Entry Guidelines

Key dates

Milestone Date
Entries open 12 February 2024
Entries close 18 March 2024
Voting opens 19 March 2024
Voting closes 26 April 2024
Winners announced July 2024

How to enter

You can enter the 2024 National Awards quickly and simply online: nalg.awardsplatform.com. Please ensure you have followed the Entry Guidelines, addressed and referenced the criteria in the relevant award category.

Entry requirements

Eligibility Criteria: Each entry must fulfil the following criteria to be eligible.

  • Be an eligible entity (refer to Who is eligible to enter).
  • Have endorsement from your council management to enter the project.
  • Ensure the initiative has not previously won a National Award or received an honourable mention in any category.
  • Complete all contact details at the beginning of the entry form.
  • Provide an overview (maximum 350 words) that describes your initiative, what it does, the issue that it addresses, how it fits into the category, who it benefits and what community outcomes it is providing.
  • Upload 5 media items (images and/or video) that represent your initiative.
  • Submit your entry before the entry deadline.

Note that the overview and images submitted will be publicly available on the voting platform once the first stage of the assessment process has been cleared. Additionally, by uploading your entry images you are giving permission for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts to use pictures, video recordings, sound recordings, transcriptions of sound recordings or video recordings, or other reproductions of me, or of materials provided by me (Material) in any way, including to edit, copy, exhibit, publish and distribute that Material to third parties. I understand and consent to this permission applying in perpetuity and extending to the use of Material by this parties.  I waive any right to compensation from any person arising out of or related to the use of the Material.

Entry to the National Awards is free. There are no limits to how many categories or initiatives you may enter. Initiatives may be entered into one or more categories, provided you address the criteria of the category. This can be done through utilising the 'copy' feature of the online platform to create a copy of the entry and change the category as required.

Note: You may re-enter entries you have submitted in previous years, unless the entry was a category winner or honourable mention.

Your initiative may be of any size, may be a new initiative in 2024 or have been running for some years. Entries will be displayed in a unique order to voters during the voting period. The winner of each category will be the eligible initiative which receives the most votes during the voting period. Honourable mentions may also be awarded in some or all categories.

You may edit your entry after submission, up until the entry deadline.

Entries for the 2024 Awards will be accepted from 5:00 pm Monday 12 February 2024 until 11:59 pm on Monday 18 March 2024. No late entries will be accepted.

Who is eligible to enter?

Eligible entities: 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. If developed with other organisations, the local government entity must be the lead applicant. All entries require endorsement by council management prior to entry.

Ineligible entities: Local governments that are under administration for any reason other than amalgamation are ineligible.

Primary entry: One local government organisation must be the lead on every entry. This is the case even when the entry has multiple collaborating partners with other councils or organisations. Acknowledgment and reference to those partners can be made in the entry submission.

Funding partners: Councils that receive funding from other bodies (including the Australian Government) may enter, but one local government entity must be the leading entity for the entry.

Award categories

In 2024, there will be eleven award categories that celebrate the strengths of local government, their ability to deliver positive outcomes, and their role in building strong and cohesive communities. These categories are the same as the 2023 categories.

Women in Local Government

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.

Waste Management

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.

Road Safety

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.

Regional Growth

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.

Productivity through Infrastructure

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.

Indigenous Recognition

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.

Disaster Readiness and Recovery

The 'Disaster Readiness and Recovery' 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.

Creativity and Culture

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.

Cohesive Communities

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.

Career Starter

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.

Addressing Violence against Women and their Children

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.

Assessment process

Entries will be assessed in two stages.

  1. Compliance check
    The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts will review entries and entrants to ensure entries have met the eligibility requirements.
  2. Category voting
    Local governments and the public will have the opportunity to vote for the entry or entries that they believe meet the National Award category outcomes and display excellence and innovation.

Voting process

Voting will be open from 5:00 pm AEDT on Tuesday 19 March 2024 to and close at 11:59 pm on Friday 26 April 2024.

To cast a vote, go to https://bit.ly/voteNALG2023. You do not require an account to vote. Individuals can place 1 (one) vote per category. To ensure equal opportunity, entries will be displayed in a unique order to voters.

The winner of each category will be the eligible initiative which receives the most votes during the voting period. Honourable mentions may also be awarded in some or all categories.

Local governments are encouraged to promote their entries and gain votes amongst their communities.

A Voting and Communications Pack is available by contacting: Awards@infrastructure.gov.au.

How we recognise winners' achievements

The 2024 National Award winners will be announced by the Minister for Local Government following closure of the voting period.

Each category winner will receive an award certificate and a commemorative trophy. The department will also prepare a short video to promote the winners across social media platforms.

Further information

If you require any additional information, please email awards@infrastructure.gov.au.