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2021 Core Values Awards

The IAP2 Australasia Core Values Awards build awareness, contribute to the practice and recognise excellence in public participation and community engagement. 

2021 Core Values Awards winners

Congratulations to the 2021 IAP2 Core Values Awards Winners

On Friday, 29 October 2021, IAP2 Australasia announced our 2021 Core Values Awards winners at our virtual conference.

Thank you to all our engagers for tuning in, and a special thank you to all our entrants and finalists.

A special congratulations to Level Crossing Removal Project for winning Australasia Organisation of the Year and International Organisation of the Year.

Special congratulations also goes to Dunedin City Council and WSP who won the Australasia Project of the Year award for ‘Whakahekerau – Rakiātea Rautaki Tai: A community’s vision for a resilient coast’.

In the coming weeks and months, we will hear more from our winners through interviews, and webinars. For now, take a look at the Case Studies.

Our winners are…

Australasian Organisation of the Year 

Winner: Level Crossing Removal Project

Australasian Project of the Year 

Winner: Dunedin City Council and WSP
Project: Whakahekerau – Rakiātea Rautaki Tai: A community’s vision for a resilient coast

Community Development

Winner: Barwon Water
Project: Meters gained – Barwon Water partners with Birregurra community


Winner: City of Cockburn Town Team Movement
Project: Developing the City of Cockburn’s Climate Change Strategy


Highly Commended: democracyCo and Department of Health South Australia
Project: Multicultural communities stopping a pandemic in its tracks!


Winner (AU): DevelopmentWA, Karda Designs, Gundi Consulting, Yunga Foundation and Brave and Curious
Project: Aboriginal Development Managers: bringing Aboriginal culture and knowledge into the heart of land development in Western Australia

Winner (NZ): Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Project: Te Ara Tupua – partnering with iwi mana whenua to connect two cities

Infrastructure (Construction)

Winner: Rail Projects Victoria, CPB Contractors and Design Jam
Project: Apex Park Co-design

Highly Commended: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Christchurch City Council, Fulton Hogan, Aurecon and Jacobs
Project: Christchurch Northern Corridor motorway project by CNC Alliance

Infrastructure (Planning and Design)

Winner: Victorian Health Building Authority
Project: Mental Health Beds Expansion Program

Highly Commended: Western Bay of Plenty District Council
Project: Playground adventurers of Omokoroa are proud of their new fantastical playground – How Omokoroa’s playground adventurers and Council came together to co-design the new Omokoroa Domain Playground

Highly Commended: Brisbane City Council
Project: Victoria Park Project – Vision Engagement


Winner: Dunedin City Council and WSP
Project: Whakahekerau – Rakiātea Rautaki Tai: A community’s vision for a resilient coast

Highly Commended: Logan City Council and Articulous
Project: Logan Community Vision

Judges’ Encouragement Award

Winner: Ausgrid
Project: Watts our energy future: the power of engagement

2021 Entries have now closed

Applications for the 2021 Core Values Awards have now closed. No late submissions will be accepted and the review process is underway. Entries for the 2022 Awards will open again in February. Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know when award submissions have opened again.

Best of luck to all our entrants for 2021! We look forward to announcing the 2021 Finalists in September 2021, and then the big winners at the 2021 IAP2 Australasia Conference Dinner.

Take a look at the list of awards on offer this year.

In 2021, IAP2 Australasia and IAP2 International is offering three major awards:

  • Project of the Year
  • Organisation of the Year
  • Research Project of the Year

IAP2 Australasia will also award eight Project Category Awards, from which the winner of Project of the Year will be chosen:

  • Planning
  • Infrastructure (Planning and Design)
  • Infrastructure (Construction)
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Disaster and Emergency Services
  • Community Development
  • Indigenous

In addition, there will also be two special awards:

  • Smart Budget
  • Judges’ Encouragement Award

In 2020 engagement practitioners faced new challenges, however, we still saw some outstanding projects at the forefront of community and stakeholder engagement in Australasia. You can discover more about the winners in the 2020 IAP2 Australasia Showcase of Core Values Awards.

Helpful Information

2021 Core Values Awards Entry Kit

Review the 2021 Core Values Awards Entry Kit.

Please note, this Entry Kit is for 2021 only, it may change in 2022.

Webinar: Tips for the Core Values Awards 2021

IAP2A members can recap on this webinar presented by last year’s judges Anne Pattillo, Clare Murrell and Leisa Prowse, along with winner Alicia Pickering from Melbourne Water. Plus Emanuela Savini from the IAP2A Research Working Group will step you through the Case Study Template which forms the new entry template for those entering Project of the Year.

