Sinead O’Toole, Future Spaces manager at Sheffield Hallam University, has won the Emerging Talent award at the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) Awards 2018.

Sinead attended the AUDE Annual Conference Gala Dinner at Canterbury Cathedral, she was recognised for her exceptional contribution to the development of the Sheffield Hallam Campus Plan, her role as co-chair of SIGNAL, the University LGBT+ group in which she was instrumental in setting up the University’s Allies Network in 2017.

Sinead was recognised for her work with colleagues across the University to deliver Hallam’s Transforming Lives strategy. As the co-chair of SIGNAL, the University staff LGBT+ group, Sinead was also commended for her work in setting up the University’s Allies Network in 2017 – a scheme that helps to create a working environment where LGBT+ communities feel welcomed and included and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

On winning the award Sinead said: “I’m incredibly proud of the work that we’re doing at such a forward-thinking university as Sheffield Hallam. I’m given great support here. I’m grateful to have won the AUDE Award, and to be able to hear the stories of the other award winners and nominees has been such a positive experience.”

Toby Ward, head of estates development and projects at Sheffield Hallam University, was keen to nominate Sinead because of her ongoing work into the development of the Campus Plan. Sinead has also developed a toolkit to address the inherent issues in building project briefing, which is already being used for Phase 1 of the Campus Plan with the University’s Business School, with very positive feedback from the School’s PVC and Faculty Leadership, particularly Sinead’s ability to facilitate workshops.

Toby said:  “Sinead joined the team six years ago after a career in financial services, so she’s flying the flag for everyone who wants to choose a different path midway through their working life. This may have been a career switch for Sinead, but she is excellent at grasping a project and helping others to come up with the right answer.”

Speaking on behalf of AUDE, Jane White, executive director, said: “Sinead is the definition of an Emerging Talent for AUDE and a great example for everyone of what those people embarking on second careers can achieve. She really makes a great effort in bridging the gap between academia, students and estates, and we appreciate her work in driving a positive culture of collaboration, for instance with her joint leadership of the university’s LGBT+ staff group.”

Now in its fourth year, the AUDE Awards look for teams, projects and individuals who have made a significant contribution to enhancing excellence, and ensuring university estates provide best value to support the institutional mission and promote professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness. The awards provide an excellent opportunity to showcase sector achievements and best practice taking place in our institutions today.


AUDE Awards 2018