RACI National Award changes
Written by Renate Griffith, MRACI CChem
Published 21 March 2022
Over several years, RACI members, the Board and the RACI Inclusion and Diversity Committee (RIDC) have voiced concerns about the RACI Awards. Many felt that the National Awards were not inclusive of all genders, employment sectors, career stages and backgrounds of RACI members.
In 2020, then President, Vicki Gardiner, instructed RIDC to prepare recommendations for an information proforma for awards, including the purpose of the award and the selection criteria. In early 2021, the General Secretary and Board representative on RIDC, Renate Griffith, undertook to champion changes to the National Awards. Consequently, the Board charged RIDC to undertake a survey of the existing National Awards with a view to identifying gaps, and checking existing award descriptions and the award webpage. A subcommittee consisting of Sally Hutchinson, Kathryn Fairfull-Smith and Renate Griffith undertook this review, and after further discussions within RIDC, the results were presented to the Board.
The Board agreed to some changes to the descriptions of existing awards straightaway, mostly to take opportunity into account when judging contributions of candidates and to use gender-neutral language. The Board decided to leave most existing awards otherwise substantially the same. The website also had a first overhaul, with the categories of awards organised so that they are now more inclusive of employment sectors and career stages.
The Board appointed a subcommittee consisting of Renate Griffith, Melanie MacGregor and David Springer to consider the National Awards further and to suggest new awards where gaps had been identified. These deliberations finally resulted in changes to the award previously known as ‘Citation’, now called the ‘Chemistry Service Award’, and changes to the Distinguished Fellowship awards. In addition, six new awards have been created to encourage RACI members from previously underrepresented groups to apply. They are the:
- Ochre Award for First Nations People
- Catalyst Award for early career chemists
- Welcome Award for senior chemists new to Australia
- Centenary of Federation Teaching Team Awards (extensions and changes to the previous Centenary of Federation Teaching Awards)
- Chemistry Educator of the Year Awards (early career awards for educators/teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary education)
- Vicki Gardiner Advocacy Award.
For descriptions of the new awards, visit our National Awards page.
About the RACI National Awards
Our national awards program recognises and promotes the contributions and achievements of our RACI members. The RACI 2022 National Awards will open for nominations and applications on 1 April 2022 and will close mid June 2022. For more information go to our National Awards page.