National Finalists

Congratulations to Parks & Leisure Australia’s National Finalists!

Join us in celebrating the outstanding achievements and innovations of 'the people behind the places.' The winners will be announced on 15 October in Brisbane at our Awards of Excellence Gala, following our National Conference. Best of luck to all finalists! If you have any enquiries, please feel free to reach out to the National Office.

If you would like to register for the Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner, please visit our conference website: PLA2024

Displaying 1 - 25 of 43

Future Trees Benchmarking Study

Research Award

SA/NT

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Submitting Organisation:

City of Marion on behalf of Resilient South

Overview:

Ensuring the trees we plant today are still healthy in the years to come is a major challenge. This project collated the tree databases developed by councils across Adelaide to map the diversity and demographics of Adelaide's public urban forest. This information helps us to identify which trees are vulnerable and which species and cultivars we should plant more of to ensure a healthy and resilient urban forest. We have also used the data collected in this phase to identify trees which are safe to plant around power infrastructure to improve planting choices for landowners.


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Submitting Organisation:

City of Moreton Bay

Overview:

At City of Moreton Bay, we’re serious about closing the gap for women’s participation in sport. The football precinct at South Pine Sports Complex delivers on our commitment to provide facilities that are fit for purpose, adaptive, cohesive, strengthen our community and create opportunities for all. The facility provides equitable access for people from all backgrounds to participate in the nation's fastest growing sport while supporting pathways so that no girl is left behind.


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Chahana Paudel

David Aldous Emerging Leader Award

VIC/TAS

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Overview:

Chahana is a PhD student at Deakin University, and a Recreation and Open Space Project Manager at Whitehorse City Council. With both research and practice experience, Chahana consistently demonstrates a commitment to bridging the gap between academia and practice. Her proactive approach in translating research findings into practical solutions showcases her dedication to advancing the parks and leisure sector. She excels at fostering a team-based environment, navigating diverse stakeholder interests, and prioritising inclusive community engagement to ensure projects align with community needs.


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Stuart Park All Ages All Abilities Playground

Playspace Award (greater than $500k)

NSW/ACT

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Submitting Organisation:

Wollongong City Council

Overview:

Stuart Park All Ages All Abilities Playground is inspired by and built for adults with disability. Informed by The Playground Project, a collaboration between the University of Wollongong, the Disability Trust and Council, we worked with adults with intellectual disability, to understand their play preferences. The playground caters for larger adult bodies with intellectual disability and offers multiple challenges whereby all users can learn new skills, make friends and build long-term resilience and confidence to tackle the world.


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Submitting Organisation:

Katie McDonald - Victoria University

Overview:

A critical analysis of aquatic and recreation centre planning and decision-making: A tale of two Cases in metropolitan Melbourne, is derived from a PhD research project completed by Dr. Katie McDonald at Victoria University. This research provides a comprehensive analysis, examining the multifaceted interactions between public sector management theories and local contextual factors. By uniquely applying local government theories the study uncovers insights into the influences shaping ARC planning and decision-making by providing actionable recommendations for optimising ARC planni


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Concord Oval Community and Sports Precinct

Community Facility of the Year Award

NSW/ACT

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Submitting Organisation:

City of Canada Bay Council

Overview:

The Concord Oval Community and Sports Precinct, a remarkable once-in-a-generation project. This transformative world class facility, funded by the NSW Government, the City of Canada Bay, and other partners, now stands as a vibrant recreational hub for the community. With an indoor recreation centre, open green spaces, community rooms, and upgraded sporting facilities, it exemplifies Council’s commitment to quality community infrastructure, offering mixed recreational opportunities for everyone.


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Albany Youth Challenge Park

Playspace Award (greater than $500k)

WA

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Submitting Organisation:

Common Ground Trails

Joint Organisation:

City of Albany

Second Joint Organisation:

Skate Sculpture

Overview:

The Albany Youth Challenge Park boasts one of the largest dedicated combined pump, jump and skate facilities in Australia. Designed and built to attract and engage a variety of user ages and abilities, which fell between the gaps in the structured and indoor sports domain, this play space has delivered on the City of Albany’s mission to create an inclusive and safe space for all youth in Albany.


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Paradise Recreation Plaza

Park of the Year Award

SA/NT

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Submitting Organisation:

Campbelltown City Council

Joint Organisation:

JPE Design Studio

Overview:

Paradise Recreation Plaza in Paradise South Australia provides an exciting and dynamic space for people of all ages, abilities and skill levels to enjoy. It offers a new safe, accessible and highly functioning recreation destination providing high quality play, skate/scooter, bike/BMX, parkour, ninja adventure, hardcourt space, kick-about grassed area and picnic/BBQ facilities. The redevelopment was completed in December 2023 at a project cost of $3.89 million, with $1.52 million awarded from the South Australian State Government’s Planning and Development Fund Open Space Grant.


