Entries now open for UNSW’s 75th Anniversary Ceremonial Mace Design Competition

25 Mar 2024
David Gonski AC, Chancellor, Jillian Segal AO, former Deputy Chancellor and Hon. LLD, Professor Maurice Pagnucco, Deputy Dean (Education) Engineering and Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert AM

Help celebrate UNSW’s milestone birthday by entering your design for the University’s new ceremonial Mace.

Students and staff are encouraged to enter UNSW’s 75th Anniversary Ceremonial Mace Design Competition. The winning design will be awarded $2000. 

The competition is open to all students and staff and entries will be judged by a panel of prominent UNSW staff and student representatives. 

What is a ceremonial Mace? 

Maces were originally used to provide protection as an effective weapon in the Middle Ages. The Mace evolved over time to represent a connection to the monarchy or governing body and is used today as a ceremonial staff symbolising authority and tradition for institutions.  

At UNSW, the ceremonial Mace is typically carried by a designated official during academic events such as graduation ceremonies. The Mace adds a sense of dignity, formality and continued legacy to these events, and provides a visual representation of the values UNSW upholds. The Mace is also a unifying symbol for the academic community and is intricately designed with elements of cultural significance. 

What does UNSW’s current Mace look like? 

UNSW’s current ceremonial Mace was presented to the University in 1962 by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd. It is constructed of stainless steel, silver, eumung timber and a velvet lining. The Mace is surmounted with a silver waratah, the floral emblem of NSW. It also features the NSW state arms and the original arms of UNSW with the lion and the Southern Cross on the Cross of St George, and the original motto Scientia Manu et Mente, meaning ‘knowledge by hand and mind’.


Why do we want to design a new Mace? 

The competition to design a new ceremonial Mace for UNSW’s 75th anniversary celebrates the University’s rich history. It shines a light on UNSW’s progress to date and our commitment to innovation and continued progress for all

The design of a new ceremonial Mace by a current member of the UNSW community is a special opportunity to contribute to new traditions for the future. 

Submitting your design

Design criteria:

  • Materials must be representative of UNSW’s history and celebrate UNSW’s connection to Country and our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • The manufacturing process must be both cost and time-effective, with design preferences focusing on being able to be made locally and sustainably.
  • The maximum dimensions for the Mace are 1.2m (L) x 0.2m (W) x 0.2m (H) and the maximum weight is 5kg.

What you need to submit:

  • Technical drawings of your design
  • A written explanation of your design’s connection to UNSW
  • Proposed manufacturing process.

Design evaluation

The evaluation panel will consist of UNSW student and staff representatives. 

Submissions will receive a score out of 10 for each of the criteria:

  • UNSW symbolism and connection (25 per cent)
  • Manufacturing process and time (25 per cent)
  • Materials used and cost (25 per cent)
  • Creativity (15 per cent)
  • Sustainability (5 per cent)
  • Consideration of UNSW’s Indigenous Strategy (5 per cent).

Submissions are open from Monday 25 March until Wednesday 15 May.

Submit your design.

If you have any questions or need more information about the competition, please contact registrar@unsw.edu.au.

Pictured: David Gonski AC, Chancellor, Jillian Segal AO, former Deputy Chancellor and Hon. LLD, Professor Maurice Pagnucco, Deputy Dean (Education) Engineering and Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert AM