2023 marks the tenth year of the annual CHASS Australia Prizes. The Australia Prizes honour distinguished achievements by Australians working, studying, or training in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) sector, including academics, researchers, practitioners, philanthropists, policy makers, and students.
CHASS Future Leaders Writing Prize
The CHASS Future Leaders Writing Prize aims to recognise and reward young Australian writers (35 and under). The theme for 2024 is 'open'.
Please email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 25th and cc CHASS Admin (email@example.com).
Emma Cupitt for her writing Dust and Ashes.
Note, there were no winners selected for 2022 and 2023.
CHASS Prize for Distinctive Work in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
This prize is for a performance, exhibition, research project or a specific advance in policy development in any HASS field. Performances or exhibitions must have been open to the public between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023. Policy work and research may have commenced earlier, but must have been completed during 2023.
Self-nominations are welcome. Nominees should provide sufficient evidence to allow judges to assess the impact of the performance, exhibition, project or policy. The nature of this evidence is up to the nominator (for e.g.: critical reviews, impact assessments, spin-offs, new policies).
Performances, exhibitions or policy work may have taken place abroad, but nominees must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia, and the work must have some relevance to Australian cultural and intellectual life. All materials submitted must be in English.
Nomination deadline: TBC.
2023 Winner: Vic McEwan for 'Face to Face: The New Normal'
The panel selected Vic's work due to its ‘distinctiveness’, the cross over between HASS and medical science together with the significant, beautiful and tangible outcomes of the project.
"Face to Face: The New Normal" evolved through four years of artistic research with patients experiencing facial nerve paralysis due to conditions like cancer, brain tumours and Bell’s Palsy. It explored the intersection of medical science and the arts, addressing human experiences of illness, trauma and identity.
The project was delivered by Vic McEwan as part of his PhD. PhD supervisors were Dr Claire Hooker, Dr Susan Coulson and Dr Paul Dwyer
This work is distinctive because it is the first time an artist has been accepted into the PhD program at the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney, potentially setting a precedent nationwide. The artistic process was undertaken at The Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, a cancer research hospital (Sydney, NSW), specifically at the Sydney Facial Nerve Clinic. Here, for the first ever time, a contemporary artist became an integral part of the clinical team, working alongside multi-disciplinary specialists and employing artistic methods to contribute to patient care. Instead of adopting the role of an arts-therapist, this project explored the value of open-ended, experimental contemporary arts practice. Facial Nerve Paralysis profoundly impacts individual identity, leading to high rates of depression and significant social stigmatisation. Patients often express that they encounter substantial social and psychological impacts resulting from their condition, and that these issues are often overlooked in conventional biomedical encounters. This project not only advanced the concept of "socially engaged arts practice" as an impactful form of care giving, but also validated it as a legitimate form of art-making. It presented 15 artworks in a three month exhibition in 2022 at the Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery (and an earlier development period at the Tate Liverpool in the UK). During this time, it showed immense benefits to patients and medical professionals who engaged with it, while also encouraging general audiences to explore their own complex responses to facial difference, discrimination, and vulnerability. The success of the research outputs have led to an invitation being made to Vic McEwan to become an ongoing member of the Sydney Facial Nerve Clinic team. This is an extraordinary development in that it is recognition of the immense potential that open-ended, non defined, creative activity can have on the patient experience.
2022 Joint Winners: Marg Rogers et al. and Ian Michael & Chris Isaacs
Marg Rogers et al. 'Child and Family Resilience Programs children's literature project'
Marg Roger's et al. project produced a suite of twelve free, online research-based children’s storybooks created from the narratives of Australian children and their families from the defence and veteran community. The books build children’s resilience to deal with the stresses of military family life or when their parent gives their physical/mental health in service. This is the first time Australian young children’s narratives from defence/veteran families have been voiced, enabling them to see their lives reflected in young children’s literature. This builds children’s sense of identity and belonging.
Ian Michael & Chris Isaacs York
Ian & Chris's project is a play titled 'York' that is set in and around an abandoned hospital in York, on Ballardong Nyoongar country. This epic truth-telling play blends humour and horror to uncover our buried histories. Traversing multiple eras and inspired by 200 years of real accounts, this daring new work explores how stories are told – and who tells them. York was Shortlisted for in Nick Enright's Prize for Playwriting as part o the NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2022. York is a raw, resonating new work written by two incredibly talented local artists Ian Michael (Wilman Nyoongar) and Chris Isaacs.
CHASS Prize for a Student in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
This prize is for a student essay, project, performance or exhibition that best exemplifies the contribution of HASS to our understanding of our nation and us. The nominated work must have been completed between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020. Honours/post-graduate/doctoral theses are not eligible. Students enrolled at any level in any Australian tertiary educational institution are eligible to be nominated. Self-nominations are welcome.
Nominators should provide sufficient evidence to allow judges to assess their work. The nature of this evidence is up to the nominator (for e.g.: critical reviews, impact assessments). All works must be in English.
This prize will not be running in 2023.
This Award was introduced in 2020. The first FLASH Award was for students in Year 11 and 12 and in undergraduate course at University to express their views in a one minute video about the government’s 2020 proposed changes to undergraduate university fees, raising costs for most students in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.
The 2021 FLASH Award is Creativity in Covid; an open prize for any creative work - visual, auditory, or performed - born/inspired from Covid related impacts. Nominees should provide enough evidence for judges to assess the innovation and connection to Covid.
Submission deadline: October 1, 2021. Submit online here.
This prize will not be running in 2023.