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'Olgeta Deadly' Sport and Recreation Program

Community Based Initiative of the Year Award

QLD

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Submitting Organisation:

Sport and Recreation - Department and Tourism and Sport

Overview:

The Deadly Active and Torres Strait Community Sport and Recreation Programs represent a transformational shift in the delivery of physical activity programs to discrete First Nations communities in Queensland. These programs empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to have a genuine say in how physical activity programs are delivered to them in line with the Queensland Government’s commitment to self-determination for Australia's first peoples.


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Submitting Organisation:

Sunshine Coast Council and Hassell

Overview:

The Sunshine Coast Ecological Park Master Plan provides the guidance to establish a new kind of park that considers people, wildlife, resources and vegetation equally - a genuine balance of recreation and ecological restoration and healing of Country. Built on a platform of extensive pre-planning, strategic thinking, collaboration and a community driven design process, the Master Plan provides a recipe for a park that will provide residents and visitors to the Sunshine Coast with a diverse recreational, educational and re-wilding experiences with a backdrop of a continually changing landscape.


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Free Youth Pool Entry Pilot

Community Based Initiative of the Year Award

VIC/TAS

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Submitting Organisation:

Aligned Leisure

Overview:

Taking a bold approach to accessibility and inclusion, the Free Youth Pool Entry Pilot breaks new ground within the industry through the removal of all youth entry fees – prioritising community benefit over financial gains and demonstrating a unique approach to reducing barriers for participation, promoting positive youth behaviour and improving community safety, whilst simultaneously creating opportunities for young people to be empowered in the co-design of a community project to create a safe, welcoming and affordable community space for all residents.


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Launching the WA Tree Festival

Community Based Initiative of the Year Award

WA

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Submitting Organisation:

City of Stirling

Overview:

The WA Tree Festival, is a groundbreaking State-wide celebration of trees and the natural environment, that soared to new heights under the driving force and continued leadership of the City of Stirling in 2023. It has now been firmly established as the annual Local Government sector's flagship community awareness and education initiative for trees.


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Daughters and Dads Football

Community Based Initiative of the Year Award

NSW/ACT

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Submitting Organisation:

Football NSW

Overview:

The Daughters and Dads Football Program engages fathers and their primary school-aged daughters in football to enhance social-emotional well-being. Supported by the NSW Football Legacy Program, it challenges gender norms, strengthens familial bonds, and promotes physical activity. Structured over 9 weeks to align with school terms, it fosters values like persistence and resilience. With over 630 participating families since July 2022, it attracts newcomers to football, promoting community engagement. NOTE Information in this submission is not to be distributed outside the purposes of the award


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Monina Gilbey

Environmental Stewardship Award

SA/NT

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Submitting Organisation:

Golf Australia

Overview:

Monina's impact at Glenelg Golf Club goes beyond golf and beyond Australia. At local to global stages, including the 2023 World Parks Congress, she strategically communicates sustainability efforts and fosters biodiversity awareness. Member updates, Golf Australia channels, and collaborations expand initiatives. Engagement with #WildlifeWednesday and the GEO Foundation, featuring on their website, creates international recognition. Monina's speaking engagements and awards highlight her leadership, positioning her as an environmental sustainability leader in golf and internationally.


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Wadanggari Park

Park of the Year Award

NSW/ACT

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Submitting Organisation:

Arcadia Landscape Architecture

Joint Organisation:

Lane Cove Council

Overview:

The only park built over a railway line in Australia, Wadanggari Park is the result of innovative thinking and a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach. This highly complex project delivers much-needed public open space to the St Leonards CBD, supporting the new residential and commercial communities moving into the suburb. Wadanggari Park provides significant open space amenity with spaces for play, passive recreation, events, alfresco dining, vibrant retail and pedestrian connections to existing and future public transport infrastucture.


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Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta Adventure Playground

Playspace Award (greater than $500k)

SA/NT

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Submitting Organisation:

Department for Environment and Water

Joint Organisation:

City of Marion

Overview:

Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta Adventure Playground is one of the biggest nature play spaces in South Australia. Designed as an all-inclusive, innovative place for children (and adults) of all ages, cultures, degrees of mobility, gender, and neurodivergence to enjoy imaginative and creative play in a natural setting. The Adventure Playground and trails feature on-ground interpretive signage as well as app and augmented reality elements exploring the Aboriginal and European history of the park as well as its environmental restoration and activities for all.


