2023 Awards of Excellence Nominees Announced!

  • April 24, 2023

Each year, Parks and Leisure Australia acknowledges excellence in our industry through its prestigious Awards of Excellence. These annual awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding initiatives and innovative efforts of ‘the people behind the places’ which promote good use of leisure time for a number of social, environmental and economic benefits to the community. 

We are pleased to announce this year’s nominees below and look forward to celebrating their great efforts and achievements at the 2023 Awards of Excellence Dinner in June. 

A huge congratulations to all the outstanding nominees!

David Aldous Emerging Leader Award

This award seeks to recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions made by a student or emerging professional (under 30 years of age) in a course of study leading to a nationally recognised qualification in the sector throughout Australia or who has made a significant contribution to the parks and leisure industry.

  • Amy Dingle – SPORTENG
  • Ebonee Armistead – Parks Victoria 
  • Natasha Wainshtien – Hume City Council 
  • Cameron Miller – Cardinia Shire Council
  • Abby Freney – Golf Australia
  • Sarah Brophy – Yarra Ranges Council
Proudly sponsored by

Otium is transforming the sport, recreation and leisure industries to meet future community needs through our diverse range of services and expertise in every facet of the industry, throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific. We offer realistic evidence-based solutions scaled to suit the needs of each project, informed by decades of practical experience and more than 2,000 projects.

Community Based Initiative of the Year Award

This award is designed to recognise the combined effort that is required to successfully plan, organise and manage effective initiatives, projects, programs, events and/or festivals which promote and enhance leisure time for a number of social, environmental and economic benefits to the community.

  • Walking Thomastown 2022 – City of Whittlesea
  • All In Program – Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre
  • Community based edible garden beds – South Gippsland Shire Council
  • Innovation in Engaging with CALD – Maribyrnong City Council, Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, Victoria University
  • Q League at Narrandjeri Stadium – Clublinks Management Pty Ltd
Proudly sponsored by

Christie Barbecues is an Australian family-owned public barbecue manufacturer. We have focused exclusively on providing the safest, most reliable and sustainable products for over fifty years. Our reputation for value and quality makes us the leader in public barbecue technology. Our products are the best in the category and provide a superior cooking experience.

Environmental Stewardship Award

This award celebrates and acknowledges those who protect nature and parks, improve climate resilience, ensure sustainability, and care for our land, as well as champion all of these areas. Awarded to an individual, a team, or an organisation for the development of innovative processes, practices, or technologies that contribute to the development of a sustainable future.

  • Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre – Brimbank City Council
  • Altona Foreshore revitalisation (PA Burns Reserve) – Hobsons Bay City Council
  • Re-Covering Australia – Matta™
Proudly sponsored by

@leisure is a sports, aquatic, open space planning consultancy with more than 30 year’s experience. We provide rigorous strategies, business cases, feasibility studies and facility plans that are market tested and practical to implement. Our staff with sport, planning, and business backgrounds provide excellent service and good value for money.

Strategic and Master Planning Award

This award recognises the development of strategies for parks, open space, sport, recreation and leisure opportunities by rewarding outstanding examples of strategic planning that have enriched and revitalised a community.

  • Wilson Botanic Park Berwick Master Plan 2022 – City of Casey
  • Recreational Facilities for BMX and MTB Strategy – @leisure Planners, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
  • Disability Action Plan – Parks Victoria
  • Progress Reserve Master Plan Implementation Plan – Hume City Council
  • AFL Infrastructure Plan: Towards 2030 – Australian Football League (AFL)
  • Portarlington Recreation Reserve Master Plan – City of Greater Geelong
Proudly sponsored by

WillPlay is an Australian manufacturer of play and fitness equipment with an extensive range of products to suit all size projects and budgets. Using premium materials such as aluminium, stainless steel and recycled plastics, WillPlay offers world class quality in a cost effective package. WillPlay’s custom design capabilities can bring your next project to life and create a true destination experience for all users.

Community Facility of the Year Award

This community facility award recognises facilities that demonstrate innovative features of design, development and operation.

  • Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre – Brimbank City Council
  • Cranbourne West Community Hub – City of Casey
  • Lara Recreation Reserve Tennis & Netball Facility – City of Greater Geelong
  • Wahgunyah Recreation Reserve – iDwala Pty Ltd, Indigo Shire Council
  • Narrandjeri Stadium – Darebin City Council
Proudly sponsored by

insideEDGE supports communities to improve sport, leisure and recreation facilities and programs. We aim to drive and influence more conscious decision making about investment in community infrastructure. Our work is designed to encourage growth in participation and support the increased use of facilities, resulting in better connection of communities with sport and government.

