Community Achievement Awards for NSW & the ACT

2022 Finalists

Awards Australia Connecting Communities Award

Hunter Heart Safe is a not-for-profit organisation run by local healthcare workers, doctors and paramedics. They volunteer their time to teach local community members the life-saving skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillation (AED) use. Over 2,500 community members have been trained through face-to-face free and accessible training. They provide CPR mannequins that give live feedback on the quality of compressions.
Jack Berne raised money in 2018 after learning about Australia’s drought and its impact on farmers and rural communities. The ‘a Fiver for a Farmer’ campaign encouraged people to dress up as farmers and donate $5. Within five weeks, Jack was able to raise $1 million. In October 2020, A Fiver for a Farmer became a registered charity called Jack’s Mates Foundation.


Jordan's Crossing Gazette is the free quarterly publication of the Bundanoon Community Association Inc. The Gazette provides a voice for the Association and gives prominence to its activities and events. It also keeps the community up-to-date with other local groups’ activities and events. An important feature is the regular columns and personality profiles. In 2023, they will offer writing workshops to encourage more contributors.


Red Cross - Humanitarian Settlement Program aims to settle arrivals from a refugee background in the Albury region. The Program started in 2018, growing from one staff member to a team of 11. Clients are supported through multiple areas of settlement, including education, employment, housing, finances, family functioning and law in Australia. Community consultations and roundtables are offered to understand the current areas of importance within communities.


Fairmont Resort Small Business Achiever Award


Banter Group is a regionally based marketing communications agency. Within four years, the business has grown to 18 locally based employees and working with over 350 clients ranging from small businesses to large multinationals. They have created viable packages in social media management to support small businesses. In 2021, Banter Group was a Finalist for Most Inclusive Employer in the Local Business Awards.


Finley Regional Care Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation that provides a 75-bed residential aged care facility, including dementia-specific care. They have medical clinics providing GP services to the region with over 5,000 active patients. They also provide care to 45 clients in their homes. FRC has established Finley as a dementia-friendly town by delivering free dementia awareness training to schools and the community.


Misty Creek Agroforestry integrates livestock, annual crops and trees in a way that builds ecology while farming. Using ‘Syntropic Farming’, they harness the law of natural succession to grow crops with minimum inputs. Mistry Creek Agroforestry sells directly to consumers at farmers’ markets and some local restaurants and retailers. Since 2021, they have undertaken a breeding project of heritage chickens with small-scale farmers.


Pairtree Intelligence Pty Ltd is an AgTech company that provides a universal dashboard for farmers to help them better manage their farms. Pairtree started in 2018 as an Information as a Service, where data streams from across the entire farm and supply chain can be centralised and accessed in a single platform. In 2021, Pairtree secured a Government grant to work with chemical company Syngenta.


NSW Government Crown Land Management Excellence Award


Ashby Community Centre and Public Recreation Reserve manages Ashby Hall, which provides a central community hub for its over 600 local residents. Two years ago, they rejuvenated the Board with four new members. They have arranged urgent repairs and got active on social media to improve promotion. In January 2021, Ashby residents conducted a series of working bees to clean the Hall and kitchen for its first Covid-prepared market.


Glenreagh Public Recreation Reserve Land Manager manages the reserve used primarily for equestrian-based recreational pursuits. The Land Manager Board has developed the reserve as a popular camping ground, improving its amenities for campers like new toilet/shower blocks and “beer garden” entertainment area. Improvements have been made to the show ring and yards used by recreational horse clubs. The improvements help promote Glenreagh as an appealing destination.


Oberon Showground Land Managers manage the reserve, which includes sheep and cattle yards, horse stables, trotting tracks and rodeo/camp draft yards, and a multipurpose hall. Some of their contributions include installing sensor security lighting throughout the grounds, establishing online booking, employing a full-time cleaner and installing new water taps in the camping area. They have set up a Facebook page to keep their community up-to-date.


The Bobin School of Arts Committee manages the Hall used by the community for small gatherings and functions. The Hall is also used for bi-monthly Sunday lunches to raise funds for ongoing maintenance. It is also used by the local SES team for training and is the operations centre during crisis. They obtained more than $250,000 of grant funds which they used to upgrade facilities.


NSW Government Council Crown Land Management Excellence Award


Blue Mountains City Council was appointed Crown Land Manager for 136 Crown reserves and an additional 19 Devolved Reserves across the Blue Mountains. The Council identified seven reserves to be managed as ‘Operational’ land and 129 reserves as ‘Community’ land. They implemented a Plans of Management project that delivered a draft of over 70 Crown Land plans, each addressing the essential requirements of the Local Government Act.


Ku-ring-gai Council manages the St Ives Showground site, a valued regional recreational facility. In 2021, together with the Ku-ring-gai Community, the Council commissioned a Plan of Management for the Showground. Their initiatives include opening the St Ives Showground Regional Playground in December 2020 and the Treetops Adventure Park in November 2021. They also implemented upgrades and improvements using the Covid-19 stimulus package.


Shellharbour City Council manages the Reddall Reserve, a 19-hectare combination of Crown Land and Council Community Land. The Council encourages diverse community use through facilities and opportunities available, including play space for all ages and abilities, inclusive and accessible amenities, bushland areas, trails and beach areas. The Council has a dedicated ‘Let’s Chat Page’ that details the location, assets and activities in the Reserve.


NSW Government Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award


Debbie Coddington is the Secretary of the Bectric Hall committee, a group of volunteers responsible for keeping the Hall in pristine condition. The Hall is the last standing pise hall, originally constructed in 1904. The Hall was recently opened up to campers. Debbie has tirelessly applied for grants which enabled the construction of the Camp Kitchen and the restoration of the Hall’s roof.


Glenda Chapman is the current Treasurer for the Freemans Reach School of Arts Hall, a place used by social, sporting and family groups. Glenda manages the day-to-day finances of running the Hall, takes bookings, and regularly maintains the Hall. In 2021, she successfully submitted and obtained a grant to renovate the Hall. This includes building improvements, new fencing, and electrical and plumbing work.


Jone Pavelic is the Chairperson of Temora Showground Land Manager. Temora Showground is a multi-use community facility comprising traditional showground activities. Jone is the point of contact for all facility bookings and site bookings for the Caravan Park. With support from her partner, Jone undertakes her role with grace, pleasantness and efficiency, resulting in a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on Wikicamps.


Mathew Casey is a member of the Reserve Land Managers Board, which manages the Goulburn Golf Course Reserve. In March 2021, the Reserve was impacted by a major flooding event. While doing the damage report, Mathew became aware that insurance was available. He contacted the Crown Lands Insurance Team and, with the agreement of the Board, successfully submitted a claim for renovation.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award


Alicia Floyer started Next Legal Conveyancing in September 2018. Alicia developed systems and procedures to ensure matters were handled efficiently and smoothly. This includes the development of the Next Legal & Conveyancing App, which ensures clients are constantly kept up-to-date on the progress of their matter. On completion, the App asks that clients rate the service, with an option to leave comments.


Ronald McDonald House Charities Central West NSW provides free accommodation for over 1,077 families, over 8,781 nights, or a value equivalent to $1.317 million. They accommodate families with a sick or injured child in the hospital and high-risk pregnancy mums. The charity’s three staff and over 100 volunteers are at the heart of what they do. Since opening in 2015, they have not received any negative feedback.


Santos Organics is a health food store, community hub, and 100% Not-for-profit Environmental Social Enterprise. Santos Organics prides itself on customer service, free Naturopath advice, and ethical products that support people and the planet. Since 2016, they have donated over $330,000 to local environmental and social organisations, aligning with their purpose to be a catalyst for a better tomorrow.


The Cram Foundation is a not-for-profit disability organisation celebrating 90 years of service in 2022. The Foundation’s person-centred approach puts the participant at the centre of decision-making concerning the supports they choose. Through the Cram Person-Centred Award, they recognise those who demonstrate excellent customer service and a person-centred approach in everything they do. The Cram’s Quality and Safeguarding Notifications has enabled staff to report complaints.


Transgrid Leadership Award


Jemma Coulter opened her small business during the 2022 Lismore Floods to anyone needing a place to stay. Jemma closed her business to gather clothing, blankets, mattresses and food for the local community. On Day One, she led the volunteers and turned the Evacuation Centre into an Evacuation Hub with 120 beds. She spent 10 days coordinating the Hub from the floor.


Louise Azzopardi started her Louise Azzopardi Training and Development Solutions Pty Ltd with the aim of coaching people to improve their soft skills and create personal and professional wellbeing opportunities for them. In the last five years, Louise has helped over 50 tradeswomen make the next career moves. She uses her experience and tools learnt in her life coaching diploma to support women.


Rhiannan Barr previously worked as a manager at the local Salvation Army Family Store, helping grow the team of volunteers from 3 to 15. Now, as Community Liaison Officer, she was involved in the Reconciliation Week Committee and helped organise the Reconciliation Awards Dinner, assisting in all aspects of organising. Rhiannan is a Scout Leader who supports the youth in gaining new skills.


Vickie Burkinshaw is the President of the Friends of the Gallery, President of the Wagga Women’s Health Centre, and an active member of the Wagga Women in Business community. Through her café and events venue, Vickie has encouraged young creative artists of all genres and fostered engagement of diverse cultures and recognition of the importance of re-establishing connections with the First Nations Wiradjuri.






2021 Finalists

Department of Planning and Environment Crown Land Manager Excellence Award:
Deepwater Land Manager Hall Committee is small but big-hearted. Composed of four board members, the Committee manages the Deepwater School of Arts Hall. They handle ongoing maintenance, work health and safety, and security matters, and accessibility. They maintain important documentation and attend regular information and training sessions while ensuring the Hall is compliant in every regard. The Hall has been the epicentre of the rural community for over 100 years. In 2020, the Committee embarked on an ambitious upgrade program. They proactively sought government funding and even trained at Grant Funding workshops. With the help of the Deepwater Community, they were granted $100,000 in funding.


