Previous NGAA guest speakers

Previous NGAA guest speakers include Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Local Government, Kristy McBain.

Congress Highlights

  • Keynote Speakers on climate policy and community-led change 
  • Government and Opposition speakers
  • NGAA Awards Dinner
  • Panel discussions on climate-adapted sustainable suburbs and designing for resilience
  • Networking opportunities with:
    • Mayors, CEOs and specialists from Australia’s fast growing local government areas
    • Politicians
    • and business partners in development, planning and infrastructure industries.

Day 1

Thursday 4 May 2023 | 8.30am to 4.30pm

Registration opens 8.30am

Keynote: Policy for a climate crisis – what needs to change now and in the future

Our opening keynote will set the scene for policy changes needed to address the impact of climate change on Australia’s politics, society and economy.

Keynote: Preparing communities for growth – an urban change literacy project

Jennifer Michelmore from Studio THI will present findings from the Urban Change Readiness Index project being piloted in growth area councils, on how local governments can prepare themselves and their communities for change.

Panel session 1: Climate-adaptation for sustainable growth in Australia’s outer urban areas

We will explore the potential for outer urban growth areas to be sustainably built from development, water and design perspectives.

Lunch provided

Panel session 2: Designing suburbs for community and economic resilience and recovery

The role of local government in recovery is vital now as growth area communities respond to recent natural disasters and the pandemic aftermath. We will discuss ways to increase resilience in local communities and economies, tapping into expert opinion and growth area case studies.

Forum: Local Government leading the way to Suburbia 3.0

Outer urban growth area specialists will highlight the latest innovative ways local government is pursuing better urban development outcomes and identify policy barriers to sustainable growth.

6pm – 9pm Gala NGAA 2023 Awards Dinner

Day 2

Friday 5 May  |  9am to 1pm

Mount Barker District Council field trip with visits to South Australia’s first fully passive house, wetlands and water recycling facilities, AFL-ready sports hub. Finishes with lunch and networking at a local winery.


Watch this page or NGAA Twitter and Linked in for speaker announcements.

Jennifer Michelmore

Co-Chair, Smart Cities Council Digital Twin Task Group

Jennifer is the CEO at Studio THI, a not-for-profit urban change studio who focus on amplifying the positive impacts of urban development to create a more equitable and resilient future for all. She is an urban strategist with over 15 years experience in using design thinking and co-creation processes to define city-shaping propositions for urban change projects globally.

Gavin Cotterill

CEO, Studio THI

Gavin helps infrastructure and government organisations transform from analogue organisation to data driven with Building Information Modelling, Geospatial, IoT and Digital Twin technologies.


Congress and the Awards Dinner will be held at the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre in beautiful Hahndorf. Less than half an hour from the Adelaide CBD, the Centre includes 32 acres of manicured grounds and stunning on-site accommodation. 


The NGAA Awards 2023 will celebrate excellence and innovation from projects and initiatives that support the development of growth areas across Australia. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 4 May at the NGAA Awards Dinner.

awards information
Host Council and Presenting Partner

Mount Barker District Council is situated in the Mount Lofty Ranges, a 30 minute drive from Adelaide. It is among the fastest growing municipalities in Australia with Mount Barker destined to become the second biggest city in South Australia. The district is a mix of urban, peri urban and rural with many people attracted by the scenic hills environment and lifestyle.




Congress and Awards sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please contact NGAA Chief Executive Officer, Bronwen Clark, on 0448 401 257 or at

Looking back at Congress in previous years
Congress 2019 Congress 2022