The Wendy Sarkissian Award

This award seeks to identify and celebrate community engagement practice that goes beyond standard good practice. We are calling for examples that stretch and inspire us through the demonstration of COURAGE in the practice of community engagement.

Dr Wendy Sarkissian is a Canadian-born, Australian planner who has specialised in community engagement for many decades, largely in Australian cities and towns. She is author of three award-winning books on community engagement and recipient of over forty professional awards. She is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Wendy is also a passionate activist and agent for change in the planning profession, seeking to empower individuals and communities in the search for sustainable futures.

Read more about Wendy.

Engage 2 Act is proud to announce the inaugural award for Courage in the Practice of Community Engagement.  Dr (Aunty) Wendy is very dear to us.  This award recognises her courageous approach to life and work.  Over the years we have learnt a great deal from her and we value her contribution enormously. 

This award aims to celebrate courage in the practice of community engagement so that we all learn and we all grow.  As a result, we will individually and collectively become braver in our professional lives.

The award winner will be announced at the opening session of the Engage to Act (Un)Conference on 13 September 2017. See entry details below:

Who can enter?

Anyone. You can nominate yourself or you can nominate a peer.

Do I need to be a collective member to enter?


What information do we need?

  1. Who is being nominated
  2. The circumstance that led to the need for courage
  3. The methods used and how this demonstrated courage
  4. The qualities that were demonstrated including risks taken
  5. The extent to which the actions initiated courage in others
  6. How negativity was managed
  7. The outcome
  8. Key learnings about courage in community engagement practice.

Please provide the name and contact details of at least one referee.

How to submit?

Please answer in any medium you like – but keep it succinct and stick to the points above.

Depending on the number of submissions received, we may go to a secondary process.

Submission deadline

Submissions can be sent to by 5 PM Wednesday 31 August 2017.

Process for selection

Dr Wendy Sarkissian, Engage 2 Act Board and Committee members will comprise the selection panel.

For more information

Call Desley Renton on +61 403 55 1656