The $5,000 Stanley Hawes Award is presented annually at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian documentary, factual or unscripted screen sector.

Nominees can come from anywhere in Australia and from any facet of the industry. Eligibility includes (but is not limited to) producers, directors, broadcasters, distributors, educators, editors, archivists, cinematographers, impact producers, sound recordists, and other craftspersons and technical specialists

The Award was established in 1997 to honour documentary producer and director Stanley Hawes – Producer-in-Chief of the Australian National Film Board and Commonwealth Film Unit from 1946-1969 – and recognises the significant support he gave independent filmmakers in the documentary sector.

See below for further information about past winners, nominee selection criteria, and the award voting process.


2019 James Bradley

2018 Curtis Levy

2017 Brian Beaton (posthumous)

2016 Sonya Pemberton

2015 Pauline Clague

2014 Chris Hilton

2013 Documentary Australia Foundation

2012 Julia Overton

2011 Rachel Perkins

2010 Tom Zubrycki

2009 Bob Connolly

2008 David Bradbury

2007 Michael Gissing

2006 John Hughes

2005 CAAMA

2004 Robin Hughes

2003 Stewart Young

2001 Pat Fiske

1999 John Heyer

1997 Graham Chase


Nominees must be nominated by a current AIDC member.

Nominees may be a producer, director, editor, cinematographer, sound recordist, presenter, facilitator, educator, broadcaster, distributor, commissioning editor or any profession deemed significant within the non-fiction screen sector.

Nominees must have made an outstanding contribution to the Australian documentary, factual and / or unscripted screen sector for at least 10 years.

The award recognises entrepreneurship and vision as reflected by the nominee’s body of work or their contribution to the screen sector.

Nominees must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.


Nominations are emailed in the form of a written statement (200 words max) to [email protected].

The deadline for 2020 nominations is Friday 13 December 2019.

Nominations are reviewed by the AIDC board and put to a secret ballot. The votes are then tallied on a preferential voting system.

The winner is advised within enough time so that they can prepare travel arrangements to the next AIDC event.

The winner is invited to present a keynote address to all delegates at the AIDC event.

The winner is awarded $5,000 and a trophy at the AIDC event.