NGAA Awards - recognising excellence and innovation

The NGAA Awards celebrate and showcase excellence and best practice from projects and initiatives supporting the development of growth areas across the country. Thank you to the 2023 NGAA Awards judges – Tina Chappell from Astrolabe Group and Rachel Pleasant (formerly NGAA Committee of Management and City of Cockburn).

Research and Practice Award

Sponsored by

City of Casey,
Changing Perceptions in Employment

The Changing Perceptions in Employment project was a place-based initiative designed to respond to the needs of employers and jobseekers in Melbourne’s southeast. In a growth area where the speed of residential development outweighs the number of businesses and local jobs, it is essential to retain the employment that is available whilst also proactively seeking new business investment.

Growth area LGA’s often have a higher proportion of migrant and linguistically diverse communities. This is true for the City of Casey with 42.1% of residents born overseas and 41.8% speaking a language other than English at home

The project aimed to develop skills and fill job vacancies using a holistic approach that focussed on the individual. It tested the hypothesis that adopting a person-centric approach rather than a transactional arrangement to the complex issue of unemployment would yield better outcomes.

In 10 months, the project engaged 317 job seekers and referred them to upskilling initiatives, and it secured 53 employment outcomes.

Changing Perceptions Working Group

James Collins, Kathryn Seirlis and Michael Ford, City of Casey

Commendation: Wollondilly Shire Council for Social and Health Impact Assessment Framework

DJSIR video
City of Casey video

Built Environment Award

Sponsored by

Mount Barker District Council,
Summit Sports and Recreation Park: From paddock to packed house

The Summit Sports and Recreation Park represents a new standard of community infrastructure within the Mount Barker District and the broader Region. It is positioned to cater for local needs and to trigger complementary private sector investment to activate a broader precinct through major events and capital improvements. It is part of an intentional approach by Council, to leverage all three tiers of Government investment into community infrastructure to create economic, employment, financial and community benefit that would far exceed that which could be achieved through the standard delivery model.

Council’s vision has been validated through securing the only regional AFL fixture as part of the inaugural Gather Round. In addition, Council’s strategically acquired land holdings adjoining the venue represent an opportunity to trigger significant complimentary leisure, entertainment and environmental investment, creating a nationally significant precinct already containing an 18-hole golf course, wetlands, walking trails and regional aquatic venue, that will soon commence construction. This local venue, transformed into a 9,000 seat AFL venue that has captured the attention of the national leading leisure operators, is testament to the importance of a clear vision and commitment to work commercially and collaboratively.

Summit Sports and Recreation Park, AFL Gather Round 2023

Mayor David Leach and Luke Gray, Mount Barker
District Council and Award presenter Gavin Cotterill from GC3 Digital. 

Commendation: City of Whittlesea for Mernda Social Support Facility

Partnerships & Building Connections Award

Sponsored by

Mount Barker District Council,
Resilient Hills and Coasts Climate Partnership

Resilient Hills and Coasts is a collaborative, cross-sector partnership between six councils, a regional Local Government Association, two Landscape Boards, one Regional Development Australia board and the South Australian Government. Since 2014, we have worked together to strengthen the resilience of our communities, economies and natural and built environments to a changing climate. The partnership developed the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island region of South Australia.

The Partnership has generated significant momentum, knowledge and practical on-ground action by working together. Achievements include: Coastal hazard mapping and adaptation initiatives with Kangaroo Island and Alexandrina Councils; Increased regional capabilities and uptake of water sensitive urban design and urban greening; The Where We Build What We Build project, providing evidence on the climate resilience of our region’s housing stock and the economic benefits of building or retrofitting to a climate ready standard; Climate Risk Governance Assessments by five Councils, to assess and embed climate risk management throughout Council business; Leading the low carbon transition, including by joining the Cities Power Partnership, installing solar generation, transitioning to LEDs and electric vehicle fleets, and exploring options for a Community Energy Program; Bringing together the latest knowledge and experience on how to better balance bushfire resilience with biodiversity outcomes; and Accelerating the uptake of carbon farming by small landholders in our region.

Resilient Hills and Coasts NGA – signing the sector agreement

Greg Sarre, Mount Barker District Council and Jen Michelmore from Award Sponsor, Studio THI.

Commendation: City of Cockburn for Cockburn-Indonesia Trade Relationship

Advocacy Award

Sponsored by

City of Whittlesea,
Mitchell Shire Council & Hume City Council Advocacy collaboration
for the Northern Terminal at Beveridge

The Northern Terminal is a proposed transformational intermodal logistics terminal for Victoria, which is expected to contribute over $3.5 billion to the local economy each year and generate 20,000 local jobs. The City of Whittlesea, Mitchell Shire Council, Hume City Council, in partnership with Northern Councils Alliance, NorthLink, and the Rail Freight Alliance have been advocating to the State and Federal Governments to expedite the planning for the terminal and its key enabling infrastructure including Camerons Lane Interchange.

Representatives from Hume City Council and City of Whittlesea with 2023 Advocacy Award

Commendation: City of Wanneroo for Let’s Pool Together: Alkimos Aquatic and Recreation
Centre (AARC) project. From concept to construction.

Leadership In Growth Areas Award

Sponsored by

Melton City Council,
Moving Melton

Moving Melton Transport Prospectus is an interactive website that demonstrates road, rail, bus and active transport projects that would better connect our community and attract investment. The City of Melton had missed out on critical infrastructure funding, and the planning work was not being undertaken by government departments. Council’s Engineering team had developed a traffic modelling system that used latest traffic and population figures to project congestion and identify investment need.

They utilised software to reconfigure local bus routes to deliver frequent, direct routes servicing more of the community. In 2022, the Council wanted to change the way they present this information to government. They created an interactive website with a data driven, modelling platform and scenario planning to demonstrate improvements that can be generated by investment. This includes renders and project designs to visualise outcomes and independent economic modelling to provide Cost Benefit Ratios.


Rendered image from Moving Melton website

Mayor Glenn Docherty, City of Playford (Award sponsor) and Sean McManus, City of Melton

Commendation: Mount Barker District Council - Brian Clancey
Commendation: City of Casey - Casey Design Excellence Program