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National Awards for Local Government

About the National Awards for Local Government

The National Awards for Local Government (National Awards) are an annual celebration of local government achievements in Australia. The National Awards highlight initiatives implemented by local governments that are innovative, make a difference to their local communities, display excellence, and have outcomes that are replicable across the country.

Following the entry period, councils have the opportunity to recognise the work and achievements of their peers in the local government sector, through the voting system to determine the 2023 National Award winners. Voting is also open to the public.

If you would like more information, or would like to raise a question or concern, please register for the webinar the department will be delivering on 8 February 2023 using the webinar registration form.

2023 National Awards

Entries for the 2023 National Awards will open on 6 February 2023. Entries must be submitted online at https://nalg.awardsplatform.com. All elected local government organisations, local government associations and other recognised organisations that provide direct services to Australian communities are eligible to enter an initiative.

Key Dates in 2023

Milestone Date
Entries open 6 February 2023
Entries close 13 March 2023
Voting opens 14 March 2023
Voting closes 14 April 2023
Winners announced June 2023

For further information, including eligibility and entry requirements, please see the Entry Guidelines.

If you would like to subscribe to email updates about the National Awards, please send your details to awards@infrastructure.gov.au.

2023 Award categories

In 2023, there will be eleven award categories that celebrate the strengths of local government, their ability to deliver positive outcomes, and their role in building stronger cohesive communities. These categories are the same as the 2022 categories.

The 'Women in Local Government' category recognises initiatives and female leaders in local government which:

  • support local women to stand for elected roles to represent their communities;
  • implement initiatives in the workplace which help to improve the progress and representation of women in leadership positions;
  • establish programs to support and recognise women as current and emerging leaders, including mentoring, networking and training opportunities; and/or
  • showcase an outstanding female leader who is making a positive difference to their local government and community.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • promoting greater roles for women in leadership, both as elected representatives and officers;
  • developing gender equality strategies and programs to support women of all ages to participate and become leaders in their workplace and community; and/or
  • advocating for gender equality, women’s rights and representation in the workplace.

The 'Waste Management' category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • improve resource recovery and reduce amounts of waste generated in order to benefit human health, the environment and the economy;
  • increase use of recycled material and build demand and markets for recycled products;
  • better manage input and output of waste materials, to benefit human health, environment and economy;
  • improve information to support innovation, guide investment and enable informed community decisions relating to waste management; and/or
  • support the transition to a circular economy by transforming waste into sustainable resources.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • creating employment opportunities, protecting the environment, and better managing valuable and finite resources;
  • recognising the opportunities waste materials can provide and the economic value they retain; and/or

accelerating the recovery and reuse of community resources.

The ‘Road Safety’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • improve road or roadside infrastructure with a focus on safety benefits including heavy vehicle transport;
  • improve emergency medical response services for those involved in road crashes; and/or
  • address the specific safety needs of vulnerable groups or target specific road user risk factors.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • making communities safer and more liveable;
  • reducing the financial costs of road congestion and transport accidents; and/or
  • contributing to reductions in deaths and serious injuries from road crashes.

The ‘Regional Growth’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • improve the liveability of a region and take advantage of region-specific opportunities;
  • empower vibrant and connected regional communities that promote diversity and inclusion; and/or
  • strengthen investment and development opportunities, share resources, build local capability, and create jobs.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • improving productivity, employment and workforce skills throughout the regions;
  • valuing, protecting and promoting diversity, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, cultures and traditions; and/or
  • fostering the development of self-reliant communities and regions with strong economic futures.

The ‘Productivity through Infrastructure’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • utilise technological innovations or regulatory changes;
  • consider sustainability, liveability and productivity in investment strategies and planning; and/or
  • address long-term infrastructure priorities and offer clear economic productivity benefits.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • connecting cities and regions in a way which supports population growth;
  • providing safe and efficient transport links and service delivery; and
  • strengthening and diversifying regional economic bases by better connecting industries to markets and customers.

