The Awards for Excellence


LGMA Queensland aspires to support a professional and highly-skilled local government sector.  In seeking to make this vision a reality, LGMA Queensland celebrates the professionalism of local government and inspires people to even greater levels of excellence in leadership and management across Queensland councils.  The Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner is our 'night of nights', a special occasion for us all to gather and recognise the innovative, creative, impactful and outstanding work of our colleagues.

 Awards for Excellence Nominations will open in November 2017 and close on Thursday 8 March 2018 at 5pm. The Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner will be held on Thursday 19 April 2018 at Shangri La Gardens Wynnum.

Shangri La Gardens (30 rooms available) - Dinner Venue at Wynnum
From $175 per room per night / Breakfast is $20 per person for a full buffet breakfast. Phone: 07 3308 5100 / Email

Brisbane CBD
The Pullman and Mercure Brisbane King George Square is a contemporary 5-star hotel in Brisbane, located in the heart of Brisbane CBD, offering a wide range of luxury accommodation options. Guests may select between 5-star luxury guestrooms and the Mercure tower with 4-star hotel rooms.  The hotel is located on the corner of Ann and Roma Streets (opposite King George Square) and is a short walk to the Brisbane Transit Centre and Central Station.

The hotel has kindly offered 10% discount off the best available rate at the time of booking (best available rate as advertised on  Please use the following when booking through the Accor Hotels site:

Company code: AS358715
Access code: LO326AU655

(When you make your reservation, just enter your customer code and your access code in block capitals)

Coach Transfer
For an additional fee, we have coach transfers available to guests departing from the Pullman hotel to Shangri-La Gardens, Wynnum return.

The coach will depart promptly from Roma Street (directly outside the Pullman and Mercure Brisbane King George Square) at 5.30pm and is scheduled to arrive at Shangri- La Gardens for the pre-dinner drinks.  The return coach from Shangri La Gardens will depart at midnight and return back tot he Pullman and Mercure Brisbane King George Square in Roma Street.  Please select this option on your registration form when making your booking.

Car Parking
King George Square Car Park

Secure Parking – Brisbane CBD

Wilson Parking – Brisbane CBD

The 2018 Awards Nomination Brochure can be found here. The Nomination form can be found here.

Award categories include: 




Community Shaping


 Above and Beyond

 'Doing more with Less'

Workplace Wellbeing


A special thank you to our Photobooth partner, Telstra

Awards for Excellence 2018

The LGMA Queensland Awards for Excellence recognising outstanding achievement in Queensland local government.

LGMA Queensland is delighted to present a programme which acknowledges and celebrates the outstanding work undertaken by local governments across Queensland.  The LGMA Queensland Awards for Excellence recognise the best of local government initiatives in the state, noting the differing environments and communities that local government serves.

Award Categories

The categories are designed to be flexible – recognising that local government is at the forefront of innovation and operates in a rapidly changing environment.  Categories are not intended to be limited to, or represent, particular areas of local government activity, and are applicable to activities across the whole of local government.


This project or initiative has adopted a new and different approach, leading to improved (or new) service delivery and/or performance.  This initiative is cutting-edge and has probably not been seen in Queensland councils before, certainly not in this format.


This team is an internal council team or a team involving multiple areas of council.  The manner in which it has utilised resources, collaborated and communicated proves the adage that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  It has contributed, in a measurable way, to enhanced service delivery within or external to council.

Above and Beyond

This individual has gone ‘above and beyond’ their stated duties to deliver added service to their community or council.  This will be work for which they have not received additional remuneration and is most likely self-generated, showing genuine initiative for the benefit of the organisation and, ultimately, its customers.


This project or initiative has enhanced the long-term sustainability of council and/or the community.  It may be through more sustainable use of human, financial and other resources or it may be related to environmental sustainability. 

Community Shaping

This project or initiative has influenced community behaviour and practice.  It has educated and informed community opinion leading to sustainable, positive changes in the community.  There is clear evidence of its success in enhancing community wellbeing, understanding and awareness and in engendering behaviour change.


This project or initiative involved genuine collaboration with multiple parties (internal and external to council) in order to implement more effective service delivery models for the benefit of the organisations and the community.  This may have been through an informal agreement or a more formal legal structure.

‘Doing more with Less’

This award category recognises projects or initiatives of category 1 councils that showcase the philosophy of ‘doing more with less’.  Lateral thinking, creativity, increased productivity and simplicity are the drivers of this successful project or initiative that is an aspirational model for other smaller councils.

Workplace Wellbeing

Workplace health and wellbeing programs have real potential to positively influence the health of councils’ workforce whilst making good business sense through increasing employee engagement and team cohesiveness and leading to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity in the long-term.  This project or initiative demonstrates evidence of fostering healthy workplace policies and supportive environments that promote healthy lifestyles that enhance positive social conditions.


Award Nominations

Council subscribers of LGMA Queensland may nominate projects for the LGMA Queensland Awards for Excellence.  Councils may submit numerous projects.  Multiple nominations are permitted in all categories.  A project or initiative may be nominated in up to two categories and each will be treated as a separate nomination.  If nominating a project in more than one category, nominators should ensure the nomination is tailored to address the category requirements.


