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Ellen José Student Reconciliation Student Awards 2023

Photo of Ellen Jose
Ellen José (1951-2017)

Ellen José Student Reconciliation Awards

The Ellen José Student Reconciliation Awards honour the life of Torres Strait Elder Ellen José (1951 - 2017). Ellen was a pioneer in Australia's urban Indigenous art movement and a radical activist and social justice campaigner. Her contribution to the arts and Bayside was outstanding and inspirational in raising awareness of reconciliation.

Established in 2018, the Ellen José Student Reconciliation Awards are aimed at Bayside primary and secondary school students, bringing awareness of reconciliation to our young people, who are the future of Australia, through art and writing. Entrants are asked to interpret "As a young person, what does reconciliation mean to you?" in their artwork or writing piece.

Now in their fifth year, the awards reflect Ellen Jose’s inspirational commitment to building awareness of reconciliation in Bayside and beyond.

The Ellen José Memorial Foundation supports the Awards. 

Ellen José Memorial Foundation banner

Award Categories 

Primary school students are invited to create an artwork interpreting "As a young person, what does reconciliation mean to you?".

Primary school entry categories

Category 1: prep to year 3

Category 2: years 4 to 6

Secondary school students are invited to write an essay or poem interpreting "As a young person, what does reconciliation mean to you?".

Secondary school entry categories

Category 1: years 7 to 10

Category 2: years 11 and 12


Artwork prizes

Category Prep to year 3

1st place = $250

2nd place = $150

3rd place = $100

Category Years 4 to 6

1st place = $250

2nd place = $150

3rd place = $100

Writing prizes

Category Years 7 to 10 

1st place = $250

2nd place = $150

3rd place = $100

 Category Years 11 to 12 

1st place = $500


Applications open: Monday 21 November 2022, 9am.

Applications close Wednesday 5 April 2023, 5pm.

Enter artwork for the primary school student division

Enter written work for the secondary school student division

View Terms and Conditions of entry

Award finalists

Finalists will be chosen by the Ellen Jose Memorial Foundation. The winners will be chosen and awarded by Bayside City Council Mayor in conjunction with the Ellen José Memorial Foundation.

The 10 finalist artworks and 10 finalist written pieces will be displayed at the Bayside Corporate Centre, 76 Royal Avenue Sandringham from 19 May to 28 July 2023. 

Winners will be announced on Saturday 27 May at the Flag Raising Ceremony to mark Reconciliation Week 2023. 

Reconciliation Week is held on 27 May - 3 June each year, commemorating two significant reconciliation milestones — the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

Hero banner credit: Lola, Grade 4, Black Rock Primary School (detail). Winner of the Grade 4 to 6 Category 2022.