Almost 30 councils across NSW are vying for top honours in this year’s RH Dougherty Awards, designed to highlight best-practice council communication and liaison with the communities they serve.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said the award winners would be announced during Local Government Week celebrations (August 3-9).
“The RH Dougherty Awards were established in 1981 and named after former Local Government Association President, Robert Henry ‘Bob’ Dougherty, who worked tirelessly for more than 20 years in Local Government,” Cr Scott said.
“He served on more than 20 cultural, sporting and community organisations and exemplified the importance of Local Government, supporting and delivering services that made their communities great places to live, work and raise families.”
This year LGNSW has received 51 entries across the four categories from 29 individual councils. The categories are:
- Reporting to Your Community: which acknowledges the efforts councils make to provide clear and transparent reporting to their residents through publications, newsletters, digital communications and advertising;
- Excellence in Communications: which recognises effective communication strategies to inform and engage local people;
- Outstanding Individual Contribution: awarded to staff within councils who have contributed creative ideas and leadership; and
- Innovation in Special Events: that highlights an outstanding example of a council event, such as a conference or business, cultural, sports, tourism or arts event.
“The quality of this year’s entrants underlines the commitment our councils have to innovation and excellence when it comes to serving their local communities,” Cr Scott said.
“It is fitting that we will be announcing the award winners during Local Government Week in the first week of August.
“Local Government Week offers an opportunity for councils to reach out to their communities and provide information on the local government services and support on offer.
“These go well beyond the old-school ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ categories to include social and community support services, along with recreation opportunities, arts and cultural events that enrich people’s lives.
“This year’s theme is Councils Do, which reflects not just the ranges of services councils provide, but their willingness to roll up their sleeves and act on behalf of their communities.
“That has certainly been demonstrated in the past 12 months, with councils providing frontline support through drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
LGNSW will also be presenting the Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Awards for outstanding strategic planning in arts and culture and the LGNSW Planning Awards, recognising excellence in planning and development services, during Local Government Week.