Nominations must provide an overview of the project/initiative including key outcomes and achievements (a maximum of 350 words).  This introduction is for use in the LGMA Queensland Awards for Excellence publication (if suitable).

Nominations must detail the project and its achievements.  This includes:

  1. A statement outlining how the nomination meets the category requirements.
  2. A description of the achievements and outcomes including evidence of:

·         Its impact on council and/or the community;

·         How the outcomes were measured; and

·         Details of its ongoing status.

  1. A statement regarding the possible transferability of the initiative for use in other areas or councils.
  2. Explanation of why this project stands out from other initiatives across the state (including to what extent it is unique).

Submissions may include references from people affected by the project or other evidence of outcomes including media articles, community newsletters etc.

Media Release

Please include a 400 word media release regarding the project.  This should be targeted for State release as opposed to local release and focus on the outcome for the respective customer/s.

Entry Form and Fee

An Entry Form must be completed with each submission.  There is an initial entry fee of $250.00 and $200.00 for subsequent entries for councils who wish to submit multiple entries.  A tax invoice will be issued upon receipt of the nomination.

Submission Requirements

Entries must include:

  • Four (4) hard copies - original submissions are passed on to each of the judging panel members
  • One (1) electronic copy and
  • 3-5 high-resolution photographs

Entries must be received in full (four hard copies) by 5.00pm on Thursday, 8 March, 2018.  The delivery address is: Administration Officer – Excellence Awards, LGMA Queensland, Level 7 Quay Central, 95 North Quay, Brisbane, Queensland 4000.  The email is


An independent judging panel will assess all entries.

Each category will be judged on its merits.  In assessing nominations, the judges will consider the environment in which the project is has been initiated.  As a result, the biggest and most financially significant projects will not automatically be assessed as more meritorious than smaller, lower impact initiatives.  Rather, a relative assessment will be made regarding which projects have done the best in the context of what resources they have available and the environment in which they operate.

Although a project may be entered into two categories, each project is only eligible to win a single category.  If a project is deemed the winner in a category, it will not be considered in the subsequent category.

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding entries.  Each Award category winner will receive recognition in LGMA Queensland’s publication, The Journal, as well as a framed certificate and trophy.

All nominees are encouraged to attend the presentation of the Awards at the LGMA Queensland Gala Awards Dinner to be held in Brisbane on Thursday 19 April 2018.


2017 Awards For Excellence Winners

Excellence in Innovation: In 2017, the winning project was the City of Ipswich’s Fire Station 101; an innovative business and community hub that hosts co-working and start-up incubation businesses, events and workshops, mentoring and investment pathways.  Created in a decommissioned Fire Station at 101 Limestone Street Ipswich, Council achieved endorsement for a fully resourced plan and renovated the property all within an eight month period.

The City of Ipswich faces dual population challenges of the fastest growing population and the youngest average population in Queensland.  Rapid population growth has the potential to lead to societal problems such as high levels of unemployment or to the creation of a commuter culture.  The very young population also places significant pressure on Council to ensure there are jobs within the region for school leavers.  Council has identified that many future job opportunities would be technology-based and were very attentive to the already-high youth unemployment rates experienced across the country. 

Fire Station 101 has taken Ipswich from having just five start-ups and Queensland’s lowest start-up density ratio to having 64 in its first twelve months of operation.  It has created 15 new digital technology companies employing 22 people, delivered 110 events attended by 1,230 people, secured seed funding for multiple prototype developments and implemented a young entrepreneur programme in local high schools.  This hub leverages the diversity of its members while focusing on themes emerging in the community.  Local members and founders also share roles as mentors including in areas of legal, video production, business management, entrepreneurial leadership development, game development, software application development and 3D printing.

Excellence in Teamwork: Redland City Council’s Lean Thinking Initiative demonstrates teamwork in enabling a culture of continuous improvement by empowering employees to review and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.  Initially, two officers were tasked with facilitating, coaching and mentoring the organisation in business process improvement.  This lead to 682 employees (69% of the organisation) completing ‘Lean’ training and a further 47 completing a 12 week, process-improvement learning programme.  Judges were impressed by the ‘back to basics’ policy which included multiple teams focussing on decreasing costs by increasing operational efficiencies. 

The Lean Thinking Program provides valuable lessons in encouraging collaboration to break down hierarchical silos and empowering staff to identify and solve issues.  This cross-organisational teamwork has realised benefits including: 64% time reduction processing library invoices; elimination of all hard copy documentation in plumbing services resulting in a reduction of 80% in printing costs; saving 35 hours per month in corporate scorecard reporting; a reduction of 22 hours per year processing time for community grants; instantaneous electronic customer requests to Parks and Services; and a 98% reduction in recruiting temporary agency administration officers by implementing an internal casual pool of workers.

Excellence in Collaboration: In 2017, the Excellence in Collaboration winner is the Coordinated Pest Management initiative from Western Downs Regional Council.  Feral animal control in Australia is an ongoing challenge to land managers.  Feral pigs, in particular, inflict significant damage to both environmental assets and to agricultural industries and carry the potential to transmit disease to humans and domestic livestock. 

