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Parks and Leisure Australia recognises industry excellence

Parks and Leisure Australia recognises industry excellence
August 29, 2014

Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) has presented its annual awards of excellence at its National Conference in Cairns.

Commenting on the awards, presented on Wednesday evening (27th August), PLA President Kevin Lowe stated "what a fantastic night our National Awards of Excellence was.

"Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to all those who were nominated as finalists from the regions for sharing with the industry your innovation and initiatives to continue propelling our industry forward as the people behind the places."

Lowe also acknowledged the "great work" by those "recognised as leaders in the parks and leisure industry."

2014 Awards of Excellence Honour Roll

Award for Events
Cairns Regional Council & IRONMAN Asia Pacific® - Cairns Airport Adventure Festival

In 2013, the festival offered an action packed calendar of events including eight sporting competitions, a spectacular line up of live entertainment and lifestyle activities for all to enjoy over the festival’s nine day period. The events span from Cairns to Port Douglas and from Green Island to Mt. Molloy, covering over 2,000 kilometres2.

Award for Inclusive and Connected Communities
Brimbank City Council - Brimbank Cup

The Brimbank Cup is an innovative annual football tournament open to all established and informal soccer teams playing in Brimbank that delivers greater opportunities for participation in sport through the creation and strengthening of inclusive and connected communities. The event promotes harmony and inclusion regardless of ethnicity or gender and provides an opportunity for relationships to be built between soccer clubs to support the ongoing participation of all Brimbank communities in the sport.

Award for Leisure Facilities
City of Gold Coast - Upper Coomera Centre

The Upper Coomera Centre is a creation of destination, a meeting place for people to connect and build a space of community and identity. Access to facilities and services that would provide a safe and accessible space for community members to access activities and services, increasing social connectedness and cohesion was the key goal/objective of the design/development of the facility.

Award for Open Space Planning
City of Yarra - Converting Roads to Open Space in City of Yarra

Commenced in 2009, the Converting Roads to Open Space project is an ongoing one which will see the continued provision of new parks in the City of Yarra created through the conversion of carpark and road space. To date, two urban parks have been completed, being the Peel Street Park and Oxford Street Park in Collingwood, and a third is about to commence construction at Richmond Terrace in Richmond.

Award for Parks and Open Space Development
Whitehorse City Council - Box Hill Gardens Redevelopment

The redevelopment of Box Hill Gardens has achieved Whitehorse City Council’s key goal to rejuvenate this historically important piece of open space, with majestic oak trees and expansive lawns, into a vibrant community hub offering local residents, workers and visitors a welcome place to recreate, relax and connect.

Award for Playspace – Category A
WAX Design - Suneden Sensory Playspace

Suneden Sensory Playspace is a result of the imagination, innovation and hard work of WAX Design, Suneden School, Summit Landscape and the local community. Using a tiny budget and community support, WAX Design has created a playspace that excites, simulates and challenges the various abilities of the students at the school.

Award for Playspace – Category B
Wyong Shire Council - Canton Beach All Access Playground

The project was to provide a play space that was inclusive with specific reference to the visually impaired. The playspace was to be a regional facility due to the specific criteria and access to other recreational facilities including shared path, foreshore parkland, toilets, tourist facilities, parking and boat ramp.

Award for Playspace – Category C
Blacktown City Council - Blacktown Showground Redevelopment

The primary aim of the design was that the site be an open, accessible green park in an increasing densely populated city. Blacktown is not on a river or lake or a beach and one of the major aims was to provide the residents of Blacktown access to water and a waterside experience as a focus for recreational activities.

Award for Research Project
Technigro - The Integrated Vegetation Management Project

The service delivery provider Technigro, sought to find a sustainable initiative to enhance and better manage vegetation in the parks and leisure sector for Australian society.

Award for Sustainable Initiatives
Technigro - Integrated Vegetation Management

Technigro believe the key to a sustainable future is doing more with less. Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) is a way of better preserving, protecting and enhancing the environment in which we live.

Award for Use of Technology
Brimbank City Council - Brimbank Online Sports Facility Allocation System

In response to significant negative feedback from community sports clubs about the manual facility allocation process wasting significant amounts of volunteers’ time, Brimbank Council undertook a full review of the facility allocation process.

David Aldous Student of the Year Award
Liam Cole (Victoria/Tasmania)

Liam returned to part-time study in 2010, enabling him to successfully undertake more senior roles to provide further motivation to continue his chosen career path. Having worked in local government for many years maintaining public open spaces, Liam has always had a desire to improve the provision and development of public open space and the opportunity for the community to better connect with these significant public assets.

Emerging Leader of the Year Award
Thomas Astell-Burt (NSW/ACT)

As an emerging public health expert, Thomas has been actively leading international research into the links between green spaces and health in the UK, US and Australia. This has required innovation and problem solving capabilities, such as the development of measures of green space availability for small areas across Australia for the first time.

Frank Stewart Distinguished Services Award
Cathy Kiss (Victoria/Tasmania)

Cathy has been a committed member of the Vic/Tas council for a number of years and active on PLA consulting since its inception. Cathy has been and continues to be a strong advocate for the sector and has in recent time prepared submissions to PLAN Melbourne and lead the development of the Open Space Guide. In addition, Cathy has been a strong advocate for Play via her involvement in Play Australia.

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