2022 National Finalists

The National Finalists showcase the excellent work of parks and leisure professionals who deliver enormous benefit to our communities. Finalists have been announced at events held across the country and national winners will be announced at the prestigious Awards of Excellence Gala dinner on 18 October 2022 in the CENTREPIECE Ballrooms at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, VIC.
Tickets for the Gala available here.

2022 Best Regional/Rural Industry Contribution Award Finalists

  • SA/NT
  • The rebuilding of visitor facilities at Remarkable Rocks has become symbolic of Kangaroo Island’s tourism renewal post the trauma of the devastating bushfires which burned almost 40 percent of the Island in the summer of 2019/20.
  • QLD
  • The Redlands Coast Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area project has delivered over 20km of multi-use and shared trails, supporting visitor infrastructure and connections to neighbouring trail networks. The area now provides a unique regional all abilities destination experience with significant rural/nature-based tourism value for the Redlands Coast.
  • WA
  • Margaret River Unbeaten Tracks Trails Master Plan. The project collaborated with the 16 stakeholder organisations on the Unbeaten Tracks Roundtable, and the community, to develop a common vision and highlight the opportunity for the Capes Region’s interconnected trail network through a collaborative, cross-tenure and actionable approach for the benefit of the region’s community, environment and economy.

2022 Best Use of Technology Award Finalists

  • WA
  • Putting Sport & Recreation Visitors on the Map. Navigating your leisure & recreation visitors to the best places & experiences. Benefits of digital map from naveze are: Increased visibility of your brand, Improved visitor experiences, and Collection of visitor CX data to inform future decisions. Gives Up to 30% increases in ROI.


2022 Community Based Initiative of the Year Award Finalists

  • WA
  • Loftus Rec/Special Olympics Community Fun Day. Belgravia Leisure partnered with Special Olympics to host Fun Day at Loftus Recreation Centre, over 70 participants attended the event with new and different ways to help members of our community with intellectual disability to play sport, increase personal achievement and pride.

  • QLD
  • Walk & Talk for Wellness: A Community PartnershipThe Walk and Talk model demonstrates how cross-collaboration can inspire programs and pathways to deliver affordable mental health services at a community-level. Walk and Talk is inclusive of opportunities for student learning, contribution to a research agenda, and reduction in the increasing financial burden of an already strained health system.


  • VIC/TAS
  • The Muslim Women’s Get into Golf Program is a six-week program delivered by the City of Whittlesea and Golf Australia. Supported by the Al-Siraat Islamic College and Growling Frog Golf Course, it has enabled Muslim women to be active, build friendships and engage in their community throughout the pandemic.
  • NSW/ACT
  • NYE: Light Up The Sky. Liverpool is one of Australia’s most multicultural communities and has been disproportionately affected by lockdowns, police activity and military operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘NYE: Light Up The Sky’ is a response to restrictions on mass gatherings and an effort to create excitement, positivity and togetherness in the community.
  • SA/NT
  • Activating Reservoirs for Healthy Communities. South Australian reservoir reserves have taken an exciting step forward with the opening of vast areas of land and water for recreation. For the first time, people can walk, cycle, fish and kayak in these unique places, making them available for all South Australians to ‘Enjoy. Explore. Preserve.’

2022 Community Facility of the Year Finalists

  • NSW/ACT
  • Walgett PCYC in remote western NSW is a catalyst project for regional communities centering around sport, health, business and youth empowerment programs. Designed by architects AJC, the building is an exemplar of triple-bottom-line sustainability (social,economic,environmental), producing its own power and water, employing locals and attracting visitors from far afield.
  • WA
  • The Rockingham Youth Centre is the result of a successful collaboration between the City and local youth representatives’ creating a shared vision. By involving the final users throughout the design process the City ensured that this shared vision was realised and users would feel a connection to the facility.
  • QLD
  • The Philip Street Precinct strengthens the Gladstone's community and social service system by the clustering of community facilities and collaboration of services to enhance and improve community outcomes and to foster inclusion and connectedness. This is Gladstone, a melting pot of culture and this is our Home!
  • VIC/TAS
  • Yawa Aquatic Centre is an exemplary facility providing safe year-round swimming and offering a mix of wet and dry activities regardless of age, gender, culture or ability. Coastal resort themed, this standout facility is inviting and welcoming and contributes significantly to improved outcomes in community health, wellbeing and social inclusion.

2022 David Aldous Young Professional of the Year Award Finalists

  • QLD
  • After studying psychology and marketing, Chris Carter is determined to make an impact in the parks and leisure industry through the advocation of the amazing benefits of parks and green spaces to everyone who uses, develops and maintains them, through the power of communication and story telling.


  • SA/NT
  • Hayley is an outstanding young leader who is committed to being a positive role model for other young professionals in the sector. Hayley continually displays leadership and a commitment to learning and development that underpins excellence. Her commitment to her role makes her an amazing ambassador for the Industry.
  • WA
  • Ieuan Hook is the Director of Hook Consulting – a smart cities, town planning and urban design company focussing on helping clients integrate smart technology into parks and open spaces. Since 2020, Ieuan has been working with many industry leaders create innovative, green and globally competitive spaces for Perth’s future. 

2022 Major Event of the Year Award Finalist

  • WA
  • The Busselton Jetty Swim creates a grass roots celebration, born by our local icon, the Busselton Jetty, in south west Western Australia. Since 1996 it has grown from a local event, internationally recognised and continued through the pandemic. Busselton Jetty Swim - Inspiring people of all abilities to swim.
  • SA/NT
  • The Local Battle of the Bands. City of Holdfast and Marion staff and youth committees worked together to deliver a large scale youth live music event on the Glenelg Foreshore that attracted over 2000 participates and spectators and provided a fantastic opportunity for young bands to showcase their talents.

