ukrainian)

How to apply

All applications for Minister's awards should be submitted using the online application system.

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