The Australian Regional Development Conference proudly announces the winners of the Regional Development Australia: The Innovation Awards 2014. The awards aim to recognise and showcase outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the following categories Economic Development, Planning and Building, Environment and Sustainability Award & Community.

Congratulations to the winners and category runners up.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD – Proudly sponsored by The Regional Development Company

Mr Marcus Westbury, Renew Newcastle
Project: Renew Newcastle

Highly Commended – Mr Will Gerhard, Whitehorse City Council & Ms Julia Fenech, Wodonga Council



Mr Robert Hunt, Liverpool Plains Shire Council
Project: Quipolly Dam Upgrade

Highly Commended – Mr Stephen Smith, Deicke Richards



Ms Samantha Smith, Future Proofing Geelong
Project: Future Proofing Geelong Program

Highly Commended – Mr Adam Gray, Local Government Association of SA


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AWARD – Proudly sponsored by Charles Sturt University

Ms Alana Johnson, Voices for Indi Inc
Project: Voices for Indi

Highly Commended – Mrs Cherelle Brooke, Coffs Harbour City Council


Award categories were judged by the following panel members:

  • Cameron Little, Lecturer, University of New South Wales
  • Susan Benedyka, Founder and Managing Director of The Regional Development Company Pty Ltd (RDC)
  • Tony McBurney, Director, Integrated Design Group

There were an overwhelming number of submissions received and we would like to thank all of those that submitted a nomination.

The Award Presentation Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Regional Development Australia Conference Dinner on Wednesday, 15 October from 7:00pm at the Commercial Club Albury, tickets are available from the conference website.


Rural Awards: recognising contribution

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award recognises contribution to rural communities.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson today congratulated NSW’s Isobel Knight, a succession planning specialist now living at Loomberah near Tamworth as a national runner-up in the award.

The award celebrates her contribution to the rural community of NSW, and rural women’s contributions Australia-wide.

“Isobel has worked closely with more than 400 individual families as part of her business ‘proAGtive’, which delivers targeted workshops across Australia, helping farmers prepare succession plans and navigate through what can be a complex journey,” the minister said.

Mrs Knight received a $10,000 bursary as part of the NSW/ACT State Award and used this to develop an online platform for succession planning that rural businesses can easily access and use, Ms Hodgkinson said.

“This platform will educate farming families about how to prepare their businesses for succession and Isobel hopes it will inspire positive attitudes in relation to planning and encourage more families to do it,” she said. “As national runner-up, Isobel will receive an additional $10,000 bursary to enable her to develop her leadership skills continue to educate about succession planning.”

Applications for the 2014 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award are now open. Read More Daily Liberal

Rural Awards

Recognition awards have an important role in acknowleding and promoting success stories in rural and a regional communities, the media and the broader community.

The Australian Regional Development Conference held on the 15-16 October 2014 in Albury will be hosting The Regional Development Innovation Awards which will be presented at the conference dinner.

The awards aim to recognise and showcase innovation in regional communities. The Awards provide excellent opportunities for networking and recognition. The 2014 Award categories include the following: Economic Development; Planning & Building; Environment & Sustainability; Community Development. The nomination form is on the conference website.

To make a submission for the Innovation Award for this conference please click on this link conference website or contact the conference secretariat at  [email protected].

RDA ConferenceRegional Development Australia: The Conference  15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury Secretariat: (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298 Email: [email protected] URL: