Awards and Scholarships
Awards and Scholarships

We believe in recognising our Speaking Industry’s top achievers across a range of expertise and contribution and do so annually at our national PSA Convention. Members and Guests are welcome to register for whole or part of Convention, ensuring they also secure their Gala Dinner and Awards Tickets for the Saturday Evening!

Professional Speakers Australia has five key annual awards and one scholarship, all of which are presented each year at the national convention.


We Want to Receive Your Award Nominations for 2020!

Nominations are now open for our Annual PSA Awards.

Now is the time for you to nominate a fellow Member (PM or CSP) for their success, to see them acknowledged by their peers and rewarded for their commitment and achievement.

The Criteria for each Award is shown below – please read them all carefully and think about whom you believe are deserving nominees. Note:

  • The Keynote, Educator and Breakthrough Awards can be nominated by both PSA Members and former PSA Members. Only PSA members can be nominated.
  • The Industry Partner Award and The Nevin Award can only be nominated by current PSA Members. For the Nevin Award only PSA members can be nominated.
  • Self nominations will not be accepted.

Download the Nomination Form/s (please click here) for the appropriate Award/s and forward it to the PSA Secretariat by January 13, 2020.

None of our Awards are self-nominated this year. It is entirely up to you to acknowledge the achievement, the greatness, the peak performance you have observed. You can contact their office for information if that facility is available, or you can research the information yourself. But you will know who deserves recognition. For the Industry Partner of the Year Award, PSA members are invited to nominate a bureau consultant, PCO, meeting planner, AV provider or other industry partner who they feel have gone above and beyond.

We are seriously concerned to ensure that transparency and objectivity are the bywords of our Awards process. We have included outside panellists in our judging process, and all judging is overseen by selected credentialled Convenors and an Awards Chair.

The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship
To be opened shortly. Please watch this space for information about the Kerrie Nairn Scholarship 2020.


The Speaker Hall of Fame

The Speakers Hall of Fame is designed to find and put the spotlight on people who demonstrate the exemplary. These people have committed within themselves to the everyday disciplines that lead to mastery. They constantly refine and develop their ways to communicate so others may be enriched. They are raised up so that others might see what excellence looks like in action. And they themselves are encouraged to continue to be great role models sources of inspiration, points of reference and diverse images of excellence for us all. They are leading lights in our profession.

All winners are determined by a selection panel of highly regarded peers against a range of criteria, which they are required to rate highly on every criterion.

The Speakers Hall of Fame includes recipients of:
  • The Nevin Award
  • Keynote Presenter Award for Excellence
  • Educator Award for Excellence
  • Breakthrough Speaker of the Year Award
  • Industry Partner of the Year Award
  • Presenters of Excellence Awards

The Nevin Award

The Nevin Award is our association’s most cherished honour. It is awarded annually to a member whose outstanding contribution to Professional Speakers Australia and to the speaking industry over the years have earned the utmost respect, honour and admiration in the Association and the profession. They are a Professional Speakers hero.

Their selfless acts of sharing, guiding, supporting and inspiring other members and growing the industry embody the spirit of John Nevin, the founder of Professional Speakers Australia, formerly known as National Speakers Association of Australia. Their commitment to excellence as a professional speaker provides a role model for us all.

A few words from David Penglase, CSP on receiving the Nevin Award in 2008.

Nevin Award Recipients

  • 2019 – Donna Hanson CSP
  • 2018 – Graham Harvey CSP
  • 2017 – David Staughton
  • 2016 – Helen Macdonald CSP
  • 2015 – Michael McQueen CSP
  • 2014 – Brad Tonini CSP
  • 2013 – Rodney Marks CSP
  • 2011 – Kevin Ryan CSP
  • 2010 – Anne Riches CSP
  • 2009 – Lindsay Adams CSP
  • 2008 – David Penglase CSP
  • 2007 – Glenn Capelli CSP
  • 2006 – Sarah Cornally CSP
  • 2005 – Martin Grunstien CSP
  • 2004 – Colin Pearce CSP
  • 2003 – Matt Church CSP
  • 2002 – Colin Brockman CSP
  • 2001 – Keith Abraham CSP
  • 2000 – Robyn Henderson CSP
  • 1999 – David Julian Price CSP
  • 1998 – Max Hitchins PM
  • 1997 – David Griggs PM
  • 1996 – Catherine Palin-Brinkworth CSP
  • 1995 – Lisa McInnes-Smith CSP
  • 1994 – Walter Dickman CSP
  • 1993 – Winston Marsh CSP
  • 1992 – Doug Malouf CSP
  • 1991 – Ron Tacchi CSP

Keynote Presenter Award for Excellence (KPAE)

This award acknowledges speakers who have the capacity to engage a diverse variety of audiences, captivate them with their style, delivery and humour and deliver a message that conveys their expertise. Being a keynote speaker means you need to be able to sound the ‘key note’. This means to deliver a message that engages an audience at an emotional level, but which is built around the broader theme of the event and the client’s objectives of content and engagement.

Nominees and awardees are people who have been speaking for a sufficient amount of time to have reached a significant number of audiences. Often there is a breadth of experience demonstrated as they present to varied cultures and demographics.

Nominees have a broad experience and can work well regardless of the nature of the audience. They can often accommodate a varied audience including those who are highly educated and are high achievers as well as those who are found on the frontline of business and service industries. However they may have a niche specialty and deliver their message in such a way as to make it very memorable. The Keynote Presenter of the Year is most likely to be able to teach, entertain and create a unique message, which is delivered in a unique way. However this award also encompasses those who also educate, challenge people’s thinking or inspire predominantly through humour or music but are booked in the Keynote Speaker position.

