Welcoming Cities Awards for Change 2024

Sebastian GeersArticles, Blog, News

The Welcoming Cities Awards celebrate change made in communities by organisations and local councils. They acknowledge the progress that strengthens social cohesion with newly arrived and receiving communities to ensure everyone has a chance to participate, belong and thrive. The awards celebrate leading practice and innovation in advancing welcoming and inclusive communities.  

There will be a winner in each of the two categories: 

  • Local councils 
  • Organisations (community or business).

Nominations for the Awards are now open, closing 23 February

We want to hear and celebrate your stories.  

What change has occurred in your community? Why was it important and how did it happen?  

To enter 

In no more than 800 words, tell us your story of change. The story is yours to tell, but here are some guiding questions to get you started:   

  • Tell us where you were and where you are now? I.e. What is the change? I/they/we’ve enacted? 
  • What have I/they/we done to enact that change?  
  • Why did I/they/we do this?   
  • What has happened as a result?  

Please include evidence to support your stories, such as photographs, media articles or websites. 

Please include two referees in each category.  

Judging and Selection Criteria 

The Awards Panel will select a winner in each category based on the significance, approach and impact of the change in your community as a result of your involvement. It is likely that a range of shifts have enacted change. 

  • For councils, it could be several policy shifts or a suite of implemented programs.  
  • For organisations (businesses or community), it could be procurement policies, accessibility changes, and a shift in day-to-day practices that make employees feel more valued.   
  • For individuals, it could be leadership that facilitated change and/or significant involvement that ensures people belong and thrive.   
  • Judges will be looking for projects that include newly arrived and receiving communities and evidence of a long-term commitment. 

The judges will acknowledge various starting points. For example, a local council who is beginning to implement change may be competing with a council who has a strong track record. In all cases, the outcomes and change that has occurred will be awarded.   



  • Councils must be a member of the Welcoming Cities network
  • Individuals must live, work or run programs in a local government area that is a member of the Welcoming Cities network.  
  • Businesses and community organisations must be operating in a local government area that is a member of the Welcoming Cities network for at least 12 months.   

Frequently Asked Questions

When do nominations close?

Friday February 23, 2024

Can I enter more than once? 

One application per category will be accepted. E.g, a Council may nominate a business, individual and their own organisation.

How is this different to accreditation against the Welcoming Cities Standard? 

Accreditation is an optional undertaking for members of the Welcoming Cities network who want to better understand where their council is positioned regarding social cohesion and economic participation across the community. The awards acknowledge change and give organisations and individuals the chance to celebrate the good work that is happening.  

Can I nominate another council or organisation? 

Individuals can fill out the application form on behalf of a council, organisation. Alternatively, contact us if you believe an organisation or council is worthy of a nomination and we will have them complete the questions. 

What counts as an organisation?  Businesses or community organisations are eligible. These can be for-profit, or non-profit. Businesses that are run as part of a chain, or franchise can enter, as long the changes have been made locally.