Heritage awards

Aims of the Awards

The Awards give Council the opportunity to give recognition to individuals, organisations and the development community for development work and the conservation of heritage places throughout the City.

The Awards also provide an opportunity to recognise academic projects completed by students, from all levels of education, which promote/examine the culture and heritage of Ipswich and the Ipswich Region.

Aims of the Awards for Excellence:

  1. Recognising and promoting major sponsorship support.

  2. Recognising those individuals and corporations who are committed to promoting and producing excellence in the design of new development, the conservation of our built heritage, conservation of our natural environment and academically within our schools.

  3. Promoting and developing student awareness of the unique built and environmental heritage of Ipswich.

  4. Profile locally and externally the unique attributes of the natural and built heritage of Ipswich.


The overall objective of the Awards is to promote excellence in the conservation of heritage places throughout the City and in the design of new development. Emphasis is given to those developments that promote a Quality Lifestyle for residents, businesses and visitors of the City of Ipswich.

Ron Brown Memorial Heritage Conservation Awards

These awards acknowledge the work of organisations and individuals that conserve, restore, reconstruct and adapt existing places so as to retain their cultural significance.

All types of projects are eligible including:

  • Maintenance of heritage buildings including colour schemes.
  • Restoration of a building to an earlier or original appearance.
  • Sympathetic additions to an original building.
  • Adaptive reuse of heritage sites.
  • Signage.

National Trust Ipswich Best Maintained Heritage Property
The aim of this Award is to encourage and acknowledge maintenance of heritage listed Ipswich properties. There are a large number of well-maintained and well-presented heritage properties in Ipswich, many lovingly cared for by residents as their family home. These properties are a vital aspect of our heritage image. Selection and Judging will be by local National Trust members. The place nominated must be a Character Place or be in a Character Zone in the Ipswich Planning Scheme.

Judging Criteria for Heritage Places:

  • Has the cultural significance of the place been understood and retained?
  • Has the significant fabric of the place been respected?
  • Have traditional building techniques been utilised in the conservation of the place?
  • Has due regard been given to the cultural setting and context?
  • Has the conservation given due regard to all periods that have contributed to the cultural significance of the place?
  • Where the place is adapted for a new use is the impact on the cultural significance acceptable?
  • Has any documentary evidence been assembled prior to work commencing on a place?
  • Where new fabric has been introduced, is this apparent on close inspection?

Robyn Buchanan History Awards

In 2019 the local history component of the Awards has been posthumously named to honour well known Ipswich historian Robyn Buchanan.

All types of projects are eligible including:

  • Heritage education and promotion.
  • Heritage research.
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage projects.
  • Local and Oral histories.
  • Publications and Websites.

Judging Criteria for Websites:

First Impressions

  • Download time.
  • Look and feel.
  • Home page on one screen.
  • Unique selling point –stated on homepage.
  • Feeling of wanting more – depth of site.
  • Contact details.
  • Credential validation.
  • Statement from management.


  • Ease of use.
  • Return to Home page from any page.
  • Internal Search Engine.
  • Internal Links.
  • Text as well as graphic links.
  • Using Frames.


  • Useful information.
  • Degree of substantiated information.
  • Level of interaction.
  • Use of valuable graphics.
  • Use of valuable sound.
  • Content in digestible quantity.

Judging Criteria for Publications:

  • Creativity of product development.
  • Popularity.
  • Knowledge.
  • Content: Does the author demonstrate an understanding of the historical context of the topic?
  • Does the book appeal to a wide audience?

Burley Griffin Design Awards

The Burley Griffin Design Awards acknowledge innovative design and design methods across all forms of development.

All types of projects are eligible including:

  • Dwellings, duplexes, units and group housing.
  • Educational, religious, community or health care buildings.
  • Master Plans.
  • Small or large scale retail, hotels, office or industrial developments.

Judging Criteria:

  • Does the design have architectural or visual merit?
  • Does the project demonstrate innovation in its design, construction or operation?
  • Does the project respond well to its locational context, if that is relevant? (Consider impact on adjoining properties and impact on the character of the area).
  • Does the project incorporate an attractive and appropriate visual setting? (Consider will be given to due regard to views, aspect, orientation, topography, retention of vegetation, new landscaping and vehicle maneuvering).
  • Are impacts on the natural environment minimised through by sustainable approaches?  (Consider choice of materials, passive climate control techniques, orientation and microclimate, waste emissions and water conservation).

Student Entries

Students from Prep to University can enter heritage or design projects in the Awards. Student Awards will be selected from all categories.

The purpose of the Student Awards is to encourage students from all levels of education to participate in design and heritage conservation projects that relate to the City of Ipswich.

Particular emphasis will be given to projects that have a heritage conservation or urban design/renewal theme.

The Student Awards are open to Early Childhood and Lower Primary, Middle School (Grades 5-9), Upper High School (Grades 10-12) and Tertiary (TAFE and University) students.

The Awards will be presented to the student or group of students that produce a project of scholastic excellence which is innovative and which is located within the City and rural areas. Due consideration will be given to the age of the applicant.

Awards in the form of certificates are presented on the recommendation of the Judging Panel to the person/s principally responsible for the project/works.

Ipswich City Council offers $2000 to the school/institution whose student/s are presented with the Overall Student Award. In addition, the winners of the Overall Award will receive an Award Trophy and will retain the Perpetual Trophy for twelve months.

All types of projects are eligible including:

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Projects.
  • Local History Projects.
  • Oral History Recordings.
  • School Centenary Projects.
  • Design Projects.

Judging Criteria:

  • Involvement of Students.
  • Benefit to the school.
  • Does the project have academic merit, i.e. relate to curriculum for the relevant grade?
  • Has the student(s) shown an understanding of the topic that they have selected?
  • Does the project exhibit innovation?
  • Has any documentary evidence been collected to support the project?

History of the Awards

The Heritage and Design Awards were adopted in 1992 to publicly recognise, promote and reward excellence in the design and construction of new developments and the conservation of heritage places throughout the City of Ipswich.

An Enviroplan Environment Award category was incorporated into the Awards in 1997. In 1999, due to the extremely positive response from Ipswich Schools, Council initiated a perpetual trophy specifically targeted at Schools to promote academic excellence and school pride in history, development and environment of the City of Ipswich. In 2017 a Sustainability category was incorporated into the Awards program.

The Awards Program has been revisited and in 2019 it has come full circle and makes its return to a Heritage and Design Awards.

Award Winners