National Awards Process

Pearcey Medal
Pearcey Hall of Fame
Pearcey National Entrepreneur

Each year, the Pearcey Foundation presents National Awards.

The Pearcey Medal is awarded to a notable person who has made a lifetime contribution to the Australian ICT industry and who is recognised by his or her peers for that contribution.

The Medal finalists are entered into the Pearcey Hall of Fame.

Nominations are accepted all year round. Please fill out the Pearcey National Nomination Form.

The Pearcey National Entrepreneur Award is selected from one of the Pearcey State Entrepreneur Award recipients.


In the 60+ years since the first Australian computer was built, Australians have made major contributions to the growth of the world's IT industries and profession, and have continued the tradition of innovation and endeavour exemplified by Dr Pearcey.

The Pearcey Foundation was formed soon after Pearcey died in February 1998 to ensure a broader understanding of this often unrecognised contribution, and to underscore Australia's continuing capability and competitiveness in Information Technology in the future.

One of the ways this is achieved is by honouring one Australian each year with the Pearcey Medal, awarded for "outstanding lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the IT professions, research and industry".

Ask most Australians to name the best cricketers in the world, and Don Bradman's name will invariably come up. Ask about runners, and Ron Clarke, Herb Elliott, and Cathy Freeman might be named. Ask about swimmers, and Dawn Fraser, Keiran Perkins, or Ian Thorpe will emerge.

Ask about IT greats , and you will probably get Grace Hopper, Prosper Echardt, Tom Watson, or Bill Gates. You are certain, however, to never hear an Australian name.

Yet, Australians like Trevor Pearcey have just as much claim to fame within the IT world, as any of our Olympians have in sport.

We in the IT community have a duty to ensure that our heroes are recognised, both in Australia and internationally. This helps to remind the world of the undeniable quality of Australians in IT research and industry and of our continuing capability to make a major contribution to the global IT industry. We can also encourage our politicians and the Australian consumer to support our industry and the young Australians who wish to make a career in IT.

    The key considerations brought to bear in assessing Pearcey Medal nominees are as follows:

    • a contribution which is above and beyond what could be considered appropriate to the job functions performed,
    • a contribution which has include research, industry, and professional development, together with public service, and
    • an individual who can be characterised by their modesty and a willingness to take on unrewarding tasks in furthering our industry.

    Whilst many people deserve the Pearcey Medal accolade, only one Pearcey Medal is awarded each year to preserve its exclusivity and significance.

    Vetting of Nominations

    To ensure the key criteria set out above are met by all nominees a small committee of at least three persons (but not exceeding five persons), consisting of the National Chairperson, the Deputy National Chairperson and at least one of the State Chairpersons (the Nominating Committee), will meet to vet all nominees. 

    As well, the total number of nominees for the Pearcey Medal will be limited to 6 persons each year. The list of candidates is then provided to all members of the Selection Committee.

    Selection procedure

    Each year, a Selection Committee convenes. It includes all former Pearcey Medallists and the national committee of the Pearcey Foundation (Chair, Deputy, State Committee chairs etc). Each member of the Selection Committee receives all the data on the nominees from the Nominating Committee. A secret ballot is held, and collated by the National Chairperson.

    Each member of the Selection Committee is asked to vote for one Medal position and two Hall of Fame positions. Prior to the ballot, nominees are contacted to ensure that they are willing to be considered.

    State Chairs will be advised (on a strictly confidential basis) of the voting results but no announcement is made (other than to the winners of the three positions) prior to the Medal presentation. A press release will be drawn up ahead of time to announce the award (including Hall of Fame awards) but embargoed until after the Medal Presentation has occurred.

    Pearcey Hall of Fame

    All Pearcey Medal nominees are also considered for the Pearcey Hall of Fame, and separate nominations may also be received for the Hall of Fame should the Nominating Committee choose to do so. The Hall of Fame is for nominees who have made very significant contributions into one or more of Australian ICT Research, Industry, or Professional development, but not necessarily the broad-based contributions of a Pearcey Medalist. Nominees may include those who were most prominent prior to the establishment of the Hall of Fame. Our goal is to have a wide net to capture all those whom we think are deserving of national recognition based on the criteria outlined above.

    No more than two nominees enter the Hall of Fame each year. The voting procedure is conducted coincident with the Medal voting as set out above.

    Expectations placed upon Pearcey Medallists and Hall of Fame winners

    The prestige associated with the Pearcey Medal raises the profile of each winner and also of the ICT industry as a whole. The members of the Pearcey Foundation through its various committees, would look for the various winners to promote the Foundation and its goals. This can be accomplished using both their own approaches as well as assisting in programs and events held by the Foundation each year especially in the 12 months following their award. This is not to be seen as anything onerous rather assisting the Foundation in achieving its goal of raising the visibility in our community of the significance of the ICT industry.

    Previous Recipients

    See Pearcey Medals and Pearcey Hall of Fame.

    National Entrepreneur Award Process

    Each year, the Pearcey National Entrepreneur is selected from one of the Pearcey State Entrepreneur recipients.

    The national judging committee consists of the chair of each State Judging Committee (who will know their respective State entrepreneur in detail) as well as the Pearcey National Committee (to balance the national perspective).

    The national criteria extends the State criteria of "taking a risk, making a difference and being an inspiration" with the additional considerations of being "international" and being innovative with "technology" (in the pioneering spirit of Dr Trevor Pearcey). If a State has jointly awarded two unrelated entrepreneurs, then they will be considered individually.

    The selection process is a balancing act to choose one of the State Entrepreneur recipients. The judging is in three phases: collecting initial preferences; then in-depth discussion; and finally, coming to a consensus. The head judge's role is to facilitate, with only a casting vote if necessary.

    Choosing a recipient is usually a difficult decision because each State Entrepreneur will be awesome in their own right. So the committee will weigh up the various qualities and choose an entrepreneur they believe is outstanding.