Keynote Presenter Award for Excellence Winners

  • 2019 – Rowdy McLean CSP
  • 2018 – Amanda Stevens CSP
  • 2017 – Lisa McInnes-Smith CSP, CPAE
  • 2016 – Jason Fox CSP
  • 2015 – Michael McQueen CSP
  • 2014 – Matt Church CSP
  • 2013 – Glenn Capelli CSP
  • 2012 – Keith Abraham CSP
  • 2011 – Rodney Marks CSP
  • 2010 – Catherine DeVrye CSP
  • 2009 – Amanda Gore CSP
  • 2008 – Allan Pease CSP
  • 2007 – Bruce Sullivan CSP
  • 2006 – Peter Sheahan CSP

Educator Award for Excellence (EAE)

This award acknowledges presenters who have continued to reach diverse groups with deep content through diverse methodology over many years in a training, facilitation and one-on-one format.

Nominees and Awardees play a variety of roles with a wide range clients. Often there is a breadth of experience of presenting to different cultures and demographics. Nominees have a broad experience and can work equally as well with top-level corporate groups, education groups and community groups.

The Educator Award of Excellence recipient is a learner, teacher, designer and deliverer of educational experiences of consistently high quality and originality.

Educator Award for Excellence Winners

  • 2019 – Keith Abraham CSP
  • 2018 – Alison and Darren Hill
  • 2017 – Andrew Horabin
  • 2016 – Max Walker CSP
  • 2015 – Steve Simpson CSP
  • 2014 – Lisa McInnes-Smith CSP
  • 2013 – Michael Grose CSP
  • 2012 – Ian Hutchinson CSP
  • 2011 – Matt Church CSP
  • 2010 – Terry Hawkins CSP
  • 2008 – David Penglase CSP
  • 2007 – Colin James CSP
  • 2006 – Glenn Capelli CSP

Breakthrough Speaker of the Year Award

This award is designed to recognise and identify emerging speakers who have achieved recent extraordinary prominence and success.

Nominees and Awardees are individuals who have captured the attention and fascination of the marketplace. More than simply an overnight success or flavour of the moment, the winning speaker may well have been speaking for an extended period of time but has recently gained traction or achieved a breakthrough.

  • 2019 – Daryl Green
  • 2018 – Mykel Dixon
  • 2017 – Rabia Siddique CSP

Industry Partner of the Year Award

This award recognises a bureau consultant, PCO, meeting planner, AV provider or other industry partner who goes above and beyond. It is our way of recognising and thanking our industry partners who have supported the speaking profession in a remarkable or unique way.

  • 2019 – Saxton Speakers Bureau
  • 2018 – Claxton Speakers
  • 2017 – Celebrity Speakers

Presenters Award for Excellence Winners

Key role models and pioneers of the the industry who were recognised at Professional Speakers’s 20th Birthday celebrations in 2007.

  • Walter Dickman CSP
  • Doug Malouf CSP
  • Ron Tacchi CSP
  • Winston Marsh CSP
  • Lisa McInnes Smith CSP, CPAE
  • Allan Pease CSP

The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship for Public Speaking

In May 2005 our much loved and respected member Kerrie Nairn passed away. In her honour and with generous Australian Government funding, The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship for Public Speaking was established.

The Scholarship was funded from 2006 to 2010 by the Commonwealth Government through the Quality Outcomes Program, administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013 the Scholarship was fully funded by Professional Speakers. The Scholarship provides support to help an emerging speaker to develop further as a professional speaker. The Scholarship enables the recipient to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the professional speaking industry.

From 2015, after a short hiatus, the Scholarship will continue to be provided by Professional Speakers, supported by generous donations from a number of our most senior members. The Scholarship was initially open to Professional Speakers members (affiliate and provisional)^. With these membership tiers ceasing on December 31, 2018 the PSA Board in conjunction with the Scholarship Convenor Helen Macdonald, agreed to make the Kerrie Nairn Scholarship application open to non-member aspiring speakers, with the new additional criteria that the applicant must be able to demonstrate they would be eligible to qualify for Professional Member status. ^PSA Professional Members and CSPs are not eligible to apply.

The Kerrie Nairn Award is worth more than $15,000 to boost the Scholar’s professional development. The winner of The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship is selected for their ability to:

  • personally and professionally develop as a speaker and become an outstanding professional leader as a result of this Scholarship
  • assist a community-based or NFP audience of their choice to boost their knowledge and competence, in areas such as leadership, public speaking, community support or business skills
  • actively participate in and contribute to PSA at a Chapter or National level
  • be an effective ambassador for and strengthen the speaking industry, in general.

The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship winner for each year will be announced at the Annual Professional Speakers Australia Convention.

To learn more about the benefits of applying for the Kerrie Nairn Scholarship, even when you are not successful, listen to an interview with 2011 applicant Margaret Bornhorst.

Kerrie Nairn Frequently Asked Questions.

The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship Scholars

  • 2019 – Sarah Morse
  • 2018 – Daniel Merza
  • 2017 – Kirryn Zerna
  • 2016 – Chinmay Ananda
  • 2015 – Daryl Green
  • 2013 – Lachlan Cooke
  • 2012 – Neryl East
  • 2011 – Sonja Falvo
  • 2010 – Steve Francis
  • 2009 – Jason Fox
  • 2008 – Dale Elliott
  • 2007 – Alicia Curtis
  • 2006 – Jennifer Harwood

Award Nominations are Now Open for 2019! *

Phone: 1300 739 993 or 03 9844 5511 | admin@professionalspeakers.org.au | P.O. Box 448 Warrandyte, Victoria, 3113 | Fax: 1300 766 673

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