In collaboration with Queensland Murray-Darling Committee and landholders, Western Downs Regional Council implemented two programmes which were successful in decreasing the feral pig population by 86%. The combined efforts of 253 landholders and four pest management groups working alongside Council covering an area of 350,000 hectares enabled the coordinated control measures.  Landholders were able to realise the value and importance of region-wide, coordinated pest-control programmes in agricultural production in the Western Downs.  This has allowed similar programmes to be implemented in Maranoa and Balonne Regional Councils.

Excellence in Sustainability: The 2017 winning entry was Mareeba Shire Council’s Financial Sustainability project.  As a de-amalgamating council, Mareeba Shire Council was facing a stark future which was highlighted by  Queensland Treasury Corporation’s report outlining that council would be insolvent within a three year period if de-amalgamated.  This forecast was despite inclusion of a one-off general rate increase of $872 per property plus an ongoing annual increase of $233 per annum. Mareeba Shire Council covers an area of approximately 54,000 square kilometres and has a relatively small rate base (approximately 10,000 properties).  It had a low projected rate growth of around 1% and was initially given the rating of ‘very weak with a negative outlook’ by QTC.  However, by May 2015, this was upgraded to a rating of ‘moderate with a neutral outlook’.  While poor financial outlooks are not unique in this context, the efficiency and speed with which Mareeba Shire Council was able to reverse the outlook is worthy of special recognition.

The Workforce Efficiencies Program involved the entire work-team sharing information about their specific areas and provided opportunities to improve operational efficiencies, with the goal of improving operational savings by 15% or more.  Small cost savings across departments soon led to significant wins across Council without imposing additional charges onto the community.  Complemented by the Internal Audit Plan, these efficiency reviews have included waste management and library services. 

Excellence in ‘Doing More with Less’: Quilpie Shire Council was the winner of this inaugural award in 2017 for their 2016 Fundraising Initiative: Challenge Cup.Quilpie Shire Council’s dedication to their community runs deeper than the day-to-day operations of a council.  Annually, the staff selects a charity in need of assistance.  In 2016, they chose ‘Friends in Isolation’, a local charity that supports cancer victims.  Incredibly, $25,500 was raised through the Challenge Cup, which initially started out as a simple game of Oz Tag Football and evolved into a major fundraising plan involving 100% of the Council workforce.  Raffles, casual Fridays, catering for Council events and children’s workshops were highlights of the fundraising efforts.

Demonstrating excellent teamwork, pooling resources, contributing time and showing creativity proves you can ‘Do More with Less’ as Quilpie Shire Council has clearly exhibited with their highly successful 2016 Fundraising Initiative: Challenge Cup. 

Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing: Sunshine Coast Council was awarded the 2017 Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing category for their FRESHminds Program.  Sunshine Coast Council’s FRESHminds initiative sits under Council’s FRESH health and wellbeing programme which aims to provide a mentally healthy workplace that promotes awareness and understanding of mental illness, encourages early help seeking behaviours and reduces stigma.  A growing body of evidence points to the need for Australian businesses to take the mental health of their employees as seriously as they take physical health and safety.  Mental illness is now recognised as the leading cause of sickness, absence and long-term work incapacity in most developed countries.  FRESHminds is based on the six key individual, team and organisational evidence-based, or evidence-informed strategies, recommended by the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance.

Excellence in Community Shaping: In 2017 Barcoo Shire Council and Diamantina Shire Council were the joint winners for the Excellence in Community Shaping Award.  Connecting Remote Communities is a ten to fifteen year project, lobbying for State and Federal government funding to enhance telecommunications services to the five remote communities of Stonehenge, Jundah, Windorah, Birdsville and Bedourie.  As part of the Channel Country, the five towns provide services the oil and gas, agriculture, mining and tourism industries.

Barcoo and Diamantina Shire Councils successfully gained $6.25million from the Palaszczuk Government, a further $5.95million from the Federal Government in December 2015 and Telstra provided $4.88million ‘in kind’ contribution whilst both councils financed $2.15million each.   In December 2016, Telstra commenced the ‘switch on’ for the first of five 4G mobile services which cover the five towns and an extended area on the state highway network. 

Above and Beyond Award: In 2017, the winner was awarded to Dallis Von Wald, Governance and Compliance Officer at Charters Towers Regional Council.  Dallis is a self-starter and is extremely passionate about her role.  Following a workshop with the Department of Local Government in late 2016, Dallis decided that she would write a script and produce an animation for training purposes, based on relevant sections of the Local Government Act 2009.  The project’s focus was elected members and included content on Conflict of Interest, Material Personal Interest and Registers of Interest.  The animation was born to ensure staff and elected members understand their roles in legislation, policies, procedures and codes of conduct and in the event of non-compliance, the applicable penalties.    

2016 Awards For Excellence Magazine

To view the 2016 Awards for Excellence winners and Magazine, please click here.

2015 Awards for Excellence Magazine

To view the 2015 Awards for Excellence winners and Magazine, please click here
To view the photos from the night, click here.  
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