Byrangery Grass Reserve Land Manager near Federal is dedicated to creating a refuge for endangered fauna and flora. The 15-hectare Byrangery Grass Reserve is set aside exclusively for Wildlife Habitat. The Byrangery Grass Reserve Land Manager consists of six local volunteers. They fulfil statutory obligations around meetings and reporting, apply for funding, raise funds, guide interest groups through the Reserve, form collaborations and monitor improvements in the ecosystem. They successfully sorted and received a $650,000 Bush Connects Grant, which helped control exotic species and regenerate native forest through seed bank germination. Over the last six years, they have focused on their Walking Track Project to improve users’ experience.


Glen Innes & District Historical Society Inc. has been serving as the proper custodian of the cultural heritage of the Glen Innes & District community since 1968. The Historical Society functions as a community chronicle, recording and informing successive generations through artefacts, documents and records at the Land of the Beardies Museum History House Museum and Research Centre. The Land of the Beardies occupies the former Glen Innes & District Hospital, which is listed as a heritage building. Over the past three years, the Society has been actively engaged in repairing and refurbishing the buildings, storage facilities and display areas. The Society has 255 members.


Old Bega Hospital Reserve Land Manager of Bega has committed to restoring a community hub ravished by bushfire. The Old Bega Hospital (OBH) Reserve covers 1.603 hectares. The historical reserve precinct includes the OBH Main Building, which was ravaged by bushfires in 2004. This left a void in the community as the OBH was an active community cultural hub. The OBH Board is the land manager of the Reserve, with Patricia Jones as Chair since 2007. Since the fire, the Board has set the strategic goal of sourcing grant funding to restore and renovate the main building. After 16 years, the OBH received grants totalling $3,421,000 in 2019.


Department of Planning and Environment Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award:
Patricia Jones of Bega has demonstrated sustained practical commitment. In 2007, Pat became Chair of the Board of the Old Bega Hospital (OBH) Reserve, a Community Cultural Centre that is home to community groups and used for markets, festivals and private functions. Before joining the Board in 2003, Patricia was a member of Spinners and Weavers, one of the resident groups at the OBH. As Chair, Pat manages all aspects of board meetings and wrote most of the original funding applications. In 2019, Pat and the OBH Board successfully received grants totalling $3,421,000 to restore the OBH Main Building, which was ravaged by bushfires in 2004.


Stephen Thatcher of Muswellbrook has been the Chairman of the Board of the Lake Liddell Recreation Area Reserve Land Manager since 2004. The Board ensures the implementation of the Draft Strategic Plan which prioritises enabling growth, commercial opportunities and sustainable progress; expanding green space; strengthening and supporting evolving community, and; working with Aboriginal communities to realise the potential of their land rights. Stephen oversees the implementation of the Code of Conduct for the Reserve, manages conflicts of interests and ensures documentation of work health and safety requirements. He was instrumental in having Scouts, Landcare and the community involved in planting 20,000 plants over the years.


Louise Jenkins of Cooma is a member of the North Ridge Reserve Advisory Committee. The Committee manages the North Ridge Reserve, a 123-hectare bushland that supports a large number of native plant species, and mammals, reptiles and birds. Louise helped improve the condition and management of the Reserve, particularly when the Committee was disbanded as a result of Council amalgamations. She initiated the application of a grant for the improvement of the Reserve’s amenities, including the walking tracks, signage, access and parking infrastructure. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she conducted publicly accessible Covid-safe walks within the Reserve to maintain local community physical and mental wellbeing.


William West of Balmoral is ensuring the grounds are preserved for future generations to come. Bill has been a member of the Bribbaree Showground Trust since 1982. He became its Chairman in 1984. In 1997, he became secretary/treasurer. For 37 years, Bill has tirelessly worked for the Showground. Now at 72, he vows to continue supervising the Showground, cleaning up the grounds after each event, cleaning the toilets, checking the tanks and doing everything he can to maintain the grounds in pristine condition. With extensive knowledge of the workings of the grounds, Bill has drawn up comprehensive maps of its power and water systems.


Prime Super Business Innovation Award:
Avirida of Dorrigo Mountain has a passion for environmental protection and climate change prevention. Avirida is a skincare company established after a successful Kickstarter campaign. They commit to sourcing only the most sustainable materials and to machining everything in-house. Their skincare products are 100% palm oil free, cruelty-free and organic. Their refillable, reusable and compostable timber pots are made from discarded Camphor Laurel, which is considered an invasive, noxious weed, or any other salvage/storm-damaged logs locally. With every Avirida product sold, Avirida plants a tree. They have so far planted 18,973 trees with the help of Trees for the Future. They have employed two locals.


Why Leave Town Promotions of Narrabri is encouraging people to ‘Shop Local’. Why Leave Town Promotions (WLT) offers community gift cards that use a ‘closed loop’ technology that ensures dollars stay local. The WLT Community Gift Card can be purchased at local ‘load up’ points or online and can only be spent back on participating local businesses. WLT works with over 60 communities across Australia and has created a website, Shop Local Hub. In 2018, the gift cards were used by organisations to distribute funds raised to support farmers and others in need during the drought. To date, WLT has helped keep over $12m in local communities.


Pairtree Intelligence Pty Ltd of Orange is delivering connected data services to farmers. Pairtree is a regionally-based AgTech company that offers a universal dashboard for farmers, overcoming the issue of incompatibility between various AgTech and digital agricultural solutions used by farmers to manage their farms better. Pairtree started in 2018 as an ‘Information as a Service’. Today, they are close to building 100 data source integrations across the Australian AgTech and digital Ag space. By developing a platform and strategy that allows other Australian service providers to better service their customers’ needs, there is continuing support and growth with the business. Pairtree’s employment strategy is ‘Regional First’.


AMPS Research of Caroona aims to improve farmer returns and build rural communities. The Agricultural Marketing and Production Systems (AMPS) developed the AMPS Commercial Pty Ltd in 2001 after farmers felt a lack of investment in local production research. Profits generated from the retail arm fund AMPS Research, a non-profit organisation investing private money into independent, relevant and consistent agricultural research. AMPS now invests $700,000 annually into research and conducts over 13,000 small trial plots focused on sustainably increasing productivity, increasing farm profitability and growing stronger rural communities. Since 2011, $3.7 million of profit generated by AMPS Commercial has been invested back into AMPS Research.


TransGrid Leadership Award:
Jason Owen of Gosford has a passionate affinity for children in isolated areas. Jason, who is of Aboriginal heritage, grew up as the only child in an isolated town of 12 people. He established Doin’ It For Rural Aussie Kids, an organisation that supplies presents, groceries and funds to kids in remote and regional communities to give them a Christmas they deserve after devastating bushfire and drought in 2019. An award-winning country music singer, Jason set up a GoFundMe page, contributed funds from sales of his merchandise, and secured sponsor donations. He embarked on a road trip in December 2019 and benefitted over 250 children.


Sophie Wills of Central Macdonald is the Founder & Chair of the Community Defib Project, which installs community-accessible defibrillators to vulnerable communities across New South Wales. The Project was founded in 2010 and has successfully installed more than 50 community Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). An AED is a device that can be used by anyone to save the life of someone who suffers a sudden cardiac arrest. Under Sophie’s leadership, the Project obtained a $35,000 grant from the NSW Government and raised more than $100,000. With its success in Wiseman’s Ferry, the Project has expanded under Sophie’s leadership to include more than 15 communities.


Tara McClelland of Waterloo was named the 2021 ACT Young Australian of the Year. In this role, she has advocated directly to the Prime Minister and other Government Ministers about the rights of young people. She ensures that young people’s voices are heard and that issues like mental health, housing and climate justice are recognised by the Government as important to Australia’s youth. Tara also launched the annual Red Shield Appeal for the Salvation Army. On International Women’s Day 2021, she was a keynote speaker at a Women in Construction Breakfast. Speaking at various schools, she empowers the emerging generation to use their voice.


Jim Finucane of Tamworth is a 92-year-old man who has been an active volunteer in the community since 1978. He has been a volunteer fireman and driver for 15 years and has helped find homes for 45 families. He served as Justice of Peace for 42 years and was an acting police magistrate. In 1989, Jim started the Friendship Force, which connected Tamworth with 20 countries around the world. He has led the recreation of the men’s shed since 2007. He has run the ANZAC Service Day for five years. He has spent 11 years at Shopping World giving away bags of information on community health.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award:
Bond Hair Religion of Kingston commits to a consistent experience. Bond Hair Religion is a five-star salon that offers a variety of cutting, colouring and styling services. The salon space has 28 stations, a colour bar and a café for guests, and a hole-in-the-wall coffee bar for the general public. Owner Jenni Tarrant is the principal stylist and works 40 hours with clients. Every guest’s journey has been crafted, choreographed and trained. Guests are presented with an iPad with extensive complimentary beverages/treats and a choice of 15 types of digital magazines/Netflix. Conversations are 80% about the guest. Staff undergo training to ensure consistency of guest experience.


Mountain Whispers Blue Mountains offers service personalised. Founded in 2006, Mountain Whispers comprises five guest homes offered for exclusive let. It combines the intimate scale and human contact of a bed-and-breakfast with professionalism, polish and attention to detail of a 5-star luxury hotel. Guests have 24/7 personal contact with the owner and historic restorer, Lorraine Alanson, from the moment of first enquiry right through the end of the stay. MW opens an experience that is boutique and bespoke. Guests are ensured of exclusive occupancy, absolute privacy, anonymity and peace. Mountain Whispers has created comprehensive customer service systems and procedures for each role within Mountain Whispers.


