Who can apply?

Organisations active in regional development across Australia, including councils, shires, rural and regional organisations, NGO and branches of government agencies that aim to better serve their communities across Australia.

Award Submission
To submit a nomination please complete the online form

Award Categories

  • Environmental and Sustainability Award
  • Planning and Building Award
  • Leadership Award
  • Economic Development Award
  • Community Development Award

Entry Guidelines
Entries open Tuesday 27 February 2018 and close Monday 23 July 2018. Entries will only be accepted during this timeframe. To enter you must complete the online entry form

The online entry:

  • requires you to provide a brief overall description of your project, for use in the Conference promotional material
  • has a 300-word limit to each criterion
  • requires all selection criteria to be addressed as appropriate to the project; if a criterion is not relevant to the project state ‘not applicable’.

Selection criteria
Entries for the awards should address the following selection criteria:

Innovation and/or best practice
How does your project demonstrate innovation and/or best practice in the way your organisation does business or delivers services to your community?

Process and planning
How did you determine what changes were required to improve your business practices and/or better meet your community’s needs (for example, consultation processes, needs analysis, etcetera)?

Community needs
How are community needs met by this project?

The judging process
Each Award category will be judged by the Committee with judging based on the submitted entry form (entrants do not present). Judging will be based on the material provided by you, within the online entry form.

What do winners receive?

  • An engraved award with your full name, organisation and awards category
  • Framed certificate
  • Recognition at the Awards Presentation Ceremony
  • The opportunity for a two (2) minutes address during the Awards Presentation Ceremony
  • Exclusive discounted registration rate of $699.00 to attend the full conference (save $200).

The winner or a representative from the organisation is required to attend the Ceremony and accept the award otherwise the award will be forfeited.

Important Dates

Abstracts close
1 June 2018
Notification to authors
8 June 2018
Author acceptances
18 June 2018
Draft program available
22 June 2018
Presentation amendments
6 July 2018
Innovation Awards Submission Close
Monday 23 July 2018
Presenter registration and payment
27th July 2018
Full papers for peer review
3 August 2018
Full paper for non-peer review
10 September 2018
Early bird registrations close
3 August 2018


There are sponsorship opportunities for these Awards. The Sponsor of each Award is set at of $3300.00 per award:

  • Naming Rights, logo on the Award trophy, presentation slides and certifi cate as Award Sponsor including presentation of the Award to the recipient and photo (published on website and media)
  • One full registration to the Conference for your organisation representative including access to the educational program
  • Opportunity to purchase maximum of two additional registrations for $350 each
  • For the year of the Conference, listing (includes logo, hyperlink and 50 word corporate bio) on website, Conference app and in Handbook
  • For the year following the Conference, have your logo displayed as previous supporter on the Conference website

2017 Award Winners

Airofresh Pty Ltd
Proudly sponsored by Energy Action

Airofresh” cleans atmosphere without filters. Patented, manufactured in Australia and now sold internationally. Allows storage or fresh produce for long periods without any chemicals. Extends storage shelf life by 75%. Organically registered NASAA. Winner “Best Horticultural Innovation” October 2016 innovation awards in both  – Wandin Valley field day, (Vic) and Karragullen Expo 2016 (WA). Now being adapted to residential use, to provide completely clean internal atmosphere. No more dust, pollen or contaminants.

Innovation in Sealed Roads Maintenance, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
Proudly sponsored by the Association for Sustainability in Business

Maintaining 875km of sealed road network represents a key service delivered by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to the community. In 2016, Council fundamentally changed its process of managing sealed roads, adopting a geographical zone based approach to road resealing. This has increased the frequency of service from a 25 year cycle to a 12 year cycle, increased operational efficiencies, and improved the level of service delivered to the community.

Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs Secretariat Inc
Proudly sponsored by THE Rural Woman

The VRCLP and its associate organisations are making a sustainable and impactful difference in regional and rural Victoria through its exemplar programs and strategic networks by empowering and strengthening these community leaders with the skills, capacity and capability that is meeting the current and future needs of their communities.  We recognise the future in rural and regional Victoria will bring both opportunities and challenges for individuals, organisations and communities across regional and rural Victoria.  And our purpose is to ensure these leaders can meet these with empathy, humility and resilience.

6 degrees Coffs Harbour, Coffs Harbour City Council
Proudly sponsored by the Department of Infrastructure

6 degrees Coffs Harbour is an initiative of Coffs Harbour City Council’s City Prosperity team to facilitate and grow the start-up ecosystem in the area.

6 degrees involves co-working spaces, programs and events that are designed to accelerate start-up success and support freelancers of the Coffs Coast.  It is a community of local entrepreneurs, freelancers and collaborators, a space where people can come to start new businesses, share, work together and be inspired from other like-minded people.

6 Degrees is founded on the concept of six degrees of separation – anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.

In Coffs Harbour, we believe it may even be fewer degrees! This means that the connection between business owner and the community of members and supporters allows a perfect opportunity for small business to grow and thrive.

The Village – Townsville, Economic Development Queensland
Proudly sponsored by TAFE NSW

On a beautiful bend of the Ross River, just 3.5kms from the heart of Townsville, is the growing community of The Village. Featuring 1.6kms of riverfront parkland, tree-lined avenues and walking paths, The Village is perfectly positioned only minutes to Palmer Street and The Strand.

The Village has been designed as a vibrant inclusive community that provides residents with a diverse range of smartly designed home options. Working with a collection of local builders, this residential development presents an unrivalled opportunity to take full advantage of the river views and peace and tranquillity that living riverside, cityside creates.

Developed by Economic Development Queensland (EDQ), The Village is a master planned community and once complete, the 83-hectare site will comprise approximately 1,000 homes, which will greatly contribute to the growth of the surrounding community and develop the connection between the estate and neighbouring suburbs, while ensuring residents remain closely linked to the heart of the city.

The Village prides itself on a collaborative community approach which demonstrates to the development industry a new way of engaging with and involving community members, stakeholders and families on meaningful projects, resulting in a cohesive and unified new community.

Mail to: PO Box 29, Nerang, 4211
+(61 7) 5502 2068