2021 Awards of Excellence Winners

Each year, Parks and Leisure Australia acknowledges excellence in our industry through its prestigious Awards of Excellence.

The Awards of Excellence recognise and showcase the outstanding initiatives and innovative efforts of 'the people behind the places' which promote and enhance opportunities for the good use of leisure time for a number of social, environmental, and economic benefits to the community.

Congratulations to our 2021 winners for the VIC/TAS Region.

VIC/TAS award recipients are now our National Finalists for the 2021 National Awards of Excellence to be announced at the National Awards of Excellence gala dinner in Sydney on 14 September 2021.


Best Regional/ Rural Industry Contribution Award

Activities in the Park
Greater Shepparton City Council

Activities in the Park Program provides an opportunity for Greater Shepparton residents and visitors to explore a park within Greater Shepparton, and participate in a number of free activities encouraging people to engage with their community, be outdoors and be physically active.

Community Based Initiative of the Year Award

YMCA Skate Ambassadors X Skate Melbourne
City of Melbourne & YMCA Victoria

The Skate Ambassadors Program role models a positive, inclusive and safe skating culture. Designed to have lasting impact, profile the sport and advocate for the future of Melbourne's skating community, we break down barriers to participation, and foster a positive relationship between city skaters and visitors, businesses and residents.

A High Commendation was awarded to 'Kilsyth Pool Access and Inclusion Initiatives', Belgravia Leisure.

Community Facility of the Year Award

Oakleigh Recreation Centre Redevelopment
Monash City Council

Oakleigh Recreation Centre Indoor Stadium and Gymnastics Facility Development delivered a state-of-the-art 5-court indoor stadium including show court and accessible and female-friendly changerooms and amenities; permanent fully equipped, fit-for-purpose state-level gymnastics centre with more than 2,000 m2 of air conditioned floor space; and new and expanded gym and programming rooms.

David Aldous Young Professional of the Year Award

Hsar Ju
Parks Victoria

Hsar is an inspirational Community Ranger dedicated to connecting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities to nature. Born in a refugee camp on the Thai Burma border he is Parks Victoria's first park ranger from a refugee background, and is determined to share his knowledge so he is not the last.

Major Event of the Year Award

St KIlda Film Festival 2020
City of Port Phillip

St Kilda Film Festival is Australia's largest and longest-running short film festival. The Festival is an Academy Awards qualifying event, showcasing Australia's emerging cinema. In 2020 the festival was transformed in six weeks to an on-line event, so it could continue to provide this popular leisure opportunity in people's homes.

Park of the Year Award

Livvi's Place at Edgebrook
City of Casey

Variety Livvi's Place at Edgebrook showcases an innovative model of designing, with empathy and story through play for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It features sensory-rich play installations, designed with allied health professionals and behavioural therapists. The park interprets ASD behaviour and therapies, supporting children through selective, abstract, non-competitive play.

Playspace Award (<$0.5M)

Wellesley Reserve Sensory Playground
Monash City Council

Wellesley Reserve playspace is a unique, fully custom designed sensory playspace. It was designed with input from the community, to create an inviting and playful environment full of sensory design elements to engage children with additional needs, and provide for all sorts of play via sound, sight, touch and smell.

A High Commendation was awarded to 'A playground for all ages', Banyule City Council & National Ageing Research Institute.

Playspace Award (>$0.5M)

Diamond Creek Regional Playspace
Nillumbik Shire Council

The Diamond Creek Regional Playspace was developed by Nillumbik Shire Council through collaboration with community groups, local business' and organisations. Many groups and people contributed to the refurbishment and construction of the tram café adjacent to the playspace by the Diamond Creek Rotary Club. The playspace features experiences for all ages and abilities.

A High Commendation was awarded to 'Warburton Water World', Yarra Ranges Council.

Research Award

The ENJOY Project
National Ageing Research Institute, City of Whittlesea and Wyndham City Council

The ENJOY project was designed to fulfil the need for an age-friendly outdoor space for older people to be physically active in the community. Outcomes highlighted the potential of this innovative approach to positively impact on older people's lives through change in the built environment and inclusion of specialised equipment.

Strategic Planning Award

Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Sport and Recreation Strategy

@leisure assessed the site potential and constraints in developing the racecourse for local and state sports facilities. The plan undertook significant demand and facility supply assessments. Site selection and evaluation criteria assessed options. The plan includes a concept plan, business case and cost-benefit analysis.

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