Ronald McDonald House Charities Orange never closes its doors. Ronald McDonald House Charities Orange (RMH Orange) opened in 2015 after ten years of fundraising to build. They have since provided free accommodation to over 922 families and 7,489 nights, which equate to $1,123,350 savings. RMH Orange provides accommodation for families with a sick or injured child in hospital and high-risk pregnancy mums. Their volunteers are at the heart of what they do, and to date, they have not received any negative feedback, reinforcing what RMH and their people mean for the families. All staff and volunteers undergo significant training relative and supportive to their roles.


Riverina Speech Pathology of Wagga Wagga was opened in 2010 by Parneet (Nancy) Kaur to give back to the community where she grew up. RSP comprises four administrative staff and three fully trained speech pathologists that provide paediatric, adult and geriatric services. They receive regular training in the latest advancements in speech pathology, enabling them to apply research-based assessment and intervention. RSP’s premises are bright and modern, and a warm welcome is always guaranteed. The practice provides greater flexibility to its over 300 clients. In 2021, they offered a second clinic catering for the waiting list. In 2020, RSP was a finalist for the Customer Service Award.


Awards Australia Connecting Communities Award:
Psychs on Bikes is raising mental health awareness. Psychs on Bikes (PoB) is an association of mental health professionals who are passionate about their work and motorbikes, helping people in rural and remote Australian communities to access mental health services and a shoulder to lean on. It was co-founded by Dr Joe Dunn during a motorcycle ride in 2011. PoB uses motorbikes as a conversation starter with men who might otherwise not engage in a discussion about their mental health. They offer physical and mental health checks for men and women, educational talks, school visits, keynote presentations and bespoke approaches to specific community needs.


Boys to the Bush Ltd of Albury is committed to a sustainable model of youth preventive intervention. Boys to the Bush (BttB) was founded in 2017 by three secondary school teachers who saw too many boys from disadvantaged backgrounds slipping through society’s cracks. BttB conducts term-break and long weekend camps for public and private school groups, sibling experiences for families split apart and one-on-one, group and school MENtoring. Their ‘BttB Academy’ initiative aims to identify, recruit and train for a structured traineeship program a homegrown workforce of caring young men who have been beneficiaries of BttB. Their goal is to change 233,000 young Australian lives by 2030.


Soul Café of Newcastle believes its strength is the diversity of people it deals with. Established in 2003, Soul Café is a charity that provides help to vulnerable, homeless and socially isolated people through basic meal service and supporting their guests by doing ‘whatever they can with whatever they have, for whoever they can.’ They provide access to legal services, Centrelink and employment services; and walk with their guests on a day-to-day basis towards experiencing safety, welfare and dignity. In 2015, they established a Mental Health Clinic. During Covid-19, they introduced Covid-safe Soul Street Service for takeaway meals, grocery hampers and mental health check-ins.


Yeoval & District Satellite Community Newspaper demonstrates community spirit and determination. The community newspaper was founded in 1957 as Yeoval & District Satellite Weekly. By 2014, the future of the 57-year-old Satellite became uncertain with the ageing volunteer getting ready for retirement until a former journalist who moved back to Yeoval took over in 2015 as editor. The Satellite was given a makeover, with up to 200 copies of the 40-page publication printed per edition, in colour for the first time. In 2020, they moved to a fortnightly publication due to Covid-19. In 2021, they emailed online editions to subscribers as far away as the United Kingdom.




2020 Finalists

Transgrid Leadership Award:

Ann-Maria Martin of Cardiff
is helping people rebuild their lives. Ann-Maria founded Survivors R Us, a charity aimed at fighting against domestic violence and homelessness within the local community. She builds lasting business relationship with other charities and forms mutually beneficial relationships with the local church. The charity supplies people with useful skills through volunteering and Work for the Dole activities. They also provide a safe area called Butterfly Corner for women to meet together once a week. A domestic violence survivor, Ann-Maria has a cancer diagnosis and is currently in remission. She experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being robbed at gunpoint.

Dr Saba Nabi of Wagga Wagga is a member of the Regional Advisory Council, Multicultural NSW, Multicultural Council of Wagga Wagga, and NSW PandC Federation Riverina Board, among other organisations. Arriving in Australia nine years ago from India, she found volunteering as the best option to avoid homesickness and social isolation. Her 10-year-old daughter is following her footsteps in volunteering. Dr Saba has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and is currently a Health Manager with NSW Health and a Project Officer at Wagga Base Hospital. She won the NSW International Student of the Year, Higher Education category and 2019 Riverina Volunteer of the Year Award.

Theresa Mitchell of Tweed Heads founded Agape Outreach, Inc. in 2009. From offering free meals on the streets for the homeless, it is now a charity helping over 10,000 people every year. Agape’s over 120 volunteers serve 400 meals each week to the homeless and needy in the Tweed, Byron Bay and Gold Coast areas. Theresa runs a food rescue program, collecting food from supermarkets and bakeries that would otherwise end up in landfills. She provides case management, life skills classes, advocacy and counselling and sources emergency accommodation and affordable housing to help people access their basic rights. Theresa is currently studying a Bachelor of Psychology.


Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award:

Cressida Cains of Robertson created Dairy Cocoon, a not-for-profit online platform and support hub, after noticing that many small family-owned farms were closing or not making a profit under the current model of selling milk to large processors. Dairy Cocoon aims to remove the hurdles of small dairy farms to transform up the value chain and ensure a viable future for their farms and families. The platform will include a range of business tools, information, education and an online community hub to facilitate connections and support. For her deep passion for the Australian dairy industry, Cressida won the 2020 NSW Rural Women’s Award.

Gavin and Karina Moore of Glenmore run the 200-year-old family property, which currently milks 220 registered Holsteins, producing an average of 30 litres per cow per day, twice a day or around 1.8 million litres per year. They also lease properties for rearing calf heirs. In 2007, they built a new dairy complex, with computer-operated milking machines, rapid exit stall gates and a herringbone pit to host tour and school groups. They have hosted 25,000 schoolchildren and continue to work tirelessly in promoting agriculture through the local Camden Show. From 2017 to 2019, they worked with the Dilly Drought Drive, distributing feed to farmers.

Lupins for Life of Jindera are passionate about introducing the nutritional benefits of Australian sweet white Lupins to communities. Founded by farmers Gary and Heather Drew, Lupins for Life is a family-owned and run business that has developed a unique nine-step milling process to deliver 100% natural plant-based, high protein and fibre products including a world-first toasted protein flake. Committed to innovation, they have partnered with the Department of Agriculture over the past thirty years. The value-added enterprise benefits the local community, increases local manufacturing and creates a sense of pride and achievement for the farming community. They also have a Zero Waste Production Policy.


Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Crown Land Manager Excellence Award:

Bobin School of Arts is based in Bobin Hall, an asset of Crown Lands that is managed by the local community. For years, it has become a social centre, evacuation centre, donation centre and was a recovery centre for families severely impacted by fires. Local residents purchase a $5 annual membership to the Hall. A committee with five permanent positions oversees the Hall, plans social event and fundraisers such as an active recycling program, and organises repairs or improvements. A subcommittee is elected to assist with building maintenance and administration. The Hall’s survival of the 2019 bushfires became a vital rallying point for the community.

Glen Innes & District Historical Society Inc proudly serves as custodian of the Glen Innes & District community. For fifty years, the Society has served as Land Manager and operator of the Land of the Beardies Museum History House & Research Centre, which opened in 1968 and is listed as a heritage building. The Land of the Beardies is a folk museum, safekeeping artefacts, maps, photographs and other historical and cultural items of the Glenn Innes community. By providing archival storage, the Society functions as a chronicle via the recording and informing of successive generations. The Society currently has 248 members, with around 45 actively volunteering within the museum.

Hunter Multicultural Communities Inc. of Waratah manages the Reserve that provides a safe space for the aging, vulnerable, at-risk youth, disabled and multicultural individuals and groups. HMCI, formerly the Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle and Hunter Region, is a not-for-profit benevolent organisation, originally founded to support new, emerging and established communities from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. They have over thirty employees and 100 dedicated volunteers. HMCI’s new CEO, Annette Gebhardt, has transformed the Reserve into a true community hub that encompasses a sustainable diversity community garden. During the pandemic, they joined with Harris Farms, Meals on Wheels and OzHarvest to deliver food hampers.


Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award:

Barry Cumpstay of Lillian Rock was fundamental in the construction of the Hanging Rock Hall. For over thirty years, Barry has been involved with the Hall, which was built by volunteers on the Wadeville Reserve when Wadeville Hall burnt to the ground in 1984. As member of the board of management, he assists in decision-making and maintaining the energy and focus required for pro-active development. A master builder and manager of workers, Barry he provided a constant provision of tools, knowledge and skills in the creation of the Hall, leading volunteers and overseeing quality control. The Hall was recently listed as a Heritage Building in Kyogle Shire.

Neil Rose of Norah Head has been a board member of Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve for seven years. As current Land Manager Board chairperson, Neil ensures all areas of the Reserve are maintained and protected according to relevant legislation. He manages Reserve finances in conjunction with the Treasurer, ensures maintenance and repairs are carried out, makes sure the Reserve is available and safe to visit and enjoy and ensures publicity to maintain rental income. For over thirty years, Neil has been active in the community, holding positions as Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor of Wyong Shire Council and Deputy Chair of the former Reserve Trust.

