AWARD School awards hijacked

By AdNews | 15 August 2023
Diamond Pencil

The AWARD School awards have been hijacked by group of friends from this year’s NSW intake.

They created unofficial diamond pencil awards to celebrate the achievement of all who managed to finish the intensive course. 

Christian Di Virgilio, AFFINITY strategist, is the brainchild behind the Diamond Pencil which recognises that while there were only a total of seven actual AWARD Awards for more than 200 students given out nationally, every student who put in the long hours should get a trophy for simply surviving the intensive course. 

Di Virgilio, together with fellow students Alex Norton, Channel UC; Geraldine Buzzo, Connecting Plots; Cassandra Hollis, Campaign Lab and Meg Mayger, Nova Entertainment; joined forces to create, design, 3D print and hand paint 50 Diamond Pencils for every NSW graduate regardless of their position on the infamous AWARD Wall or those luckily enough to make the Top 10.


Di Virgilio said completing AWARD School is grueling enough, but receiving an official award is even harder.

“AWARD School is very tough, but aside from the exciting potential of getting on The Wall, or officially winning a Golden or Ray Black Pencil, there was nothing to commemorate the immense accomplishment of completing the course, regardless of where you come on the list," Di Virgilio said.

“After AWARD school project coordinator, Xiuwenbo Wang, posted in the Facebook AWARD Group a photo of the trophies and teased who the winner will be, I messaged my group saying that we should create our own pencil, because every student deserves one for simply ‘surviving’ AWARD.”

Come graduation night, after the top 10 were announced, the group of enterprising students started handing out the 50 handmade diamond pencil to every participating student. 

“One minute everyone was talking about the top 10, next minute, they were talking about the diamond pencil, the head of AWARD School said that we had successfully hijacked the night," Di Virgilio said.

"They became really popular, with lots of social posts and some even making it into the award cabinets of Sydney creative agencies."


Demand for the unofficial Diamond Pencil has stretched across the country, with the team now making the design of the unique creation available for all AWARD students to download and 3D print their own.

Angela Smith, chief brand officer at AFFINITY, said the agency applaud the spirit of Christian’s guerrilla campaign – both the generosity of recognising everyone that not only made the selection, but for sticking it out for 12 weeks.

"It’s demanding both on your confidence as well as time and effort; but we also loved the immediate application of what he’s learned to subvert the awards presentation evening to change and command the conversation," Smith said.

"He might not have made the top 10, but his actions speak louder than ‘going on the wall’ and he topped the class in our opinion.”

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