Speech Pathology Australia (the Association) offers a range of awards to recognise and celebrate those members who demonstrate significant contribution to the Association and the profession.

Outlined below is a summary of the criteria of each award to assist members in determining which award is most suitable to make a nomination/application.

Award nominations may be made at any time. However, they are presented annually at the Association’s Annual General Meeting. View Past Award Winners.

Member Awards

There are five awards (categories): Life Membership, Fellowship, Elinor Wray, Early Career Award, and Student Awards.

Life Membership

Life membership is the highest honour accorded by the Association and confers Practising or Non Practising membership on a person for the rest of his or her life. It recognises outstanding leadership and committed service to the Association and the profession over many years.

Service may include:

  • Contribution to Council, Portfolio(s), Task Group(s) and Committees at the national level
  • Contribution to Executive, Portfolio(s) and Committees at Branch level
  • Sustained contribution to the Association as an ‘expert’ in a particular clinical field over many years.

The nominee shall also have contributed significantly to at least three of the following areas:

  • Clinical services
  • Academic education
  • Clinical education
  • Research and publications
  • Government liaison
  • Promotion of speech pathology
  • Administrative services
  • Service to the community.


One of the highest public professional honours the Association awards to a member demonstrating outstanding, significant and sustained contribution to the speech pathology profession. An applicant/ nominee must demonstrate a senior level of experience and status in the profession  (i.e. senior career level of professional employment e.g. reader, professor, principal researcher, senior lecturer, chief speech pathologist, manager or specialist senior clinician in the public or private sector etc.).

Assessment is based on evidence demonstrating the applicant’s/nominee’s:

  • Excellent achievement
  • Positive innovation and change
  • Leadership
  • Sustained and outstanding contribution to the profession

in at least three of the following areas:

  1. Contribution to Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) activities
  2. Research and scholarship including academic qualifications and honours
  3. Clinical practice
  4. Teaching and learning
  5. Management, service delivery and policy development.

Elinor Wray

Granted for significant contribution to the profession of speech pathology for outstanding clinical contribution or contribution through completion of a specific project in the 3yrs prior to nomination.  The nominee’s contribution will encompass one or more of the following areas:

  • Innovations in diagnostic, assessment or intervention procedures
  • Recognition of practitioner expertise and leadership within a practice area
  • Promotion of speech pathology to government, the community or to other professionals
  • Research, Quality Improvement, Evidence Based Practice<
  • Student training, peer education, supervision
  • Management / leadership in the profession.

Service to the Association

This award (previously titled, ‘Recognition of Service) is open to all members who have provided dedicated and significantly productive service to the Association.  Applicants may have contributed on Council, Branch Executive, Branch Portfolios, Task Groups, Conference Planning Committee, etc.

Consideration is given to:

  • The length of voluntary service the nominee has given to Speech Pathology Australia.
  • The degree of responsibility held by the applicant.
  • The productivity and outcomes the nominee achieved whilst volunteering for the Association.

Early Career Awards

This award (previously titled, ‘Rookie of the Year’) is open to members who have completed up to 3 years of employment as a speech pathologist following graduation. Nominees will have contributed productively and actively to the Association for example on Branch Executive, Branch Portfolios, Task Groups, Conference Planning Committee, etc. In most cases, nominees will have held positions on Committees or Portfolios as students.

Consideration is given to the length of voluntary service the nominee has given to the Association and the degree of responsibility held by the applicant.

Student Awards

Awarded to a student at each University for:

  • outstanding academic achievements including research throughout their course, and/or
  • excellent clinical achievements throughout the course.

Non-member Awards

Information about non-member awards and the winners is available on under Member Recognition.

Award Policy

Further detail relating to individual award criteria, how to make a nomination/application and the selection and recommendation process may be found in the relevant Association policy:

Speech Pathology Australia Awards Policy 7.01
Speech Pathology Australia Student Awards Policy 7.02
Life Membership Nominations Policy 7.03
Fellowship Applications/Nominations Policy 7.04

For further information regarding awards and the nomination process contact the Association’s Board and Executive Assistant.