AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards

The AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards provides a key vehicle for the promotion of the achievements and work of landscape architects in Australia.

These awards advance the profession of landscape architecture by encouraging excellence by members of the profession and fostering awareness and recognition of the work of AILA Registered Landscape Architects. AILA has rolled out an awards program for over 40 years, and it has played an integral part in AILA’s annual activities. In 2014 and 2015, AILA undertook a significant review of its awards categories, objectives and criteria, as well as other aspects of the overall program - to ensure that the program celebrates the depth of practice and contribution of the profession to society.

The new program, termed “The AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards”, has been developed after extensive research, multiple consultation rounds, and much discussion with members across many platforms around the country.

The main document to help you understand the new program is the Entry Guide. Additionally to this, we have provided the endorsed Awards Policy as well as the Jurors Guide, which elaborates further on the judging process.

Enter now

Entries for the 2016 Landscape Architecture Awards are now open for the following locations: 

Entry fees

In 2016, AILA is offering your first entry FREE. We want to encourage all our members to participate in this brand new and improved awards program, and to celebrate our 50th birthday. Free entry applies to the first entry submitted per practice (per state) where a member is employed.

The general entry fee to the 2016 AILA Awards program is $299 +GST, which applies to any subsequent entries made in 2016. The increase in fee allows for automatic resubmission into National Awards (for those eligible), and no further payment is required for those entrants progressing to consideration for National awards.

New awards categories

  • Category 1: Civic Landscape
  • Category 2: Parks and Open Space
  • Category 3: Infrastructure
  • Category 4: Cultural Heritage
  • Category 5: Land Conservation
  • Category 6: Rural and Agriculture
  • Category 7: Tourism
  • Category 8: Urban Design
  • Category 9: Research, Policy and Communication
  • Category 10: Communities
  • Category 11: Gardens
  • Category 12: International (offered only at national level and not state level)

New awards are given as:

(a) Award of Excellence

The first and highest award in each category is the ‘Award of Excellence’.  The award is given to the work judged to be the most significant for the advancement of Landscape Architecture in each category. There is only one winner of the Excellence Award in each category in any year.

(b) Landscape Architecture Award

The second tier is the ‘Landscape Architecture Award’.  This is a work of excellence demonstrating consummate skill that contributes to the advancement of landscape architecture. Projects given an Award are the best projects in each category that have not won the Excellence Award. More than one Award may be given in a category.

Outline of new Awards program

  • The AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards has two stages, both occurring annually.
  • The first is a chapter/state program, followed by the second being the national program.
  • The state awards are held in the first half of the year, and the national awards are held in the second half of the year.
  • Those projects awards an Award of Excellence and a Landscape Architecture Award at state level proceed automatically through to the national awards later that same year- no separate re-submission or fee is required.
  • All entries are to be entered directly into their state awards, there are no direct entries to national awards EXCEPT those to the international category.
  • Projects must be entered in the state where the project is located
  • The Jury will be selected before the entries are called for, and publicised at the time of calling for awards.
  • Projects can be entered in as many categories as the entrant wishes. A fee is required for each category entered.
  • Projects are eligible to be entered into the awards for an unlimited period and can be entered in multiple years if unsuccessful.

Judging criteria

  • Thinking
  • Leadership
  • Results

Judging of entries is based on these three ‘core qualities’. These qualities fundamentally underpin the achievement of excellence in landscape architectural endeavor. It is essential that these qualities are used to identify and describe each entry’s achievements.

Click on the video below to hear more about the AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards program from Chair of the National Awards Review Taskforce, Adam Hunter FAILA.

Next review – your feedback is always welcome

2016 is the first year that the new Awards will run. Recommendations will be made to National Council to review all aspects of this program after 12 months. This will include, but will not be limited to, assessing the viability of Categories, and developing clarity of the Guides or Policy. The ultimate goal is to fine-tune the Awards so they fulfil the stated objectives as well as meet the needs of our membership.

As such, feedback to the AILA National Office is appreciated at any time – and it is expected that consolidated feedback will take place after the 2016 Awards close. Any feedback can be sent to

Awards Case Studies

Case study example of how a 'statement of achievement' can be crafted 

AILA has contacted 2​ previous 2014 ​national award winners ​and asked them to have a go at re-writing their project into the new submission format. The purpose of doing so is to help members understand what this statement of achievement could include. The Statement of Achievement i​s the main opportunity to outline to the Jury how your entry meets the Core Qualities (the criteria on which the entry is judged).It shouldn’t be a statement solely describing the project.

In brief, the new criteria for judging the awards is

  1. Thinking
  2. Leadership
  3. Results

These examples will assist not only members considering entering in the 2016 awards, but also those 2015 State winners who will need to re-submit their projects in the new submission format (AILA national office is contacting these people shortly).

In this case the 2 examples provided are:

  1. Wanginu Park by GbLA Landscape Architects - it won the 2014 NATIONAL AWARD FOR LAND MANAGEMENT.
  2. ​​GCRT 2031 (Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study) by Hassell - it won the 2014 NATIONAL AWARD FOR PLANNING

See here for their award winning project descriptions from 2014. These ​examples​ are ​intended to be just that - examples ​only.

Tweets Tweet to @AILA_National