Aimed at members preparing submissions for the Core Values Award, topics include: 

  • Overview of the submission and judging process 
  • The new Case Study Template 
  • Common pitfalls to avoid 
  • What makes a winning entry stand out 
  • What sort of evidence to include 
  • Tips and tricks from our past winners 

Download a copy of the presentation slides:

IAP2A Case Study Template

The Case Study Template is available to download here.

It is important to note this template is to be used for all Project Awards (Community Development, Disaster & Emergency Services) Environment, Health, Indigenous, Infrastructure and Planning).

For further information on how to align the Awards judging criteria to the Case Study Template see the webinar recording and presentation slides above. You can also take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions below for extra information.


Frequently asked questions

When do entries for the Core Values Awards 2021 open?

Entries will open 25 February 2021, and the Entry Kit will be available via the IAP2 website on that day.

How can I access the 2021 Entry Kit?

The Kit will be available on this page on 25 February 2021. You may also like to join the IAP2A Newsletter mailing list to be the first to know when the Kit is available.

When do entries for the Core Values Awards 2021 close?

Entries will close 19 April 2021. (In fairness to all entrants, and to ensure the judging process is not delayed, extensions cannot be granted.)

What are the Core Values Awards Categories?

There are three Major Awards: Project of the Year Award, Organisation of the Year Award and the Research Project of the Year Award.

The Project of the Year Award is divided up into the following categories:

  • Indigenous
  • Planning
  • Infrastructure (Planning and Design)
  • Infrastructure (Construction)
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Disaster and Emergency Services
  • Community Development
How do I submit an entry?

All entries are submitted via the IAP2A Application Portal: https://iap2a.smapply.io/. In 2021, a new template will be provided, and entrants will complete this template for their entry submission. This template will be a Word doc, which is then uploaded to the IAP2A Application Portal.

What countries can enter the IAP2 Australasia Awards?

Entries from Australia and New Zealand are most welcome. Entrants from other countries can enter their local IAP2 Affiliate Awards, or if none available, they can enter the IAP2 International Awards. Visit: iap2.org for more information.

How recent must the project to be to enter?

There is no time limit on when your project was started or completed to enter the 2021 Awards.

Is there a fee to enter?

An entry fee applies to each application: $175 plus GST for IAP2 members, $425 plus GST for non-members. Organisations entering need to be a Corporate or Small Business Member of IAP2 Australasia to access the member rate. If multiple organisations are entering, then at least one organisation must be a Corporate or Small Business Member. The entry fee is invoiced after the closing date of 19 April 2021.

If your organisation would like to request exemption from the entry fee (such as due to charity status or organisational policies), please feel free to email info@iap2.org.au (attention Marketing Manager) to explain your position.

We are not a member of IAP2 Australasia. Can we still enter?

Yes, you may – although note that there is a different entry fee for non-members.

When are the finalists and winners announced?

Finalists will be announced in September 2021. The winners will be announced the IAP2A Conference, to be held in Brisbane, 26-28 October 2021.

I am not sure which Category to enter.

We recommend you enter the Category that best fits your project or organisation. The judges may move you to a different category if they feel there is a better fit for your entry.

I’m having problems access the IAP2 Application Portal, or receiving my verification email.

We recommend you create your account in the IAP2 application submission system (powered by application software SM Apply) at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline to ensure you are familiar with what is required and comfortable with the online submission system. This also gives you the opportunity to seek help if you are having any technical issues. You can save, edit and even re-submit your entry as required up until the deadline.

All entrants need to create an account in the Application Portal and will receive a system generated email verification request before they can proceed. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam or junk folder, and check with your organisation’s IT if your firewall allow emails from SM Apply. For additional assistance, contact the Marketing Manager via email info@iap2.org.au.

Some organisations may have difficulty accessing SM Apply submission system, or receiving emails from SM Apply due to IT firewalls, policies or configuration. We suggest you speak to your IT department about granting access; or use an alternative email address (such as a Gmail or personal address) to receive validation emails.

For further information on how to use the SM Apply submission system, visit their FAQ page at: smapply.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001445354-Applicant-FAQ

Do you have any tips or tricks?

Ensure that your entry addresses all of the IAP2 Core Values. And definitely proofread it well. We are planning a webinar with past winners and judges in March 2021 to share what makes an entry a winning entry. Make sure you are on the mailing list to be the first to know when the webinar will be held.

How many entries do you typically receive per category?

Entry submissions do vary for each category, the range is typically between five to twenty. The Planning, Community Development and Infrastructure categories generally attract the most entries.

What if entries contain sensitive stakeholder information that is not be shared widely?

You are welcome to flag any sensitive information that you would rather not have published, and we can work with you to remove or edit this before your Case Study is published in any way.