William West of Bribbaree has been tirelessly working for the Brisbbaree Showground for 37 years. He was Chairman of the Showground Trust for 13 years and was the Secretary/Treasurer since 1997. At 72, William hopes to continue supervising the use of the Showground, cleaning up after each event, cleaning toilets, checking tanks and pump water and ensuring the grounds are in pristine condition for the next five years. With his extensive knowledge, he is often called upon if power fails or water pipes burst. William has drawn up comprehensive maps of the power and water systems to let others understand the workings of the ground.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award:

Cowra Retirement Village of Cowra began operations in 1988 as a community owned, not for profit Retirement Village. They now have 82 Residential Aged Care beds, 50 independent living units and deliver 30 Home Care Packages. Cowra Retirement Village provide a flexible, nurturing workplace with opportunities for personal and professional development. Staff and their families can access free and confidential counselling, they have a comprehensive online staff training program and an integrated online staff rostering and payroll system eliminating the need for timesheets, printed rosters and leave forms. Since 2018 the Staff Excellence Awards have recognised staff with a trophy and gift vouchers.

Maroba Aged Care of Waratah offers an extensive range of boutique customized services and is about to expand into spectacular Lake Macquarie with a new small-scale vertical village for Independent living for the young at heart over 65. It is their approach to care that keeps their 200 staff engaged and wanting to be a part of Maroba. The many staff benefits include working in a positive culture and access to onsite free wellness clinic where employees choose a therapeutic or relaxation therapy. Staff are offered salary packaging, flexible rosters, free vaccinations, employee assistance and recognition programs, exceptional learning and development opportunities and a scholarship program.

Peninsula Villages of Umina Beach is a not-for-profit residential aged care provider accommodating more than 350 residents with approximately 300 team members and 100 volunteers. They developed a new staff wellbeing program to enhance team culture with ancillary health and wellness initiatives, healthy lifestyle checks, exercise and fitness initiatives, staff social responsibility programs and a series of social events for team bonding. Staff have access to an onsite counsellor for group grief and loss, flexible work hours and low rate accommodation for financially/socially disadvantaged staff. Peninsular Village employ education staff, and each employee is given a professional development portfolio and personalised training plan for the year.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award:

Globe Home Timber & Hardware of Broken Hill wants to ensure customers have a great shopping experience. Globe HTH retails timber and building materials, general hardware, power tools, outdoor furnishings, kitchen appliances, and gardening products, among others. Some value-added services they provide include complimentary water testing for pool and spa chemicals, end to end service from quote to delivery, gas bottle refills, Swap‘n’Go service, delivery service and a loyalty program. They also offer digital payments and finance options, corporate Click’n’Collect service and online shopping through their website. Globe has been awarded Excellence in Customer Service by the Regional Development Australia Far West Business Awards from 2015 to 2017 and 2019.

Millthorpe Little Learning Centre is a family-owned and operated Long Day Care and Preschool founded in 2018 by Emma Harrison and Joel Smith. Their aim was to create a home-like atmosphere that combined the good qualities of a smaller setting with high-quality educational programs and care. MLLC educators collate observations on each child per month and plan and reflect on individual learning experiences to further the child’s development and ideas. Educators regularly engage in professional development. MLLC provides food, catering to individual dietary and nutritional requirements. In 2019, they won the Orange Local Business Awards for Best New Recruit, Excellence in Education and Outstanding Business.

Riverina Speech Pathology of Wagga Wagga is committed to making a genuine difference in people’s lives and was established by Nancy Kaur in 2010 to give back to her community. Two administration staff, a practice manager, and three fully trained speech pathologists work with Nancy to provide paediatric, adult and geriatric services for almost 200 clients. Staff receive regular training in the latest advancements in speech pathology, enabling them to apply research-based assessment for those in their care. They became affiliated with a local occupational therapist in 2016 to provide clients with a one-stop-shop. They recently undertook intensive training in telehealth to continue client progress amid the pandemic.


Awards Australia Connecting Communities Award:

Active Farmers of Mangoplah hopes to promote great physical and mental health among farmers. Founded by Ginny Stevens in 2015, Active Farmers is a response to concerns about mental health issues in rural areas, growing isolation rising from expanded farm technology, and scarcity of locally available health and wellbeing activities in small farming communities. They introduce regular group fitness and training sessions conducted in a fun and interactive environment by qualified local trainers. They don’t offer high-cost annual membership fees and cater to all fitness levels and experience. They provide health-related workshops, information sessions on resilience, nutrition and mindfulness and short-term drought relief programs.

Christine Welsh of Tura Beach co-established Sapphire Community Projects, a not-for-profit whose purpose is to relieve poverty, food insecurity and social isolation in vulnerable groups including people on low incomes, those with mental health issues or disabilities, homeless, aged and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, among others. She also founded Sapphire Community Pantry, which provides food at cost-recovery prices or for free, rescues good food that are bound for landfill but safe to eat, and runs a mobile pantry. Christine worked tirelessly during the bushfires, setting up cool storage and offering meal service despite her health vulnerabilities. She hopes to establish a Community Centre for Bega.

The Community of the Cobargo Region demonstrated incredible resiliency. In the aftermath of the devastating 2019 New Year’s Eve bushfires that left four people dead and hundreds of homes and farms destroyed, the people of Cobargo gathered together at the Cobargo Showground either sheltering from the fires or volunteering to help those displaced. The Community responded immediately to the disaster, contributing to the relief, recovery and rebuilding. Volunteers helped set up and run the refuge/relief centre. A Community Bushfire Recovery Fund, Business Recovery Group and a Master Plan for the rebuild were established. The local people built the first house just ten weeks after the fires.


2019 Finalists

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Crown Land Manager Excellence Award
Dirawong Reserve Land Manager
have turned a degraded site to a pristine condition. The Dirawong Reserve Land Manager Board comprises of four local volunteer community members appointed by the Minister. Volunteers manage the 300-hectare site consistent with the Minister-approved Plan of Management. The Board manages local contractors, provides hands-on involvement in maintenance of the Reserve and directly engages in public education. The Board actively manages tracks, minimises intrusive man-made infrastructure and raises community and visitor interest. They have upgraded walking tracks for easier public access whilst reducing environmental damage. Despite limited funds, they have helped preserve Indigenous history and culture in the region.

Cowra Showground, Racecourse and Paceway Trust has dramatically changed the future of the Reserve, which is a 60-acre site along the river. Users include the Cowra Jockey Club, Cowra Harness Racing Club, Cowra Show Society, Cowra Pony Club and Cowra Campdraft Club. The Trust renovated and refurbished the heritage-listed turnstile gates at the Showground, upgraded the camping area and increased its capacity. They provided a covered meeting place, restored the 1940’s stable block and derelict Caretakers Cottage and employed an onsite caretaker. The improvements have attracted more users and increased participation in major events. The Showground Trust is a member of the Cowra Tourism Corporation, which helps market the site. 

Dooralong Community Reserve Land Manager has undergone extraordinary work for the Reserve. They are a group of local, appointed individuals who are responsible for the overall management of the Crown Reserve. The group handles management of bookings, full maintenance of the Hall and Reserve, liaison with authorities and community groups, finance management, local history and general enquiries. Other initiatives include the first “Dooralong Showcase Countrywise” under the umbrella of the Central Coast Council’s Harvest Festival. Organised by the Reserve Manager from scratch, the event was attended by 3,000 visitors, 45 volunteers and 38 businesses. The event also helped the Reserve Manager reach out to younger people.

Johns River Community Hall & Recreation Reserve hopes to leave a long-lasting legacy for the community. A group of five Land Managers have been involved in the Reserve for a combined total of 125 years. Their main role is to ensure that the 10-acre Community Hall and Recreation Reserve precinct is well cared for, from an infrastructure and financial viability perspective for continued enjoyment of the public. All Land Managers are volunteers coming from different backgrounds. They handle maintenance and repairs, management of various functions, and work with volunteers and community labour to save vital dollars. Their primary source of income is their signature monthly Community Markets.

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award

Barry Thomson of Boggabri is ensuring the community benefits from use of the grounds. Barry has been President on and off since 1988 of the Boggabri Showground and Public Recreation Land Manager, which is run by seven volunteers. Barry spends each weekend emptying rubbish at the local tip, repairing broken pipes and dripping taps and shower and mowing the area. He even goes out at all hours of the night if needed. He makes sure organisations and clubs using the grounds have safe areas and have correct insurance cover for events. Barry is also the president of the Boggabri Pony Club, which hires the Showground monthly.

Neil Rose of Norah Head is committed to maintaining the Reserve for current and future generations. Neil has been a Trust and Land Manager Board member for six years at the Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve. As current Board Chairperson, he ensures all areas are maintained and protected according to relevant legislations. He helps manage the finances, coordinates with the Land Manager Board and ensures that the Reserve is safe and available to the public. He also liaises with the Marketing Committee and Reserve Managers on publicity matters and maintains income from tours and event bookings. Neil has been active in community service for over 30 years.

Arthur Hatch of Mullumbimby has been instrumental in turning the Reserve to a flourishing community jewel. The Mullumbimby Showground is managed by a voluntary Board which was dissolved in 2011 due to financial misconduct. Arthur is part of the replacement Board, serving first as Treasurer and now as Chair. He confronted a $30k debt for an inoperable mower, $20k unpaid creditor invoices, no money in the bank and mismanaged land. Arthur prioritised stabilising the financial position of the Showground. He provided physical labour and project and budgetary management services. The Camping Site provides 50% of the Reserve’s annual income and the Showground now has over $300k.

William Kember, OAM of Ganmain is passionate the growth of regional communities. The Ganmain Showground Trust manages the Showground and organisations attached to it, including the Poultry Club, Pony Club and Camping Ground. Will has been an active member for over 45 years and is now Chairman of the Showground Trust. He has been instrumental in gaining funding to develop buildings and infrastructures and encourages various organisations and local horse trainers to be active users of the Showground. He instigated its use as a camping facility, thus encouraging tourism in the area. This injected $50,000 into the Showground and enabled the Trust to build toilets and showers.

Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award
Back Up Charlie of Urana is committed to maximising sheep farming efficiency. It is a flexible dual lane lead up race, designed for sheep handling applications like crutching trailers, jetting plants, weighing boxes and scanning cradles. Invented by sheep and cereal grain farmer Charlie Webb, it is compact and transportable, helping handlers reduce capital expenditure normally spent on multiple sheep handling facilities and features hock bars, which keeps sheep forward facing. Back Up Charlie won the 2016 Henty Machinery Field Days Machine of the Year, the 2017 Australian National Field Days at Orange, The Land Machine of the Year and the NAB Agribusiness Award of Excellence.

Dr Amy Moss of Armidale is striving to improve chicken meat production efficiency. Her research revealed that by replacing some ground grain in chicken feed with whole grain, the chickens’ digestion is improved. Her study found that 30% whole grain improved production efficiency by 7.7%. If implemented globally, this would produce enough chicken to meat protein requirement for 100 million people. This translates to $92 million in feed cost savings and 22.5% less nitrogen excreted into the environment. Amy received a grant to support the Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition; an animal nutrition conference focusing on the incorporation of new ideas and technology to Australian agriculture.

John Ive of Hall has a passion for environmental improvements. For four decades, John has been co-managing their family farm, Talaheni, in the Yass Valley. His innovative on-ground activities have addressed dryland salinity, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and soil moisture improvement, which resulted in enhanced sustainability and production gains, particularly ultra-fine wool. His latest innovation is the sequestration of eleven times more carbon than total livestock. John believes in constant monitoring, regularly adjusting his practices as monitoring indicates. He is an active member of the Yass Valley Revegetation and Murrumbateman Landcare and has been named one of 36 influential Australian farmers selected as a Climate Champion.

Lorraine Gordon of Lismore has created Australia’s largest community of primary producers keen to boost their margins by forming collaborations. Through Southern Cross University, Lorraine and her team implemented the “Farming Together Program,” which established agricultural co-operatives as key strategy for growing the sustainability of smaller, family-owned agricultural operations in Australia. Farming Together works with farmers to identify business needs, pair expertise and fund business expansion projects. It has so far created a pool of over 200 specialist advisers, reached 28,500 primary producers and supported 730 producer groups. Lorraine has been made Director of Strategic Projects at SCU and also runs two rural businesses.

Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
Eagle View Escape of Rydal is passionate about hosting guests and exceeding expectations. For over 20 years, Eagle View Escape is a 100-acre property located west of the Blue Mountains has offered boutique accommodation. They take pride in their excellent staff management which contributes to their successful guest service approach. To benchmark services, they utilise TripAdvisor’s analytics suite to gain insights into specific “competitor sets” for benchmarking. They also engage an external company to conduct an independent customer service analysis on their behalf. They won the Australian Achieve Awards for Travel, Tourism & Accommodation Services category in 2017 and 2018 and the Customer Services Excellence category in 2019.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Orange is devoted to giving families the gift of togetherness during tough times. After ten years of fundraising, the House opened in 2015 and has since accommodated at no cost, over 590 families across five health districts. They provide accommodation for families with sick child in hospital and for high risk pregnancy mums. The House is run by two staff, supported by 111 dedicated volunteers. Staff and volunteers undergo significant training relative to their roles such as safeguarding of children, first aid, and mental health training. To ensure quality service, families are asked to complete a survey after their stay.

Mountain Whispers of Blue Mountains is dedicated to offering access to nature on a grand scale. Mountain Whispers comprises five historic guest homes situated in the boutique Blue Mountains towns of Leura and Katoomba. They aim to fill a unique niche in the region by combining the intimacy of a bed-and-breakfast with the polish and attention of a five-star luxury hotel. They offer bespoke service and allow personal contact with owner and historic restorer, Lorraine Allanson, who is available 24 hours a day. They achieve customer service excellence by meticulously attending to details that matter most to guests such as ease of booking, to uncompromising hygiene standards.

Botanical Art of Lawson highlights an authentic approach to personal care and connection. Botanical Art, a family-owned and operated florist business servicing the Blue Mountains and beyond. Owners Brendon and Elizabeth Cannon are responsible for daily deliveries and flower arrangements, respectively. They share equal responsibility in providing excellent customer service. Brendon presents the business to potential new customers whilst Elizabeth is first point of contact for visiting or calling customers. Their personal approach includes taking time to educate customers on plant care and remembering customers’ names and their likes and dislikes. Botanical Art won the Best Retail Business Award at the 2018 Blue Mountains Business Awards.

Wholistic Financial Solutions Small Business Achievement Award
Clarke Keller Architects of Barton are passionate about producing high quality designs. Clarke Keller is a Canberra-based firm that applies national expertise at a local level. Their practice typically encompasses regional community projects and they specialise in innovative learning, sustainable living and human-focused work environments. Over the last four years, the business has grown to 25 staff and has added interior design services. In 2019, one of its many projects, the ANU Hann Neumann Building by Clarke Keller, received two Australian Industry of Building Awards, a Master Builders of Australia Award, and three ACT Architecture Awards, presented by the Australian Institute of Architects.

Meralli Solar of Armidale has a passion for powering regional communities. Established in 2017, Meralli Solar redefines smaller utility-scale solar farming in Australia by delivering quick installation, low-cost high-return solar farms, to regional areas. They have delivered four privately funded projects and with completion of the Kanowna project, will have reduced CO2 emissions by 39,000 metric tonnes per year. They have 11 employees and make conscious efforts to source significant labour and materials from communities where projects are located. Meralli Solar works closely with every community it operates and sponsors local organisations like the Armidale Women’s Networking Group and the Northern Nations Indigenous Football Team.

Wollongong Emergency Family Housing aims to provide a voice for the vulnerable. They are a not-for-profit charity working under a community management model to support families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. They work to keep existing accommodation or attain new tenancies through early intervention, case management, referral and advocacy. The Wollongong Homeless Hub in particular, is a specialist homelessness service that operates as a drop-in centre. They cater to a diverse client base, including non-English speaking refugees, youth and Indigenous people. WEFH has collaborative involvement with other homelessness services and non-government and government organisations. In 2017, it successfully supported 1,900 clients.

Accelerate Physiotherapy of Garran is passionate about giving back. Established in 2017, Accelerate Physiotherapy treated 3,068 patients in their first six months of trade. Their net revenue has increased by 25% in the last 12 months and they continue to see an average of 100 new patients per month. Services include workplace injuries and ergonomic advice, spinal injuries, post-operative rehabilitation and general health management, serving the Canberra and Queanbeyan region. They proudly service the Easts Rugby Union Club and Queanbeyan Blues Rugby League Club. Accelerate Physiotherapy currently has 11 staff which includes 5 full-time physios. Staff are encouraged to get involved in the community.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
Peninsula Villages of Umina strives to be a leader in staff relations. Incorporated in 1980, Peninsula Villages is a not-for-profit residential aged care provider in the Central Coast catering to over 350 residents. They offer supported living, ageing in place, dementia-specific and palliative care and holistic care. They have 317 full-time, causal and permanent staff. In 2017, Peninsula Villages rolled out a multiskilling staff training program. In 2019, they introduced a new team wellbeing program, focusing on group personal sessions, a Fitbit challenge, free breast screens and quit smoking hydrotherapy. They offer extensive Learning and Development programs and numerous career pathways to ensure staff satisfaction.

Cowra Retirement Village commits to become the region’s employer of choice. Founded in 1988, the Village is a community-owned, not-for-profit retirement village with 82 residential aged care beds and are currently delivering 30 home care packages. With 120 employees, they are the largest employers in the Cowra community. They offer a range of employment types, flexible rostering and family friendly hours and deliver online training in a range of subjects. They instituted a staff welfare program for staff and their families and introduced a Staff Excellence Awards program. In 2019, the Village were finalists in the Cowra Business Chamber Awards Employer of Choice category.

Koonambil Aged Care Ltd of Coonamble is dedicated to staff development. Koonambil Aged Care Limited is a community-owned, mission-based organisation in Coonamble and the only provider of residential aged care in the local area. They currently have 30 beds that allow ageing in place and respite and eight independent living units. With 30 local staff, Koonambil is the largest non-government employer in the region. As part of its continuous improvement strategy, they regularly undertake anonymous Staff Opinion Surveys. All employees have access to further training, education and qualifications for their role. The Koonambil Enterprise Agreement provides all staff with above award wages and conditions.

Crowley Care of Ballina promotes a unique staff-driven culture.
Established in 1979, Crowley Care is a not-for-profit organisation offering dynamic aged care in Ballina and the Far North Coast. Some services include independent living, home care, private care, transitional care and residential aged care. Their 250 mostly local staff enjoy benefits such as the Employee Assistance Program, offering access to confidential counselling sessions. They provide onsite paid training sessions and external culture training sessions. A Leadership Development Program has commenced for future leaders or influencers. Crowley won the 2019 Aged and Community Services Australia award for Regional, Rural and Remote Provider of the Year.

TransGrid Leadership Award
Yenn Purkis of Mawson is an advocate of positive change. Yenn is an autistic and non-binary author, presenter and community leader and has been active in the disability community in Australia and internationally since 2005. Yenn was a victim of bullying and violence, unemployed for years, locked in prison and psychiatric wards but has used their difficult past to drive their passion for making change and become the leader they are today. Yenn is now part of the ACT Government Disability Justice Strategy reference group, has facilitated the Canberra Autism Women’s Group since 2011 and won the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year award.

