Public Relations students awarded top honour

Five RMIT Public Relations students have won an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Award as part of this year’s IABC World Conference in Montreal, Canada.

Tanya Gutteridge attended the awards ceremony in Montreal to accept the Gold Quill on behalf of her group.

The Gold Quill Awards is a global program run by the IABC which recognises and awards excellence in strategic communications.

Not only is this the first time current RMIT students have received the accolade, but the students achieved their award in a category where they were pitted against other communications professionals, not within the student category.

Tanya Gutteridge, Sophie Spence, Milly Middleton, Lucy Ramshaw and Laura Downey were awarded the Gold Quill in the Communications skills category, for a series of videos the group produced about long-acting contraceptives as part of a PR Campaigns client project for Marie Stopes Australia.

Marie Stopes Australia is a national family planning organisation giving women and men full control over their reproductive health.

Director Public Affairs and External Relations at Marie Stopes Australia, Jacquie O’Brien commended how mature and practical the students were in approaching the brief.

“They took a very professional approach, nominating a client lead from the start and consolidating their questions as to minimise any impact on us,” O’Brien said.

“It was a complex brief in many ways, but the students went above and beyond in the delivery of their proposal.”

Media and Communications Lecturer, Justin Rogers said working with real world clients is incredibly valuable in helping students develop their client management and project management skills.

“This award is testament to the high quality of work produced by students in the public relations program and it is terrific to see that work has been recognised on a global scale by industry professionals.”

“Our students have a clear understanding of industry standards and expectations, gained through working with real world clients and being mentored by industry professionals. The skills and knowledge students develop in the classroom and apply through working closely with industry partners equip them for success as they transition into the workforce,” said Rogers.

Tanya Gutteridge attended the awards ceremony in Montreal on 5 June to accept the Gold Quill on behalf of the group.

“Being able to represent RMIT and the girls in my team at the Gala night was an amazing opportunity to network with professionals who will be able to connect me with future work opportunities.” Gutteridge said.

“I never imagined that a Work Integrated Learning Project would offer so many rewards. Being able to work with Marie Stopes Australia on this project has also given me and the girls valuable experience and will mean we leave university with confidence in our abilities.”

Story: Maddy Pattison 


  • Awards
  • Media & Communication
  • Student experience

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