Is the Case Study Template to be used for all applications or only for Project of the Year submissions?

The new Case Study Template is for Project of the Year entries only.

Applications for Organisation of the Year and Research Project of the Year use different criteria, you will find a suggested framework for these in the 2021 Entry Kit.

What information is to be edited in the Case Study Template?

You can remove or overwrite any of the explanatory/instructional text. You can also expand your images if the allowed space is not big enough. 

Is there a word limit for each section of the Case Study Template or specific font size to use?

There is no word limit.

We recommend keeping the font size the same as in the template.


If I enter and winning a sub-category, therefore go into the Project of the Year finalists will I need to complete the Case Study entry again?

Your original entry will be used for all stages of the process, including the Australasia Finalists and IAP2 International Awards. 

So you only need to submit your entry once.

For the Case Study Template, do I have to use all the image boxes?

No, you can be flexible with the images you can include. Simply delete any image boxes you don’t require, or add in additional images wherever you like. You can also make the image boxes larger or smaller, as required.

For the Introduction page of the Case Study Template, can I delete the circle diagram?

Yes, you can. It is there to demonstrate how the different sections fit together, but you can certainly delete the diagram if you like.

Are references or referees required or optional?

Referees or references are required. There are two different options in the submission portal to provide referees:

  1. Provide referee contact details; or
  2. Upload a written reference.

Words from winners

Brisbane City Council and Articulous / Sean Cullen, Manager, Neighbourhood Planning and Urban Renewal, Brisbane City Council

“Plan your Brisbane was an innovative community engagement program about the future of Brisbane and how the city will accommodate 386,000 more residents by 2041. Involving more than 277,000 interactions and generating more than 100,000 contributions it was the largest planning engagement exercise conducted by a local government in Australia. Plan your Brisbane generated more than 15,000 ideas by everyone from primary school students to senior residents.

Brisbane City Council has a longstanding history of engagement with the community and IAP2 is a key foundation of Council’s engagement planning and delivery. Winning three IAP2 awards including Planning, Australasian and International Project of the Year is a great honour amongst a high-quality field of award entries. It is extremely pleasing that the judges drew particular attention to the breadth and depth of engagement achieved through Plan your Brisbane, as a model for others. The engagement allowed Council to understand the community’s views with respect to key issues including housing supply and choice, liveability, transport and greenspace. Importantly, the community engagement has created a legacy of community-driven ideas about how to plan for the future and informed Brisbane’s Future Blueprint to help ensure our city thrives as a friendly and liveable place for future generations.

Brisbane City Council would like to thank IAP2 for this recognition, the energetic participation of the Brisbane community, and the dedication and creativity of Council’s project team, Articulous and JSA, who helped shape and deliver a very successful engagement program. Congratulations to all involved!”

Nepean Hospital Redevelopment Team

“Winning the Award for Infrastructure – Planning and Design for Nepean Redevelopment Stage 1 has been a great motivator for our project team as we head into the planning and design phase for Stage 2. It has also reassured us that we are on the right track when it comes to meaningful and effective community engagement. In 2020, the recognition we received at the IAP2 awards will help us break down some of the traditional boundaries around early and regular community participation in the hospital design and planning process. I am also hoping it will give us a mandate to try new methods of engagement across all our health projects.”

Amanda Newbery, Articulous

“Winning 4 awards in 2019, including the IAP2 project of the Year awards for Australasia and International was an incredible honour. The awards recognise the power of tailoring a mix of methods to different challenges and communities.

It recognised the possibility of engaging large audiences of up to 1 in 5 households in a city, and doing that through a mix of deep dive work, creative expression and gamification. It also recognises the importance of undertaking engagement that leads to genuine decisions thanks to the commitment of our client decision-makers who genuinely want to understand and respect their community members.

Most importantly the awards recognises the passion and dedication of our staff. They’re both brave and collaborative with our clients.”

Tracey Wilson, Working Visions

“As a boutique consultancy, based in far north Queensland, winning a Core Value Award allowed Working Visions the chance showcase authentic and culturally appropriate Indigenous engagement. As the Dengue Out Program – Wolbachia project -was a collaboration across four organisations and the entire community of the Northern Peninsula Area, the Award also provided the opportunity to highlight the work of our partners.  It also provided cumulative recognition of our regional engagement work over many years.”

Lauren Harding, GHD and Jo Anne Rey, Dharug Strategic Management Group Director

“Winning this award has allowed us to not only share what the Blacktown Native Institution site means to the Dharug people, but to share what it took to finally hand the land back – commitment, determination, being flexible, and most of all several years of building trusting relationships.”