John Southon of Trundle is the principal of Trundle Central School and has shown selfless dedication for the community. He has managed to coordinate multiple individuals and agencies to deliver sustained drought relief to the Trundle community. Under John’s leadership, students have been empowered to help their families in times of significant rural need. Their mental health has also been improved. The School was featured on BBC, China News and Seven Network’s Sunrise, leading to visits by rural aid, rotary clubs, government and other organisations. In the last 12 months, they have secured 250 food and toiletry packages and have injected $70,000 into the Trundle economy.

Jillian Critchley of Engadine has made significant impact on the lives of disabled youth. Both her daughters and husband Peter have CMT, a physical disability and Jill has been a committee member of the CMT Association of Australia for 10 years. Jill is the founder of the Charcot Marie Tooth Aussie Kids Program and also designed the CMTAK Mentor Program. She helps organise annual conferences where medical and health professionals and people with CMT from rural and regional areas can discuss treatment and support. She was an NSW/ACT finalist in the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards 2017, Early Childhood Educator of the Year category.

Sarah-Jane Dunford of Morpeth has profound drive for improving safety. Sarah-Jane founded the Hunter Safety Awards and the NSW Regional Safety Conference and Expo. She volunteers as Chair of the Women in Safety committee, the Australian Safety Awards and the Hunter Valley Branch of the Safety Institute of Australia. She donated over $200.000 in pro bono safety consulting to small regional businesses in NSW and has donated over 70 photorealism paintings to charities to raise money. She founded the Share-a-Paddock campaign to promote green pastures to farmers in drought and donated three-fourths of her bison farm to a beef cattle farmer for free for 12 months.

Awards Australia Connecting Communities Award
Soul Café of Newcastle hopes to help the vulnerable reengage with the community. Soul Café has been providing free, healthy meals and support services to the homeless, financially disadvantaged and socially isolated since 2003, offering five breakfast services and five lunch services weekly. In 2018, they provided 33,400 meals, takeaways and food care packs. A registered charity, they are community-backed and funded and receive no government funding. Soul Café has 150 volunteers who contribute more than 360 hours weekly with a long-term goal of elevating the circumstances of vulnerable people. Soul Café was a runner up community organisation in the 2018 Australia Day Awards.

Theresa Mitchell of Tweed Heads South is devoted to helping the homeless. Theresa founded Agape Outreach Inc. in 2009 after seeing many hungry homeless people in the local park. Since then, the charity has helped over 10,000 people yearly. Theresa also runs a food rescue program that collects two tonnes of food per week from supermarkets, farms and bakeries that would otherwise end up in landfill and donates these to those struggling to put food on the table. An Op-Shop attached to Agape Outreach sells inexpensive clothing and free blankets and warm clothes to those in need. Theresa also accompanies the homeless to medical appointments and Court.

Outback Theatre for Young People of Deniliquin promotes sustained engagement with communities. OTYP is an art company that provides remote, rural and regional young people access to professional arts experiences that are developed in their communities, for their communities. They provide opportunities to share their creative ideas and dreams and experience arts careers whilst using their voices and feeling more part of their towns. They produce theatre, dance, music and film. OTYP participants include those who face isolation, poverty and struggle with literacy. Their projects are delivered for two to three years and are fully embedded into the community through a unique and tailored Artistic and Operational Framework.

Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW empowers young people to reach their potential. PCYC established the PCYC “Fit for Work” program in 2017 in partnership with the NSW Police Youth & Crime Prevention Command and in cooperation with local businesses and agencies. PCYC works with youth at risk to break the cycle of disadvantage through crime prevention, vocational education, youth capacity building and social responsibility. Participants attend the 10-week Program which comprises of fitness challenges, classroom training, presentations and excursions. They work to obtain certificates in Retail, White Card, First Aid and Barista. The Program concludes with at least a week of work experience and a graduation ceremony.


2018 Finalists

NSW Department of Industry – Lands & Water Crown Reserve Corporate Manager Award
Byron Youth Service work with their local community to enhance and develop the Youth Activity Centre for use by young people and families. The grassed natural outdoor amphitheater with insulated undercover stage area provides a central focus point for youth- based activities and is a safe drug & alcohol-free venue. Access to free education programs, social services and support for young people is provided. Staff and volunteers help manage and improve facilities.

Orange Waratah Sports Club manages the Crown Reserve Trust provides local quality sporting and recreational opportunities particularly through its playing fields and facilities. The majority of activity is funded by the Sports Club members and users of the grounds and facilities, ensuring that the commitment to the community is both financially beneficial and sustainable. It is conservatively estimated that the Sports Club’s Crown Land grounds are accessed by more than 100,000 visitors annually.

Tarlo/Middle Arm Landcare was established in 2004 by a group of neighbours from the Tarlo and Middle Arm Rural Fire Brigade areas North West of Goulburn. The Landcare Group increases the biodiversity and catchment water quality on three Crown reserves. Their main focus has been to reduce weed density, increase biodiversity, and demonstrate and practice management methodologies. They plant native seedlings and have established a Native Plant Nursery at the Middle Arm Hall.


NSW Department of Industry – Lands & Water Crown Reserve Community Manager Award

Coolatai Sportsground Reserve Management Committee is a highly functioning, cohesive working group. They deliver a working operational plan, based on community needs and focus on funding viable projects and asset renewal plans. Under the management of the Trust Committee, the Coolatai Reserve has become a hub for the regions social, community, cultural and sporting events. The committee is inclusive of all members and user groups and maintains a collaborative approach to grow the reserves capacity.

Eulah Creek Recreation Reserve Land Manager was formed from a group of local volunteers who maintain the reserve and organise community fundraising events. The trust has made considerable improvements to the reserve and its infrastructure including a new kitchen, outdoor BBQ's and extensive electrical work. The Annual Vintage Machinery Day has been running for over 15 years. Over 500 spectators visit to watch the vintage machinery displays, working draught horses, working antique tractors and much more.

Norah Head Lighthouse Land Manager oversees the reserve maintenance, marketing and operations with volunteers and the Board. The facilities are a working example of essential maritime infrastructure visitors have the opportunity to see a historic lighthouse in operation. There is accommodation in the original Lightkeeper’s quarters and it’s a popular venue for weddings. In 2017, the 29 volunteer tour guides worked a total of 7,305 hours allowing the lighthouse to be open 363 days.

Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

Len Waters Culture Tours of Daruka is a two-year old business that delivers Aboriginal cultural programs and local tours. They also visit many schools in the region, delivering Aboriginal cultural education, language and take groups out on Country. They have provided education to over 5,000 local school children, community groups, government agencies, domestic and international visitors. Len employs a range of local people to assist him share his passion of culture, including Aboriginal musicians and dancers… Congratulations Len Waters Culture Tours

Joyland Carers Retreat of Coffs Harbour is a person-centered facility focusing on the carer to enhance their enjoyment and relaxation in a welcoming holistic environment. Joyland Carers Retreat has adopted a quality improvement process that consists of both systematic and continuous actions that has lead to measurable improvement for carer’s individual needs. Joyland Carers Retreat improves the health and wellbeing of unpaid carers by providing a holistic approach for the carer’s mind, body and spirit.

Orange Visitor Information Centre is the inspirational gateway for visitors to the Orange Region, showcasing villages, dining and accommodation options. The Information Centre directly connects the region's attractions, events and experiences with over 200,000 visitors per year. They work with more than 400 local attractions, accommodation providers, retailers, dining outlets, touring companies and government entities. They also participated in collaborative marketing campaigns with leading regional events operators to increase visitation to the region.

Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award

John Ive of Yass Valley has over 40 years added 200,000 trees with strategic regenerative land management and excluded domestic stock from over 30 percent to his property. John has implemented soil salinity and acidity monitoring, soil and vegetation carbon sequestration, and soil moisture retention. These fundamental ecosystem changes has resulted in increased farm productivity and attracted farming recognition. John receives numerous requests to host on-farm field days and invitations for conference presentations.

Anika Molesworth of Broken Hill has developed creative and critical perspectives on sustainability, focusing her work on innovative ways of enhancing agriculture for the long term. She is a highly sought after speaker and educator on how to produce more food for a growing global population with reduced environmental footprint. Her expertise lies in the three key domains of sustainability: agricultural and natural systems, agribusiness, and the humanities. Anika has been nominated and won countless awards.

SmartShepherd of Armidale designed, developed and are now producing a revolutionary means for determining maternal pedigrees for the Australian sheep industry. The lamb/ewe mothering system based around electronic collars, records interactions between lambs and ewes and can determine the relationships between them. The main beneficiary of the SmartShepherd system will be sheep studs, although commercial sheep enterprises have expressed a high level of interest in improving their maternal genetic selection using SmartShepherd.

TransGrid Leadership Award

Dr Kate Grarock of Cook is a Woodlands and Wetlands Trust Ambassador, 2018 Eureka Prize finalist and Ecologist at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary in Canberra. I work on research and restoration of critically endangered grassy woodlands and the reintroducing of locally extinct species, such as the Eastern Bettong and Eastern Quoll. Kate developed an education and outreach program, taking threatened species such as Bettongs into schools to inspire the students to care about conservation.

Big John Young OAM of Lambton established Bikers for Kids and the Newcastle Toy Run and since 1990 has poured his heart and soul into the charities. The Newcastle Toy Run is the oldest and biggest annual event of its kind in Australia. The Toy Run has grown from 20 motorcycles to the over 5,000 participants in their 40th anniversary last year! In 2015 Big John received the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Steve Semmens of Bathurst founded ‘The Persuader’ 14 years ago. The Persuader provides Business Coaching services. He has consistently grown his loyal client base, by word of mouth referrals and networking activities. Over the past 25 years, Steve has actively contributed to many community organisations donating his time, business knowledge, and utilising his contacts to raise funds. The encourages all he interacts with, to give back to the community, buy local, and working together.