  • QLD
  • The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland. Combining magical lighting, audio special effects and digital art, The Enchanted Garden entranced thousands of visitors at Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane between 1-23 December 2021. The family-friendly lighting trail combined over 8,000sqm of custom-made lighting, audio, special effects and sculptures, delivering a world-class digital art experience in a world-class parkland.


2022 Park of the Year Award Finalists

  • VIC/TAS
  • Revitalisation of Wilson Botanic Park during covid-19 placed the environment and people first, supporting the community's heightened reliance on open space, through rare species planting, bird attracting area, pop-up café, signage, amenities, paths, smart bin, park and ride, stormwater harvesting and a visionary, immersive sunken walkway into Lilypad Lake.
  • SA/NT
  • The $7.5million Kensington Wama/Kensington Gardens Reserve project completely revitalised the City of Burnside’s most popular reserve and delivered a range of environmental, recreational, and cultural benefits. Benefits included a new wetland, upgraded tennis complex, shared-use pathways, fitness stations, and nature playspace, and several important Kaurna cultural initiatives.

  • WA
  • Hotham Park is the Shire of Boddington’s new civic heart centered around their new Library, Youth Centre and Interpretative Centre located on the Hotham River. It represents the commitment to quality of life enhancement for the local community, attract visitation, expand accessibility to the precinct for social and physical recreation.
  • NSW/ACT
  • The upgrade of Lionel Watts Reserve and Frenchs Forest Showground has demonstrated how a collaborative planning approach implemented through best practice project management can deliver outstanding recreational, environmental and social outcomes for the community.

2022 Playspace Award (<$0.5M) Finalists

  • VIC/TAS
  • Macleod Village Green Playground is a multigenerational playspace that challenges the concepts of traditional play while responding to the local context and village feel of the neighbourhood. The playspace fosters unique play outcomes and has been designed to effectively service the community and children's play requirements for years to come.
  • WA
  • Cottesloe Nature Discovery Space. Reclaimed from invasive Victorian tea tree, this coastal site was sculpted, transformed, and revegetated with native planting. Subtle interventions using large pieces of timber and limestone have created a space that allows children to play in, and discover, the natural environment. Continued community maintenance has seen the play space flourish.
  • NSW/ACT
  • Boronia Bike Park We were asked to solve a problem which is common throughout Australia... How to stop mountain bike and BMX riders digging illegal jumps and damaging sensitive bushland? After a successful project, which has met the needs of all stakeholders, we believe we have the solution.

2022 Playspace Award (>$0.5M) Finalists

  • VIC/TAS
  • The Thomas Street Playground is an exceptional play space that is welcoming to community members of all ability. A range of accessible play elements and sculptures, a Changing Places facility, seniors exercise area and a 500m loop walking path ensures a wide section of the community can find challenge here.
  • SA/NT
  • Jingili Regional Playground ensures everyone regardless of ability can share the same equipment or play side by side on modified equipment. It is now the leading all access playground in the Northern Territory and is the largest of its type and rare in that it combines art and play.
  • QLD
  • Country Paradise Parklands playspace is artistic, imaginative and definitely Australian. The playspace offers inclusive multi-zoned play for all ages and abilities with a distinctive local feel. Surrounded by generous spaces for families and groups to socialise, the project offers new insights into flood mitigation and sustainability through repurposing onsite materials.
  • WA
  • Hotham Park is the Shire of Boddington’s new civic heart centered around their new Library, Youth Centre and Interpretative Centre located on the Hotham River. It represents the commitment to quality of life enhancement for the local community, attract visitation, expand accessibility to the precinct for social and physical recreation.
  • NSW/ACT
  • Gosford’s Leagues Club Park has been transformed from an under-utilised field into an innovative, versatile and culturally significant space for the entire community. The park was designed in collaboration with local Aboriginal stakeholders and uses innovative interactive elements to create a play space rich in history and cultural knowledge sharing.

2022 Research Award Finalists

  • VIC/TAS
  • The Sport Participation Research Project developed by the Physical Activity and Sport Insights (PASI) Research group at Federation and Victoria Universities, is a world-leading program of research that is transforming our understanding of what drives sports participation and retention. This informs policy and strategic developments of infrastructure, programs and competitions.

2022 Strategic & Master Planning Award Finalists

  • SA/NT
  • The vision for Paradise Recreation Plaza is to provide a safe, accessible and highly functioning recreation destination providing not only quality skate but also high quality play, bike/BMX and passive recreation facilities for the Campbelltown and wider community.
  • VIC/TAS
  • Riding the Mountain is the City of Hobart’s plan to guide future mountain bike developments in the lower foothills of kunanyi/ Mount Wellington. It was developed with the help of the community to improve recreational access for locals and visitors. Its implementation will create lasting benefits for the wider community.
  • NSW/ACT
  • The ‘Heart of Play’ masterplan is a plan to deliver an open space and recreation network. The masterplan will help deliver a strong sense of place, address social, sporting and recreational infrastructure gaps, and contribute to LGA wide needs through a linked network of high-quality parks and facilities.
  • QLD
  • The Sunshine Coast Recreation Parks Plan 2021-2031, endorsed by Council in December 2021, has been developed to compliment and carry out the strategic directions expressed in Council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy. The plan was created to ensure that community values are always reflected in our park design, management and operations.

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