Nominations for the 2021 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools are now closed.


For Showcase Award categories, an ‘initiative’ includes professional learning activities, consultation and decision-making processes, resource or infrastructure development, events and activities that have contributed to positive changes in student outcomes.

The Showcase Award for Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education

Recognises initiatives that demonstrate positive outcomes and measurable improvement for students from kindergarten to Year 12 through one or more of the following focus areas5:

  • enhanced engagement (of students and/or parents/carers) contributing to one or more of the following:
    • improved transitions across years and/or stages of schooling (for example, kindergarten to Prep)
    • improved retention between phases of schooling (for example, junior to senior secondary)
    • improved student outcomes.
  • differentiated teaching and learning of the Australian Curriculum to accommodate the strengths, interests, backgrounds and learning needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • identification and support of high-potential and high-performing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to ensure ongoing high achievement and heightened aspirations for tertiary pathways
  • effective language instruction (Standard Australian English) that enhances access to the Australian Curriculum, facilitated by understanding of students’ Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander languages or dialects
  • development and delivery of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language program in consultation with Elders and the local community, strengthening the learning, engagement and cultural identities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • leadership that builds cultural capability and promotes learning through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority).

5Based on the domains in the School Improvement Hierarchy which is informed by the National School Improvement Tool.

For the full program information and submission templates please refer to the following documents.

How to enter

Participation in the 2021 Showcase Awards involves the following steps:

Read the submission guidelines
Please also refer to the additional support information section.

Nominations due 5pm Friday 7 May 2021
Submissions must be lodged electronically via the submission portal using the submission template.

Regional awards judging

Regional selection teams will:

  • review submissions
  • select 2 commendation submissions per award category for each region
  • select 1 winner per award category for each region, except for the Rural and Remote Education category which may have up to 2 winners per region.

The regional awards will be announced week commencing Monday 14 June 2021.

State awards judging

Regional winners will be shortlisted in July 2021 and 2 programs per category will be announced as state finalists on or around Monday 2 August 2021.

State finalist judging will take place on 7 and 8 October 2021, with winners announced at the Showcase Awards online presentation on Friday 29 October 2021. This will be a live streamed event.

Please read the submission guidelines (PDF, 1.9MB) prior to completing the online submission process.

Additional support

Example submission template

A sample submission is available to support applicants with preparing their submission for the group categories. This example has been annotated to show how information could be provided to address the 2019 Showcase Awards judging standards.

Group category—Secondary Years

  • Based on a submission from Charters Towers State High School, winners of the 2017 Showcase Award for Excellence in the Junior Secondary Years.
    Note: the Junior Secondary category is no longer part of the program but this age range would apply for the Secondary Years category.

View the example submission (Department of Education personnel only).

Additional support preparing your submission

Two recorded web sessions are available and provide applicants with more information regarding how to plan a submission, use the submission template and understand the judging standards.

Planning a Showcase Award submission

This session will assist participants to plan a Showcase Award submission. It will explore:

  • general requirements for planning nominations
  • specific requirements for group and individual award categories
  • using the submission template
  • available supporting resources.

Understanding the Showcase Awards judging standards

This session will focus on the Showcase Awards judging standards and will assist participants to understand:

  • the Standards of Evidence as informing the Showcase Awards judging standards for group categories
  • the 4 dimensions (design, impact, scalability and investment) and 5 strength levels
  • further resources
  • support group category submissions.

Web sessions

Last updated 14 June 2021