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Submitting Organisation:

Landscape Elements

Overview:

“The Oval”, the first of three neighbourhoods delivered through the Subi East project, is revitalising a WA icon – Subiaco Oval. Demolition of the old stadium provided a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to reimagine inner-city living, with design of the public realm placing people and environment first. The 4.1ha park area (the oval playing surface and surrounding parkland) raises the bar on provision of all-inclusive community assets and offers unprecedented heritage learning experiences with a dual focus on Whadjuk Noongar heritage and WA football history.


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Orana Community Place

Community Facility of the Year Award

VIC/TAS

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Submitting Organisation:

City of Casey

Overview:

Orana Community Place is the result of a successful partnership that enabled us to provide a valuable community facility much earlier than is usually possible in newly built areas. Opening in 2023, this state-of-the-art hub is home to playgroups, school holiday programs, social groups, wellness activities and a café that has become the heart of the community. The project aimed to deliver an interim community hub and early years facility in the growth corridor, facilitating a greater sense of community connection, ability to access health and wellbeing programs, and early years services sooner.


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Bradbury Park Playspace

Playspace Award (greater than $500k)

QLD

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Submitting Organisation:

Brisbane City Council

Overview:

The Bradbury Park Playspace redefines playtime and is unlike anything else in Brisbane, South East Queensland or even Australia. At the heart of the captivating playspace is the ‘biological city’ theme, which explores and celebrates the complexity and interconnectivity within nature. When its array of byways and cleverly integrated surrounds are explored by the community, and visitors from across the country, the playspace bursts with life! While providing significant development opportunities deliberately aimed at older children, the playspace includes inclusive features enjoyed by all.


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Submitting Organisation:

City of Gosnells

Overview:

The Southern and Canning Rivers provide vital ecosystem services. With much riparian vegetation along the rivers being degraded, restoration is key. This project is the first stage in restoring 10.3ha of riparian vegetation along the Southern River where it meets the Canning. When the project started, 80% of the site was in a degraded state, full of invasive weeds, and low cover and diversity of native species. Through significant weed control and revegetation works, weed cover has been greatly reduced across the site, and 2ha transformed from 100% Arum Lily to native sedgeland.


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Submitting Organisation:

Otium Planning Group

Overview:

Otium Planning Group undertook a Review of Supply and Demand for Sport Facilities across the North Sydney Region of Councils Region. The research study provides an evidence based approach to the analysis of demand for sporting infrastructure across eight Local Government Areas. It quantifies the current and forecast deficit of space for sport provision and providing a range of opportunities to address this shortfall.


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City of Stirling - Community Infrastructure Plan 2023-2033

Strategic and Master Planning Award

WA

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Submitting Organisation:

City of Stirling

Overview:

The City of Stirling is leading the way by taking a strategic and holistic approach to the provision of community infrastructure. The Community Infrastructure Plan adds a new layer of intelligence to our approach to our best-practice Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework. While our 10-year Strategic Community Plan – ‘Sustainable Stirling 2022-2032’ – sets out our broad vision and key result areas, our Community Infrastructure Plan forms an integral component, establishing future infrastructure needs and delivering upon our new vision.


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Stacey Bentley

David Aldous Emerging Leader Award

QLD

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Overview:

Stacey has continually strived for excellence in her career and has motivated not only herself but also her peers. Stacey has always aspired to step into a leadership role and has now taken on responsibility of managing the administration team Parks and Gardens. In Stacey’s working career, she now delivers presentations and reports to the Executive Leadership Team at SCC. A very important and significance piece of work Stacey facilitated was the development and delivery of our Service Level Framework. This outstanding piece of work has set the benchmark for local government frameworks.


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Cloverton Regional Community and Recreation Needs Assessment

Strategic and Master Planning Award

VIC/TAS

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Submitting Organisation:

City of Whittlesea

Joint Organisation:

Mitchell Shire Council

Second Joint Organisation:

Hume City Council

Overview:

The Cloverton Regional Community and Recreation Needs Assessment outlines the infrastructure required to service a new community the size of Canberra in Melbourne’s north. It will result in over $300M of economic benefit and the construction of 12 vertical indoor courts, an aquatics centre, four sports fields, six outdoor courts and broader recreation facilities such as playspaces and a performing arts centre. This project resulted in the first ever joint Council meeting and will ensure that Whittlesea, Mitchell and Hume residents have access to quality regional infrastructure in the future.


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Devonport Waterfront Park (Haines Park)

Park of the Year Award

VIC/TAS

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Submitting Organisation:

ASPECT Studios

Overview:

The Waterfront Park in Devonport is the centrepiece of the second stage of Devonport’s LIVING CITY Masterplan, the largest urban renewal project undertaken in regional Tasmania. The new Park improves the connection between central Devonport and the Mersey River and provides activity and event spaces for the community in the forms of a nature-based playspace, a sculpture park, an amphitheatre, an events lawn, and a waterfront promenade.


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