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Honorary Awards Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Procedure details the process for the nomination, selection, and presentation of Honorary Awards. It does not apply to alumni awards and internal staff recognition awards.

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Section 2 - Process and Key Controls


(2) Members of the University Senior Leadership Group (USLG), University Senior Executive Team (USET) and Senate Honorary Awards Committee (SHAC) may proactively identify and submit nominations throughout the course of each year.

(3) Nominations will also be sought from the University community twice annually, timed such that a Senate resolution to award an Honorary Award aligns with graduation ceremonies.

(4) All nominations will be submitted directly to the SHAC Secretariat.

(5) Nominations will be treated with the highest confidentially. A nominee will not be advised of or consulted about their nomination at any stage prior to formal notification via the Vice-Chancellor of their successful nomination.


(6) Twice annually, the Senate Honorary Awards Committee Secretariat will:

  1. undertake an initial review of nominations to ensure all relevant criteria have been addressed and supporting documentation has been provided; they may request additional information as required.
  2. submit eligible nominations to the relevant governance bodies in the following order:
    1. USET to review and consider nominations and provide recommendations and commentary, including ranked order if appropriate, to SHAC.
    2. SHAC to consider USET supported nominations and provide recommendations to Senate (nominations not supported by USET will be provided to SHAC for transparency).
    3. Senate for final review, consideration and decision.

(7) The University Senior Executive Team will:

  1. review nominations with regard to:
    1. the criteria outlined in the Honorary Awards Policy;
    2. similar recognition previously bestowed upon - or more appropriate to - the nominee;
    3. opportunities to strengthen strategic relationships with our community; and
    4. opportunities to celebrate the values and aspirations of the University.
  2. make recommendations on the nominations to SHAC.

(8) The Senate Honorary Awards Committee will:

  1. consider the USET recommendations as outlined above;
  2. ensure due diligence processes and risk mitigation have been evaluated; and
  3. submit recommendations to Senate regarding the granting of Honorary Awards for consideration by Senate.

(9) Senate will:

  1. review and decide which nominations to approve; and
  2. approve that the Vice-Chancellor invite approved nominees to accept Honorary Awards.

Notification of Decision

(10) The Vice-Chancellor will write to the successful nominee(s) advising of Senate's decision and invite the recipient to accept the Award. Should a nominee be unresponsive after best efforts have been made to contact them regarding the acceptance of the award, the matter will be referred to the Chair of the SHAC for consideration.

(11) The Chair of SHAC may make a recommendation to the Senate that the offer of conferral should lapse if the nominee has not responded within two (2) years.

(12) Senate will decide whether the offer of conferral should lapse and if so, when that takes effect.

(13) Where the nominee declines the award offered, the University will make note of this decision and notify SHAC.

(14) Where a nomination is not supported by Senate, the SHAC Secretariat will advise the nominator of the outcome.


(15) Honorary Awards will be conferred / awarded at a UQ graduation ceremony in accordance with the University policies and procedures relating to student progression and graduation. Honorary Award recipients will customarily be invited to address the graduating cohort.

(16) In exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Chancellor, an Honorary Award may be presented at another appropriate University event, including via online communications.

(17) When deemed appropriate by the Vice-Chancellor, reasonable travel and accommodation costs for the recipient and one other person to attend the graduation ceremony or event at which the award is to be presented will be met by the University.

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Section 3 - Key Requirements

Period of Award

(18) Honorary Awards are conferred / awarded in perpetuity, unless revoked or surrendered.

Use of Honorary Awards Titles

(19) The following applies to Honorary Award recipients:

  1. An Honorary Doctorate is not a qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework; therefore the conferral of an Honorary Doctorate does not entitle the recipient to use the title ‘Doctor’ or ‘Dr’.
  2. Honorary Doctorates may be referenced using the Latin phrase ‘honoris causa’, for example, ‘Doctor of Science honoris causa’.
  3. Recipients of Honorary Doctorates are entitled to use the relevant post-nominal for all correspondence and cite the official award abbreviation after their name. For Honorary Doctorates awarded in a particular discipline, the postnominal is preceded by ‘Hon.D’, for example, Hon.DSc Univ Qld. The postnominal for a Doctor of University is Hon.D Univ Qld.
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Section 4 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities


(20) Senate is responsible for approving Honorary Awards on the recommendation of the Senate Honorary Awards Committee.

Senate Honorary Awards Committee

(21) Considering nominations and making recommendations to the Senate regarding the granting of Honorary Awards.

University Senior Executive Team

(22) Considering nominations for Honorary Awards and making recommendations to the Senate Honorary Awards Committee.

Office of the Vice-President (Advancement and Community Engagement)

(23) Overseeing the implementation of this Procedure, providing secretariat services to the Senate Honorary Awards Committee, coordinating all communications in relation to the conferral of Honorary Awards, and supporting campus partners to meaningfully sustain relationships with recipients.

Events (Advancement and Community Engagement) and Student Progression

(24) Coordinating the presentation of Honorary Awards at UQ graduation ceremonies, or out of session.

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Section 5 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(25) The Vice-President (Advancement and Community Engagement) is responsible for the ongoing implementation and review of this Procedure.

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Section 6 - Recording and Reporting

(26) The Vice-President (Advancement and Community Engagement) is responsible for recording and reporting on the granting, revoking and surrender of honorary awards, and for provision of secretariat services to the Senate Honorary Awards Committee.