Dr Daisy William of Armidale is the Director of the Armidale Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place which was on the verge of closing down when she was appointed. Daisy overhauled systems and processes and successfully applied for grants. The centre is now at capacity providing Aboriginal programs, a gallery, café, gift shop, an artists’ boutique and more. Daisy helps Aboriginal artists create an income through their art and trains and employs Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Mackellar Care Services, Gunnedah operates 120 aged care places over two residential care campuses, a 48 villa Retirement Village, a home care service, and the local GP Super Clinic. They are committed to clinical excellence and implementing innovation solutions to benefit both residents and staff members. Mackellar Care Services has a training and development culture, starting at a Board level. This ensures it can attract, upskill and retain staff members to provide quality services.

Adssi HomeLiving Australia, Tuggerah has been a not-for-profit home and community care provider for over 30 years. They support over 12,000 clients each year, enabling them to remain living at home and connected to their community. The annual staff and volunteer conference provides training and networking opportunities and a robust induction program was designed for Community Support Workers. Staff and volunteers collaborated to unanimously agree on their values: Professional; Respectful; Integrity; Client Focussed; Excellence.

United Protestants Association, Riverina-Murray has aged care facilities in eight locations. Their philosophy of care aims to provide quality of service and care and that dignity, respect and security should not diminish with age. They provide equitable staff training and development opportunities and provide financial support for relatable courses. Roster are created to balance work, home and leisure activities. The staff actively support their community and this year raised almost $10,000 for cancer charities.

G.J. Gardner Homes Women Creating Change Award

Elizabeth Svoboda of Cammeray has, as CEO of NSW Police Legacy for five years, led a dynamic team in supporting and caring for the personal needs of over 1,000 police widows and children of deceased police officers. She has provided policies and operating processes focused on the social, mental and well-being needs of police widows, widowers and children. This includes running of camps and Kokoda Track visits and a student education scholarship.

The Big Green Cup Café of Bungendore provides meaningful training and employment for people with a disability. The café currently employs five people with a disability. There has been a real shift in confidence for these employees, who start out washing dishes and then move on to serving tables, making coffee and using the till. The Café also ‘The Coffee Collaborative’ group for local business women who meet monthly to have a cup of coffee and network.

Sandra Holden of Lake Wyangan has led a team of Australian volunteers to Nepal four times. They provide free medical aid to young Nepalese girls, especially the Badi caste who are used for sex slavery. They set up nine medical camps, checked over 1,000 girls and provided health education sessions. Sandra’s is training the girls to undertake simple health checks, providing an alternative income. She is building a Friends of Badi clinic, which the girls will operate.

Awards Australia Business Achievement Award

Beaumont People of Byron Bay
is a boutique Recruitment Agency, specialising in business support, people and culture, sales and marketing, education, health and charities. Their not-for-profit division is proud to have saved over $14 million in recruitment fees to over 250 charities. Beaumont People’s Northern Rivers team has grown from a one-man band to a team of five. They have placed over 200 people in roles and serviced over 100 businesses across the Northern Rivers.

Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council is the largest private landholder on the Central Coast, with almost 6,000 hectares and 9,000 hectares under claim. Darkinjung has assisted in identifying over 7,000 registered sites of Aboriginal significance. They employ 21 staff and provide social housing, funeral fund assistance and cultural preservation. Their services are designed to empower the Aboriginal community socially, culturally and financially. Opportunities for economic development are created through strong investment and effective management of assets.

Wollongong Emergency Family Housing is a voice for people experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness. In 201 7they supported 1,900 clients, these included people from non-English speaking backgrounds, youth and Indigenous people. During the ‘Wrap up Homelessness’ campaign, Wollongong Emergency Family Housing hosted a challenge, inviting community leaders to ‘Walk in my shoes’ and be homeless for 24 hours. Their mobile Outreach Service truck makes available information, support assistance, clothes, toiletries and food.

Southern Cotton of Whitton is an independently owned ginning facility. They employ 18 fulltime and up to 50 seasonal workers and have provided cotton ginning and related services to the Southern Valley’s growers for seven years. In 2017, they reached the milestone of processing one million bales. Southern Cotton's purpose-built ginning program, state-of-the-art facility and focus on innovation is giving growers a better yield. They won the 2015 Telstra Australian Regional Business of the Year.


icare Connecting Communities Award

Matthew Priestley of Moree is a proud Mehi Murri man. A Senior Leader at Moree East Public School, he is creates and conducts Indigenous Language and Culture classes. Matthew is on several Aboriginal Education committees and groups and is Chair of the Language & Culture Nest. Matthew works with elders, young people, community leaders and local service providers to ensure programs are relevant, engaging and appropriate to the needs of the community and local people.

The Write Road of Byron Bay is a wellbeing initiative for rural and remote Australians. Founded in 2014 by award-winning journalist and author Stephanie Dale, the Write Road is a building a nation of emerging writers. More than 1,500 people have attended The Write Road’s writing and communications workshops and training over the past four years. The Write Road has inspired some to become published authors, and everyone to use writing as a pathway to wellbeing.

Orange Sky Laundry of Newcastle has been operational since August 1, 2017 and has nine locations which are serviced on a regular weekly basis. The Newcastle operation is part of Orange Sky Laundry, Australia's first mobile laundry service for those experiencing homelessness. In the last 12 months they have achieved 1,130 laundry washes and 2,925 hours of positive conversations. They have 73 volunteers who combined, have completed 291 shifts with the laundry van.


2017 Finalists

NSW Department of Industry, Lands, Crown Reserve Trust Corporate Manager's Award
• Armidale Tree Group Inc.
• Tilligerry Habitat Association Inc, Tanilba Bay
• The Rick Farley Soil Conservation Reserve, Birdwoodton

NSW Department of Industry, Lands, Crown Reserve Trust Community Manager's Award
• Coolatai Sportground Reserve Management Committee
• Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve Trust 
• The Ulladulla Native Flora and Fauna Reserve Trust

1st Choice Rentals Volunteering Award
• Dr Saba Nabi, Wagga Wagga
• Carmel (Fudge) Kaczmar, East Maitland
• Jeanette Purkis, Mawson

Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
• Fitness in The Park, Goulburn
• North Coast Holiday Parks Red Rock
• Jim's Bean Machine, Goulburn

Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award
• Caernarvon Cherry Co, Orange
• McGregor Gourlay, Moree
• Botanical Innovations, Molong
• Drape Net, Nashdale

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
• BaptistCare Maranoa Alstonville
• Gummun Place Hostel, Merriwa
• BlueWave Living, Woy Woy

Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award
• The Flagstaff Group Ltd, Unanderra
• Lismore Helping Hands
• Hope Centre – Illawarra Food Hub 
• Moree Mobile Neighbourhood Watch


2016 Finalists

NSW Department of Industry, Lands, Crown Reserve Trust, Corporate Manager's Award

Tilligerry Habitat Association Inc 
Coffs Harbour City Council-Coffs Coast State Park 
The Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle
Nambucca Shire Council, Business Development 

NSW Department of Industry, Lands, Crown Reserve Trust, Community Manager's Award

Belmont Wetlands State Park Trust of Rankin Park 
Borah Greek Reserve Trust for Public Hall 66806
Trundle Showground Trust 

Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Under 15,000 Award

BEST Food Garden of Inverell 
Nundle, New South Wales 
The Cad Factory of Sandigo 

Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Over 15,000 Award

The Cancer Support Group ACT Eden Monaro's Own of Queanbeyan 
Flagstaff Group of Unanderra 
Broken Hill Regional Events Centre Reserve Trust 

MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award

Kamini Morris of Long Jetty 
Suzanne Duggan 
Toni Shutt of Henty 
Trevor Russell of Boambee East 

1st Choice Rentals Volunteering Award

Carmel (Fudge) Kaczmar of East Maitland 
Hannah McInerney of Kiama 
Jennifer Cowley of Dubbo 
Paul Boultwood of Tarrawanna 

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Weeroona Aged Care Residence of Cowra
Accessible Living Options of Bathurst 
Mareeba Aged Care of Maclean 

Dobija Print World Events and Tourism Award

Tamworth Country Music Festival 
Bluesfest of Byron Bay 
Parkes Elvis Festival 
Deni Ute Muste of Deniliquin 


2015 Finalists

CRT Agricultural Community Achiever Award

Brad Adams of Wauchope
Heath Rowe of HRFT Transport Mungindi
Kiama Farmers Market

Department of Primary Industries Crown Reserve Trust - Community Manager's Award 

Bungonia Park Trust
Ben Lomond War Memorial Hall Reseve Trust


Department of Primary Industries Crown Reserve Trust - Corporate Manager's Award

Bendemeer Preschool Incorporated Committee
The Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle
Camden Head Pilot Station

Dobija Print World Events and Tourism Award

LightnUp Incorporated of Lismore
Boggabri Drovers Campfire 
Batlow CiderFest

MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award

Neil Pitt of Elemore Valley
Sarah Marciano of Byron Bay
Paws Pet Therapy of Thirlmere

Peabody Energy Environment & Landcare Award

Friends of the Colo of Wentworth Falls
Fingal Head Coastcare Inc. 
Coal Point Progress Association

Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Over 15,000 Award

Tidy Up Taree
Cancer Care Western NSW
Co-Care Incorporated of Tamworth

Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Under 15,000 Award

Local Health Medical Trust of Barham
Tumut District Community Transport
BEST Food Garden of Inverell