The ‘Indigenous Recognition’ category recognises Indigenous initiatives and employees in local government which:

  • achieve representation of Indigenous people in their community and inform local government activities and policies;
  • overcome inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through community-based policies and programs that are done in partnership with local Indigenous people;
  • have explicit Indigenous employment goals, strategies and support mechanisms such as Indigenous cadetship programs, mentoring and cultural awareness initiatives; and/or
  • have an outstanding Indigenous employee who is making a difference to their community and workplace by delivering high quality initiatives and outcomes.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and communities to share skills and experiences;
  • undertaking initiatives that reinforce, strengthen, and promote Indigenous culture, traditions and languages;
  • raising awareness and understanding of the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and culture; and/or
  • building positive and productive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through policies and programs.

The ‘Disaster Preparedness’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • support communities to manage and adapt to climatic events by investing in disaster prevention, recovery and preparedness;
  • actively reduce risks from disasters and pandemics, particularly as they impact local communities;
  • ensure the Australian community is prepared to endure more frequent challenging events; and/or
  • implement programs and policies that ensure communities survive and prosper following these events.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • lowering the potential impacts of disasters and pandemics by analysing and managing the causes;
  • identifying risks and mapping capacity to respond to hazards;
  • protecting lives and livelihoods, communities and individuals; and/or
  • reducing damage or loss from disaster, particularly when it comes to public and private infrastructure.

The ‘Creativity and Culture’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • create opportunities to showcase the best of communities through arts and culture;
  • embrace wellbeing and diversity, and encourage social inclusion through community participation in artistic activities; and/or
  • leverage arts and culture to improve community sustainability and increase local economic opportunity.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • fostering opportunities for the enjoyment of the arts through broad community engagement;
  • establishing local arts hubs for community arts, performances and exhibitions; and/or
  • supporting arts initiatives that foster inclusion and skill development.

The ‘Cohesive Communities’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • sustain and celebrate the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of our society;
  • foster a sense of belonging, identity and shared values and promote civic rights and responsibilities;
  • develop accessible infrastructure to encourage participation in the local community and build community harmony; and/or
  • celebrate the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the community and foster an inclusive and respectful community.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • creating communities that everyone can belong to, identify with and contribute to equally;
  • increasing participation in local communities and building community harmony; and/or
  • celebrating differences, talents, and fostering an inclusive and respectful community.

The ‘Career Starter’ category recognises outstanding career starter initiatives in local government which:

  • support entry-level employment opportunities in local government through apprenticeships, traineeships or cadetships;
  • implement initiatives in the workplace which help to improve the progress and representation of junior employees;
  • establish programs to support and encourage emerging leaders, including mentoring, networking and training opportunities; and/or
  • demonstrate an outstanding apprentice, trainee or cadet who is making a difference to their community and workplace and that has been outstanding in all aspects of their training.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • promoting greater roles for young people, new entrants and those seeking a career change;
  • increasing workforce participation from people of all ages, and supporting succession planning and knowledge retention in the council and community; and/or
  • creating new opportunities for members of the community to work and stay in their region while being able to reach their potential.

The ‘Addressing Violence against Women and their Children’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • address underlying causes of gender inequality and power imbalances to eliminate violence against women and their children;
  • support and advocate for women and children experiencing family and domestic violence and sexual harassment; and/or
  • raise awareness and create cultures and communities of respect, inclusion and gender equality.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • preventing violence towards women by driving sustainable change in community awareness, attitudes and behaviours;
  • supporting women and children who are at risk of, or experiencing, family and domestic violence, sexual violence or sexual harassment; and/or
  • changing the attitudes and social norms that excuse or condone disrespect, sexual harassment and abuse.

2022 National Award winners

The winners of the 2022 National Awards for Local Government were announced on 13 October 2022.

The full details of the winners' initiatives can be found on the 2022 Winners page.

Previous winners