Park of the Year Award

This award celebrates and promotes vibrant, successful well designed and managed new or significantly revitalised parks/ open spaces by recognising and rewarding exceptional examples of best practice in terms of design and management. This includes parks and open spaces that are large, small, linear, along transport corridors, road closures, foreshore and reclaimed urban spaces.

  • Wonguim Wilam Warrandyte – Manningham City Council, Playce Pty Ltd
  • Echuca East Community Precinct Redevelopment – Campaspe Shire Council
  • Whittlesea Public Gardens Stage 1 – City of Whittlesea
  • Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park – Parks Victoria
  • Romsey Ecotherapy Park-A Community Vision Realised – Macedon Ranges Shire Council
  • Glengala Road Pocket Park – Brimbank City Council, DEECA
Proudly sponsored by

Coolabah Turf is an industry leader in the production, sale and distribution of premium instant turf and lawns for life. They are one of the nation’s largest growers of premium drought-tolerant, water-smart turfgrass varieties and are regarded amongst the most efficient and technologically advanced turfgrass operations in the world. Coolabah Turf are passionate about the turf and lawn industry and the power their people and products have to make a positive impact on people’s lives, one backyard and open green space at a time.

Playspace Award (<$0.5M)

This award is given to a playspace under the value of $500,000 that involves a range of stakeholders, contributes to the creation of a sense of “place” for its local community and exhibits landscape and/or structural design innovation that delights and aids childhood development.

  • “Wirima” in Rotary Park Rochester – Campaspe Shire Council
  • Citizen’s Park Playground, Richmond – Jeavons Landscape Architects, City of Yarra
  • R Penman Reserve Playground – Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
  • McCubbin Drive Reserve – City of Greater Geelong
  • Westerfield Drive Sensory Playspace Notting Hill – City of Monash
Proudly sponsored by

P&H Civil Landscape is an emerging business in the civil landscape works field, building a reputation for excellence, and delivering cost effective, timely and quality services with a real focus on collaboration with our clients. Understanding the needs of the industry, P&H Civil Landscape strive to understand client’s needs from initial pricing through to project completion to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

Playspace Award (>$0.5M)

This award is given to a playspace over the value of $500,000 that involves a range of stakeholders, contributes to the creation of a sense of “place” for its local community and exhibits landscape and/or structural design innovation that delights and aids childhood development.

  • Guide Park Regional Playspace – Bass Coast Shire Council
  • Galyan Woka Redevelopment – Campaspe Shire Council
  • Somerville Active Hub – Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
  • Olivia Park Playspace, Truganina – Human Habitats, Lark Industries
  • Cameron Avenue & Progress Park Active Playspace – City of Monash
  • Victoria Park Regional Playground – City of Boroondara
  • Cary Street Nature Escape – Brimbank City Council, DEECA, Koorie Homework Club
Proudly sponsored by

Ground Science is a multi-disciplinary geotechnical consultancy company, that specializes in all forms of sports field profile design and engineering. We are one of the countries leading consultancy in this space and service clients Nationally and Internationally. Our designs focus on leading technology with sustainability in mind and provide niche expertise.

Research Award

This award acknowledges outstanding research achievement by a group or individual, professionals, student or academics who have made a significant contribution to the parks and leisure industry through expanded knowledge enhancement promoting the benefits or importance of the parks and leisure sector in Australian society.

  • Social Impacts of the Australian Aquatic Industry – Swinburne University, Royal Life Saving Association of Australia
Proudly sponsored by

Endeavour Turf Professionals are one Australia’s leading sports field design and turf agronomy consultancies. For over 17 years, our expert team of designers, consultants and agronomists have been working with Local Government Authorities and the professional turf industry designing and improving natural turf surfaces.

Best Use of Technology Award

This award acknowledges outstanding and innovative achievement in the area of technology application and how that application has benefited the industry.

  • Data in the Park – Using sensors in green spaces – City of Melbourne
  • Digital equity in Doveton’s public spaces – City of Casey
  • SmarTrack system at Sandringham Athletics Track – SPORTENG, Polytan
Proudly sponsored by

GreenLife Group is a national leader in property services and open space management. GLG delivers a wide range of integrated commercial landscape, horticultural and environmental services that include property and ground maintenance, sports turf, arboriculture, and development of sustainable solutions. With more than 27 years of industry experience, GLG is a dedicated open space specialist.