Awards and Process – 2018

The Search for Story of the Year

Wakakirri is the search by The Wakakirri National Panel for the Story of the Year. Here’s how it works;

  1. Wakakirri has a range of Divisions for new and experienced schools. The number of Divisions in each region is proportional to the number of participating schools and their experience
  2. On The Night Show Awards are announced at the end of every show during presentation
  3. Each school receives a recognition certificate.
    1. Primary Challenge
      1. This certificate lists a number of Production and Performance Awards that reflect the best aspects of their performance. (these are individual and should NOT be compared with other schools).
      2. Production/Performance Awards are announced online 1 to 2 working days after the last performance night at a particular venue.
    2. Secondary Challenge
      1. This certificate lists a number of Production and Performance Awards that they are nominated for, or have won.  (These are comparable to other schools)
      2. Production/Performance Awards are announced online later in the season
  4. Story Awards are announced online 1 to 2 working days after the last performance night in a region
  5. Story Award winners are invited to Awards night to perform again (except in regions that only have a single performance night).
  6. Story Award winners are eligible for a National Major Category Award.
  7. Nominees for National Story of the Year are announced and the end of Awards night or online for performance only shows.
    1. Creative Diversity Philosophy The Creative Diversity Philosophy recognises that in Wakakirri finals there can often be two schools that are creatively equal but different in style, scale and technique. The Creative Diversity Philosophy encourages Wakakirri judges to nominate both schools (if appropriate) for national awards. This philosophy ensures ‘blockbuster’ and ‘minimalist’ style productions have a equal chance of winning national titles and promotes creative diversity in Wakakirri schools.
  8. National Awards are announced on Waka TV at the end of the season.


  • The Story Of The Year
  • Major Category Awards
  • Environmental Award
  • People’s Choice Awards
  • Best New School
  • Reconciliation Story Award supported by Reconciliation Australia – Story Dances that increase respect, reduce prejudice or strengthen relationships between the wider Australian Community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


  1. Story of the Year Nominee (Note: More than one school may be nominated)
  2. People’s Choice Award
  3. Performance & Production Awards (Note: Secondary Schools only)


Entertainment Category

  • Best Drama Story
  • Best Thriller or Action Story
  • Best Science Fiction Story (i.e. Futuristic Story)
  • Best Comedy Story
  • Best Popular Culture Story
  • Best Inspirational Story
  • Best Musical Story
  • Best Celebration Story

Style/Genrè Category

  • Best Adapted Story
  • Best Minimalist Story
  • Best Blockbuster Story
  • Best Original Story
  • Best Avant-Garde Story (i.e. New or Experimental)

History Category

  • Best Biographical History Story
  • Best Cultural History Story
  • Best Australian History Story
  • Best World History Story

Cultural Category

  • Best Cultural Celebration Story
  • Best Multicultural Story
  • Best Diversity Story
  • Best Indigenous Australian Story
  • Best Community Story

Social/Media and News Category

  • Best Social/Current Affair Story
  • Best Raising Awareness Story
  • Best Social Media Story

Environmental Category

  • Best Environmental Story
  • Best Wildlife Story
  • Best Global Awareness Story

Health Category

  • Best Mental Health Story
  • Best Health and Well-Being Story
  • Best Anti-Bullying Story
  • Best Motivational Story


Performance Awards

  • Excellent lead cast
  • Excellent supporting cast
  • Excellent ensemble
  • Well-Rehearsed performance
  • Excellent performance teamwork
  • Excellent group dance
  • Excellent solo dance
  • Excellent individual acting
  • Excellent group acting
  • Amazing finale
  • Amazing moment
  • Amazing visual effects
  • Excellent set movement and staging
  • Excellent solo singing (Secondary schools only)
  • Excellent group singing (Secondary schools only)

Production Awards

  • Excellent construction and clarity
  • Excellent theme/concept
  • Excellent overall costume design
  • Excellent overall set design
  • Excellent individual set piece design
  • Excellent artwork on sets
  • Amazing lighting
  • Amazing projection (Secondary schools only)
  • Excellent overall makeup and hair
  • Excellent soundtrack mix
  • Excellent original soundtrack
  • Excellent staging – combination of all aspects
  • Best direction: Choreography
  • Best direction: Acting
  • Best direction: Combination of dancing and acting
  • Best direction: Overall

On the night show awards*

  • Spirit of Wakakirri
  • Best teamwork
  • Best backstage crew
  • Best public speaking
  • Best creative use of the signature item
  • Best t-shirt design
  • Best individual costume design (judged at the red carpet)
  • Best individual makeup and hair (judged at the red carpet)
  • Best lighting design and call (Secondary schools only)
  • Environmental Awards
    • Most creative reuse of materials for sets & props
    • Most creative reuse of materials for costumes
    • Best minimal use of sets, props, and costumes

*Number of awards distributed are in proportion to the number of schools performing.