AUA Annual Awards

The AUA would not be the thriving association it is without the hard work and dedication of our members.  Our members are the AUA.  They are our Trustees, they run our professional networks, they advocate on our behalf within their organisations, and support their colleagues studying the AUA PgCert and are committed to the development of others.

It’s time to say, ‘thank you!’

AUA Awards 2020

The annual AUA Awards go some way to recognise and celebrate the contributions and achievements of you, our members, but we need your help!

Who has made a difference to your local network?  Who introduced you to the AUA and started your AUA journey? Who has supported your professional development?

Please take the time to nominate an AUA colleague, or indeed yourself. Don’t be shy in letting us know what you have achieved!

Submit your nomination by the 01 March

Submit your nomination

Award Categories

Best Networks Team

Connecting you with professionals within and beyond your own organisation and with other members who share your professional interests is what the AUA is all about.  This award is all about recognising the teams of network volunteers who work together to bring you together. You might want to nominate a team behind your geographic or thematic network, or a team of advocates at your institution.

Member of the year

This award recognises the contribution of an individual member. The judges will be looking for a high level of commitment and dedication to the AUA. Perhaps an Advocate or Network Coordinator has gone the extra mile to help you, or maybe their work has raised the profile of the AUA. It could be a member who has utilised or adapted our CPD Framework, and any of its related resources, or the PgCert, to support the career development of themselves and others.

Lifetime achievement award

The lifetime achievement award is our chance to say a big thank you to a longstanding member whose sustained and significant contribution to the development and leadership of the AUA has helped advance professionalism and promoted excellence across the HE sector.

Previous winners

2019 AUA Network Team Award winner | The North Wales and North West geographic network team. 

Shortlisted for this award were:

North Wales and North West geographic network team. Here the panel were happy to hear about two new initiatives which stand out as examples of networks best practice:

Firstly, the network team building exercise of recording an AUA Christmas single, which was intended as a demonstration of how to make CPD fun.

Secondly, the AUA CIVIC initiative, which provides institutions spread across a large geographic areas with a way to connect, develop, network and share good practice all through a novel use of google hangouts. The panel recognised how this should be a model initiative for all networks going forward

Newcastle University Branch Advocates whose nomination impressed the panel due to the impressive rise in the number of members and the increase in funding opportunities for both the PgCert and the Annual Conference. It was clear to the panel that members at Newcastle have benefited from having such a dedicate team representing their interests.

2019 AUA Member of the Year Award winner | Michael Monaghan FAUA

Shortlisted for this award were:

Michael Monaghan, from Liverpool John Moores University. His nomination impressed the panel due to how he has engaged with the AUA CPD framework, given back through the resources he has developed and innovated through his involvement with the AUA CIVIC initiative.

Diane Lloyd from the University of Salford, whose long service contributions to the AUA in a range of activities both a local and national level stand out as excellent examples of the AUA values and behaviours.

The third nominee was Ashleigh King. As part of the team at Newcastle we have heard how she has been key to ensuring an impressive growth in AUA membership numbers and securing institutional funding for AUA activity. Members at Newcastle have singled Ashleigh out for how she goes the extra mile to deliver the support for her local members.

And finally we come to Saad Qureshi, who is clearly an energetic and enthusiastic AUA member. He has shown a real commitment to the AUA through his Board of Studies work and development of reflective writing guidance. Saad has also taken the time to share his experience with the AUA and his career with the wider membership though an AUA career story.

2019 AUA Lifetime Achievement Award winners | John Hogan and Giles Brown

John Hogan

John took this role as Chair of the Perspectives EAB in 2012, and his dedication and contributions have been an inspiration to all its membership throughout his term.  John also served the AUA as a Trustee and as Treasurer during his time with us.

He has also been extremely successful outside of the AUA. In 1993 he moved to University of Durham as Academic Registrar, only to be promoted to Registrar and Secretary in 1999. Since 2002 John has held the post of Registrar and Secretary at University of Newcastle. And just when you think his commitment couldn’t extend any further, John has taken on various other tasks and roles to benefit the HE sector. He has been a senior member of the Association of Heads of University Administration and is a former Chair of the Russell Group Registrars. He has served as Honorary Secretary to the UK Council for Graduate Education.

In David Law’s words, “John epitomises the values of AUA. He is a modest and unassuming individual who, in my experience, always makes time for his colleagues. He is deeply committed to the enhancement of the student experience and the improvement of professional services.”

