WA Awards of Excellence 2024

20 Jun 2024
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PLAWA Awards Ceremony

Each year, PLA 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 the wise use of leisure time for a multitude of social, environmental, and economic benefits to the community. It’s a celebration of those who contribute to creating vibrant, healthy, and inclusive spaces for all.

These prestigious awards honour remarkable projects and initiatives that have contributed significantly to the advancement of our industry. Starting within our regions, PLA recognises outstanding achievements across a diverse spectrum of fields, from park development to community engagement programs. The winners of these awards represent what we recognise as excellence, showcasing projects and initiatives that not only deliver outstanding value but also enrich the lives of our communities. PLAWA award winners will become National finalists and are invited to attend the National Awards of Excellence gala.

The WA Awards of Excellence ceremony will be held on 20th June 2024 at Ambrose Estate.  We encourage you to book early as this event has sold out for the last three years.  Tickets include beverages and post event canapes and provides a fabulous opportunity to network with your peers. 

Award Nominees Announced

To see 2024 nominees, click on the link in each category description below.

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

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Woodlands is WA family-owned and operated project-based company that specialises in solving problems for our customers all across our state. Woodlands supply only Western Australia and Australian Made Street & Park Furniture and associated customised infrastructure, along with specialised premium products sourced from sustainable manufacturers. In essence, we want our products and services to be in complete harmony with our care factor for your own project outcomes, no matter how large or small. For over 30 years Woodlands have been here to help solve your problems with quality-assured outcomes across the community.

To see 2024 WA nominations click here

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

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To see 2024 WA nominations click here

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

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To see 2024 WA nominations click here

Regional/Rural Australia includes all towns, small cities and areas that lie beyond the major capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart and Canberra), that make a significant contribution through community initiatives that contribute to the parks and leisure industry. These projects can be play spaces, events, tourism, trails, programs, repurposing of facilities and environmental initiatives.

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To see 2024 WA nominations click here

This award celebrates and acknowledges those who protect nature and parks, improve climate resilience, ensure sustainability, and care for our land, as well as champions in all these areas as part of this award. 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. Developing and implementing a sustainable approach to economic, social, and environmental concerns should be integrated into all core activities in addition to complying with industry standards and best practices. Those responsible for subordinate strategies to an institution’s overarching strategic plan are not included in this category.

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To see 2024 WA nominations click here

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.

To see 2024 WA nominations click here

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 practices 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.

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To see 2024 WA nominations click here

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.

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To see 2024 WA nominations click here

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.

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To see 2024 WA nominations click here

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.

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To see 2024 WA nominations click here

This Award highlights the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the exceptional commitment of individuals who have bolstered the successful execution of events, professional development programs, workshops, advocacy campaigns, research endeavours, projects, and administrative functions of PLAWA, for the betterment of the parks and leisure industry. Nominees for this category have made remarkable contributions that have significantly enhanced the mission of PLAWA.

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Nominations for 2024 are:

Jarrad Mohr | City of Swan

Jarrad is a key figure in the Leisure Facilities Network, contributing significantly to PLAWA’s professional development, research, and industry projects. From shaping and presenting the Leisure Facility Managers Course since its conception in 2018 to implementing initiatives like the Leisure Centre Fees and Charges, and volunteering on the reference group for developing the ALC Social Value Model his leadership and passion for the industry is evident. Jarrad’s willingness to share insights and his extensive knowledge at conferences, host technical tours and participate in the wide array of PLAWA data collection projects demonstrates his commitment to advancing industry knowledge and fostering collaboration. 

                                              Dave Goodwin | City of Busselton

Dave Goodwin’s remarkable dedication and contribution as a volunteer on both the course content reference group and as a Presenter for the PLAWA Leisure Facility Managers Course over the past four years has been instrumental in the success of the course.  His extensive expertise in leisure centre management has significantly enhanced course content and delivery, equipping emerging managers with essential skills and knowledge. Dave’s passion and commitment to building capacity in the Leisure Facility Network are also demonstrated by his continued support of PLAWA through shaping and contributing to ALC data collection projects and research.  Despite the demands and regional location, he consistently volunteers to help progress the parks and leisure industry.

Michael Hamling | City of Joondalup

Mike generously shares his knowledge and experience within the Parks and Environment Network and the broader parks and leisure industry. With a notable history as a former WA Regional President, Councillor, and National Board Director of PLA, he has dedicated significant volunteer hours to PLAWA, presenting at workshops and conferences. Mike’s involvement in the Perth Metropolitan Parks Managers committee, particularly in Operations, has led to metro-wide collaboration opportunities. Recently recognised by the Future Green City World Congress in The Netherlands for his sector-wide approach to urban greening, Mike consistently encourages staff and colleagues to engage in PLAWA activities, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment. Approachable, pleasant, and humorous, he ensures that everyone feels comfortable seeking assistance and sharing ideas.

Wayne Stuart | Otium Planning

Wayne has significantly supported PLAWA across multiple projects, resources, and professional development initiatives. Serving as a Regional Councillor from 2018 to 2022 and as a National Director in 2022, Wayne has demonstrated strategic leadership within the organisation.  He played a pivotal role as the volunteer project lead for the development of the Recreation Strategy Checklist in 2019, conducting workshops in Bunbury, Gascoyne, Northam, Perth, Exmouth, Kalgoorlie, Karratha from 2019 to 2023.  Wayne was instrumental in developing the Leisure and Recreation Planners Level 1 Course in 2022, delivering and facilitating the course in 2023 and 2024.  Wayne co-developed the Leisure and Recreation Planning Definitions Guidelines, presenting at the 2022 conference, and conducting two webinar presentations in 2024.  Wayne’s active participation in the Leisure and Recreation Planning Network, advisory and reference groups, underscores his outstanding contribution to PLAWA. 

Dr Paula Hooper | Edith Cowan University

Paula tirelessly provides quality information to the parks and leisure industry, aiming to guide decision-making about public parkland and community facilities. She enthusiastically champions the creation of a central hub for free access to information and interpretive mapping, drawing from various sources including open projects, grants, and collaborations with local governments. Paula readily accommodates new requests, shares innovations, and fosters collaboration on practical projects. Her leadership and dedication, showcased through her significant volunteer contributions to research, presentations, and project development, greatly benefit the industry.

This event is only possible because of the generous support of our sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor

Major Sponsor

Gold Sponsors


Venue Sponsor
Networking Sponsors


Parks & Leisure Australia (WA) Regional Sponsors and Partners

The State government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is a major supporter of Parks and Leisure Australia in Western Australia. Sport and recreation build stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.

Parks and Leisure Australia WA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today


Ambrose Estate

200. The Boulevard
Wembley Downs, WA 6019 Australia

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June 20 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

$60.00 – $110.00


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