Enter the design competition for UNSW’s new ceremonial Mace


In celebration of UNSW’s milestone birthday this year, we invite both students and staff to enter the 75th Anniversary Ceremonial Mace Design Competition. Entries will be judged by an evaluation panel consisting of prominent UNSW staff and student representatives. The winner will be awarded $2,000.  

Submissions are open from Monday 25 March until Wednesday 1 May 2024.

Submit your design

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, and is constructed of stainless steel, silver, eumung timber and a velvet lining. The Mace is surmounted with a silver waratah, the floral emblem of the state 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’.

The UNSW Mace displayed on stage at a graduation ceremony

Technical drawing of UNSW's ceremonial mace

Why do we want to design a new Mace?

The competition to design a new ceremonial Mace for UNSW’s 75th Anniversary aims to celebrate the rich history of the university, whilst shining a light on UNSW’s relentless 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. 

To learn more about UNSW’s commitment to progress for all, watch this video.

Submitting your design

Design criteria:

  • Your design must feature the new UNSW motto, ‘Scientia Corde Manu et Mente’ meaning ‘Knowledge by Heart, Hand and Mind’.
  • Materials must be representative of UNSW’s history as well as 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.

Submit your design

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 below criteria:

Criteria Weight (%)
UNSW symbolism and connection 25%
Manufacturing process and time 25%
Materials used and cost 25%
Creativity 15%
Sustainability 5%
Consideration of UNSW's Indigenous Strategy 5%

If you have any questions or need more information about the competition, please contact [email protected].

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