And to quote john himself, in a video clip on the AHUA website: “We change lives for the better …why would you not want to work for a university?”

This year John Hogan is due to retire from his role as Chair of the Perspectives Editorial Advisory Board and we all felt that this is an appropriate time to recognise all that he has done for AUA, and for the sector.

Giles Brown

Giles Brown has been an active member of the AUA for nearly twenty years.  During his time with us he has served as a Trustee, joining the board in 2008 and serving for two terms.  Giles has also been involved with Perspectives since 2005 undertaking a variety of roles including Editor in Chief, which he did for five years.

In 2014 he became editor of Newslink, enthusiastically spearheading the re-launch of the publication in hardcopy.  Over the last five years Giles has developed both the content and style of the publication; positioning it as a distinct membership benefit but ensuring it complements the Associations other publications. Having such a deep-rooted understanding of the Higher Education sector, meant that he was well placed to source insightful articles and intelligent perspectives across a wide range of subjects.

He has enthusiastically supported and encouraged the professional development of both AUA Marketing and Communication’s Officers, who have worked with him to produce Newslink; and he has always been a reliable sounding board and source of support for the AUA team. The AUA would not be what it is today without him. We thank him for his contribution and dedication.


2018 AUA Member of the Year Award winner | Ruth Coomber, Cardiff University

Shortlisted for this award were:

  • Ruth Coomber of Cardiff University, whose nomination told an impressive story of progression through the AUA, of a member who gives tirelessly to the Association, and who has had a great impact on the development of colleagues and peers.
  • Katie Allan of University of St Andrews who as Coordinator of the Departmental Administrators’ network delivered a well-received one-day conference with an impressive range of high profile speakers. In addition, Katie supports the St Andrews branch and is delivering a session at this conference.
  • Michael Monaghan of Liverpool John Moores University, whose nomination impressed the panel due to Michael’s ability to inspire and motivate his colleagues through their AUA and career development journeys.
  • And finally Sam Murphy of the University of Birmingham, whose enthusiasm and commitment to the AUA Behaviours, combined with a good range of activities and innovation contributed to a well-received nomination.


2018 AUA Lifetime Achievement Award | Jean Grier, University of Edinburgh

 This Award is made in recognition of Jean’s continuing and invaluable contribution to the AUA.  Jean is a go-to person who is always willing to share her knowledge and expertise of the AUA and HE in general. A Fellow, who has supported the AUA through writing for AUA publications, good practice guides, events and engaging at a branch and national level, this year’s lifetime achievement award winner is long overdue for recognition.


2017 Winners

AUA Network Team Award | The North Wales and North West Network
This nomination particularly impressed the judging panel, due to the commitment of the network coordinator Diane Lloyd, deputy coordinator Daniel Taylor, and advocates across the region, as well as the innovative events programme and the impressive increase in the number of Fellowships.

AUA Member of the Year | Michael Monaghan, Liverpool John Moores University
For Michael’s creative modification of the AUA CPD materials to build a programme which supports 100 staff members through their Fellowship applications.

AUA Lifetime Achievement | Ann Hartley
In recognition of Ann’s invaluable and continuing contribution to the management of the AUA’s PGCert and of her long career in HE, during which she has so thoroughly embodied AUA’s values.



2016 Winners

AUA Network Team Award | St Andrews University Network
The panel were impressed not only by the rapid membership growth at the institution, but also how engaged all these new members have been. The institution has hosted events which have attracted members from across the Scotland Network.

AUA Member of the Year | Rachel Barnes
Rachael Barnes has been engaged with the AUA at many levels. As a successful AUA PG Cert graduate, Rachael has clearly demonstrated a commitment to her own professional development. The commitment does not stop there though; Rachael actively encourages the same focus in others and has recently volunteered to be a PG Cert Mentor.

AUA Volunteer of the Year  | Lisa Burton
Lisa Burton is an AUA Advocate at Warwick, a graduate and mentor of the PG Cert, a former member of the PG Cert Board of Studies and a former member of the Perspectives Editorial Advisory Board. In short, Lisa is involved in a lot! All volunteers need to be enthusiastic, but Lisa’s success seems to be down to her remarkable ability to instil that enthusiasm in others.

AUA Advocate of the Year | Iain Forster-Smith
The panel were particularly impressed by Iain’s successes in making sure senior staff are on board with the purpose and aims of AUA. From the very beginning, all new members of staff are presented with information about AUA at marketplace induction events. Iain’s enthusiasm has resulted in growing numbers of members at the University of Bath.