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

BaptistCare Maranoa Alstonville Residental Aged Care
BlueWave Living of Woy Woy
Charles O'Neill Hostel - Catholic Healthcare Mayfield
Feros Care of Byron Bay


2014 Finalists

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust - Corporate Managers Award
• Byron Bay Communitu Association Incorporated - Byron Bay
• Lake Menindee Plantation Reserve Trust
• NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust - Urunga Heads Holiday Park Morgo St Reserve

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust - Community Managers Award
• Bega Showground Trust - Bega
• Tamworth Public Recreation Reserve Trust - Tamworth
• Mount Arthur Reserve Trust - Wellington

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award
• Fingal Head Coastcare Inc - Fingal Head
• Illawarra Youth Landcare - Illawarra
• Ray Thompson - Nyngan

The Prime Super Community of the Year Population Under 15,000 Award
• Nimbin Neighbourhood & Information Centre Inc
• Tathra Mountain Bike Club
• Warrae Wanni - Muswellbrook South Public School

The Prime Super Community of the Year Population Over 15,000 Award
• Byron Bay Community Association Incorporated
• Committee 4 Wagga
• Friends of the Regal Incorporated - Newcastle

The Elite Coatings Regional Service Award
• Alf Cantrell - Yeoval
• Dianne O'Brien - Umina Beach
• William Murray - Bulli

The Dobija Print World Events and Tourism Award
• Batlow Ciderfest
• Brunswick Heads Old & Gold Festival
• Canowindra Balloon Challenge Inc

2013 Finalists
The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust - Corporate Managers Award
• Central Coast Holiday Parks - Wyong Shire Council
• Wollongong City Council - The Blue Mile

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust - Community Managers Award
• Bulahdelah War Memorial Reserve Trust
• Tuggerah Lakes Reserve Trust

The Fantastic Furniture Indigenous Achievement Award
• Peak Hill Aboriginal Landcare Group
• William O'Brien

The Fantastic Furniture Youth Leadership Award
• Jayla Nix
• Saul Brady

The Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Under 15,000 Award
• Deniliquin Business Chamber
• Lower Lachlan Community Services

The Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Over 15,000 Award
• Catholic Community Services - Orana Division
• Our House

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award
• Corowa District Landcare
•Ray Thompson

The Essential Energy Regional Service Award
• Alf Cantrell
• William Lawson

The Speciality Press Events and Tourism Award
• Canowindra Challenge Inc
• The Legendary Pacific Coast

The University of Newcastle Business Achievement Award
• Central Coast Group Training
• Milspec Manufacturing Pty Ltd

2012 Finalists
The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust – Corporate Managers Award
• Byron Youth Services of Byron Bay
• Bellinger Heads Holiday Park

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust – Community Managers Award
• Cowra Showground Racecourse & Paceway Trust
• Mount Arthur Reserve Trust of Wellington

The NSW Trade & Investment - Business Development Organisation Award
• Hunter Region Business Enterprise Centre
• Johns River Progress Association of Morrland

The NSW Department Trade and Investment - Events & Tourism Award
• Boggabri Drovers Campfire
• The Legendary Pacific Coast of Port Macquarie

The Salvation Army Employment Plus - Business & Employment Award
• Landsavers Pty Ltd - Red Head
• Lithgow Bizzi Paws - Lithgow

The Peabody - Environment and Landcare Award
• Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group
• Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association of Dubbo

The Prime Super - Regional & Rural Development Award
• Australian Vermiculture Pty Ltd - Broken Hill
• Glenwarrie Partnership - Tamworth

The Essential Energy - Regional Service Award
• Ted Bickford - Tuncurry
• Elsie Gordon - DUbbo

The NSW Department of Primary Industries - Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Dungog & District Neighbourcare Inc
• Unitincare Casino Transport Team

The NSW Department of Primary Industries - Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• East Ballina Lions Club Inc.
• Windale Mens Shed

2011 Finalists
The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust – Corporate Managers Award
• Bendemeer Preschool Inc - Bendemeer
• Coffs Harbour Showground & Public Recreation Trust - Coffs Harbour

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust – Community Trust Award
• Mount Arthur Reserve Trust - Wellington
• Yarrie Lake Flora, Fauna & Recreation Reserve Trust - Wee Waa

The NSW Trade & Investment - Business Development Organisation Award
• Ariah Park Community
• Cobar Enterprise Facilitation - Cobar

The NSW Trade & Investment - Events & Tourism Award
• Canowindra Challenge Inc - Canowindra
• The Long Paddock - Hay

The Salvation Army Employment Plus - Business & Employment Award
• Chill at Evans Cafe - Evans Head
• Mai-Wel Group - Maitland

The Peabody - Environment and Landcare Award
• Australian Ecosystem Foundation - Lithgow
• Robert Quirk - Murwillumbah

The Prime Super - Regional & Rural Development Award
• C02 Australia - Wagga Wagga
• Outback Beds - Walgett

The Essential Energy - Regional Service Award
• Allison Hammett - Stockton
• George McCormick - Walgett Shire

The Crown Lands - Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Deniliquin Ute Muster Volunteers
• Morundah Community

The Crown Lands - Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• Byron Bay Community Association Inc
• East Ballina Lions Club Inc

2010 Finalists
The NSW Industry & Investment Business Enterprise Award
• Cumnock Progress Association
• Milthorpe Business Committee

The NSW Industry & Investment Events and Tourism Award
• Booderee National Park - Jervis Bay
• Spirit of the Land - Lockhart
• The Long Paddock - Hay

The Salvation Army Employment Plus Employment and Training Award
• Break Thru People Solutions NSW Western Region - Dubbo
• Illawarra Industry Apprenticeship Project - Wollongong
• The Eurobodalla Adult Education Centre Inc - Batemans Bay

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award
• Little River Landcare Group Inc - Yeoval
• Declan Clausen - Wallsend
• Martin Royds - Braidwood

The NSW Land & Property Management Authority Crown Reserve Trust - Corporate Managers Award
• The Four Post Youth Camp Trust - Mathoura
• Silverton Village Community Reserve Trust - Silverton
• Victoria Park Recreation Reserve Trust - Dubbo

The NSW Land & Property Management Authority Crown Reserve Trust - Community Trust Award
• Banjo Paterson Park Trust - Yeoval
• Gooloogong War Memorial Hall Trust - Gooloogong
• Yarrie Lake Flora & Fauna Recreation Reserve Trust - Wee Waa

The NSW Land & Property Management Authority Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Age of Fishes Museum - Canowindra
• Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce Inc - Brunswick Heads
• Cumnock & District Progress Association - Cumnock

The NSW Land & Property Management Authority - Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• Broken Hill Volunteer Community - Broken Hill
• Disability Trust - Fairy Meadow
• Tweed Palliative Support Inc - Murwillumbah

2009 Finalists
The Department of Industry & Investment Business Enterprise Award
• Ballina Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc - Ballina
• Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce Inc - Brunswick Heads
• Cumnock Progress Association - Cumnock

The Department of Industry & Investment Events and Tourism Award
Grand Pacific Drive - Wollongong

• Mungindi Music Festival Committee - Mungindi
• Yeoval Mulga Bill Festival - Yeoval
The Integral Energy Regional Service Award
• Juan Alvarez - Cambewarra
• John Blunt - Orange
• George McCormick - Walgett

The Kleenheat Gas Environment and Landcare Award
• Environmental Champions Program Caldwell Cluster Group - Barham
• Little River Landcare Group Inc - Yeoval
• Mid Coast Dairy Advancement Group Inc - Taree

The Land & Property Management Authority Crown Reserve - Trust Managers Award

• Coffs Harbour Showground & Public Recreation Trust - Coffs Harbour
• Lady Denman Management Committee - Huskisson
• Newcastle Historic Reserve Trust - Newcastle

The Land & Property Management Authority Crown Reserve - Trust Community Award
• Alumy Creek Reserve Trust - Grafton
• Broken Hill Regional Events Centre Reserve Trust - Broken Hill
• Montreal Goldfield Management Committee - Bermagui

The Land & Property Management Authority - Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce Inc - Brunswick Heads
• Premer Community - Premer
• Rural Care Link Drought Relief Team - Jindera

The Land & Property Management Authority - Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• Caringa Enterprises Ltd - South Grafton
• Power of Choice - Port Macquarie

2008 Finalists
The Department of State & Regional Development Business Enterprise Award
• Hunternet Cooperative Ltd - Newcastle
• Regional Media Networks Pty Ltd - Bowral
• - Byron Bay

The Department of State & Regional Development Events and Tourism Award
• Brunswick Heads Old & Gold Festival - Brunswick Heads
• Elvis Revival Inc - Parkes
• Mungindi Music Festival - Mungindi

The Integral Energy Regional Service Award
• Peter “Jack” Barnes - Eugowra
• Tania Hartigan - Wallabadah
• Steven Lucas - Armidale

The Kleenheat Gas Environment and Landcare Award
• Canberra Girls Grammar School - Deakin
• Clean Energy for Eternity - Bega
• Little River Landcare Group - Yeoval

The Department of Lands Crown Reserve Trust Administrators Award
• Conargo Shire Council - Conargo
• Dubbo City Council - Dubbo
• Newcastle Historic Reserve Trust - Newcastle

The Department of Lands Crown Reserve Trust Community Award
• Ashby Community Centre & Recreation Reserve - Ashby
• Killalea State Park Trust - Shellharbour
• Wanganella Tidy Towns Committee - Wanganella

The Department of Lands Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Coomba District Progress Association - Coomba
• The Drought Relief Team, Rural Care Inc - Jindera
• Tullamore Inc - Tullamore

The Department of Lands Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• Hunter Youth Challenge - Singleton
• Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol - Port Stephens Nelson Bay
• Marymead Child & Family Centre - Narrabundah