The Natalie F. Hardwicke Best Student Paper Award recognises exceptional quality publications by PhD students exhibiting innovative box-breaking research. The Hardwicke Family Trust, in consultation with the AAIS, established the award in 2019 in memory of Natalie Hardwicke. The award includes a $1500 prize from the Hardwicke Family Trust and is administered by AAIS.

The nominated paper can address any topic related to the Information Systems discipline but must be published, or accepted for publication, in either a journal or a conference in the year prior to the year of the award. In addition, to be eligible, the nominee must be a current PhD student or be within one year of graduating from their PhD studies. The conferring university must be based in Australia, New Zealand, or another Oceanic Nation. Co-authored papers may also be nominated if the student is the lead author. Nominations can be self-nominations or made by the PhD supervisor.

Nomination requirements:

The nominations must include the following:

  • An electronic version of the article (published in the year prior to the year of the award)
  • A statement from the publisher relating to the paper acceptance, if the article has not yet been published (indicating paper was accepted in the year prior to the year of the award)
  • A signed and fully completed application form.

Important Dates:

The submission deadline is announced annually via the AAIS mailing list (IS-Aus). These dates usually fall in October-November and the Prize is announced at the annual Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS), which is usually held in early December. The winner will also be notified in writing.

Deadline: November 13, 2020


Nominations are to be sent via email to the AAIS President and AAIS Secretary (see for details), for distribution to the Judging Panel. All components of the nomination, as listed above, need to be submitted electronically. The files can be either Word (.doc/docx) documents or pdf files.

Judging Panel:

Each year the AAIS Executive will appoint a chair and two-panel members to process the applications and make the recommendation to the AAIS Executive. The members will be three academics, at least two of whom must be from the Australasian region. The panel must contain one member from the University of Sydney Business School (Natalie’s home institution), and one Early Career Academic.

For 2020, the judging panel is composed of:

  • Professor Kai Riemer, University of Sydney Business School (Panel Chair)
  • Dr Blair Wang (2019 Recipient)
  • Associate Professor Mary Tate, Victoria University of Wellington

Selection Criteria:

The award honours the traits displayed by Natalie Hardwicke in her short career as an academic. These traits have been articulated as:

  • Curiosity, asking interesting questions;
  • Independent, reflective thinking; and
  • Challenging of orthodoxies and box-breaking research.

The panel will assess the nominated articles on the above criteria and the winning author will be one who’s paper best demonstrates similar traits.


The award is offered annually but will only be awarded if the panel considers that one of the nominated papers meets the selection criteria.

Award Background:

Remembering Natalie Faye Hardwicke (2 January 1988 – 24 August 2018)

Natalie was a PhD candidate in the Discipline of Business Information Systems at the University of Sydney Business School, a member of the Digital Disruption Research Group, and a friend and colleague to many in the Information Systems community. She was the recipient of the “2016 Ripple Effect Group, Asia Pacific and The University of Sydney Business School Partnered PhD Research Scholarship”.

As an embedded practitioner-researcher, Natalie studied the work practices of a social technology consultancy business, The Ripple Effect Group (REG). Doing challenging empirical work, while at the same time deeply engaging with both the foundational knowledge of the discipline around technology implementation, as well as hermeneutic philosophical approaches, Natalie worked towards a novel conception of technology implementation as hermeneutic interpretation that puts people front and centre.

Natalie was a passionate, independent thinker, and curious human being with a wisdom and depth of knowledge beyond her years, who did not shy away from questioning taken-for-granted assumptions. Her legacy will live on in those who worked with and were influenced by her. While her work is left sadly unfinished, her ideas will remain influential beyond her lifetime. Natalie passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep.

Prior Winners:

2019 – Blair Wang
The inaugural Natalie F. Hardicke Award Best Student Paper Award was awarded to Blair Wang (UNSW Business School) for his paper titled “Digital Nomadism and the Market Economy: Resistance and Compliance”. The panel also made an honourable mention of the runner-up for the Best Student Paper Award: Mr Julian Prester (UNSW Business School).