A R Bluett Memorial Award

'The greatest accolade a council can achieve'.

The A R Bluett Memorial Award has been awarded annually since 1945.

A R Bluett Memorial Award 2016

The A R Bluett Memorial Award is contested each year by councils in NSW who would like to be recognised as being the most progressive in the state. Entry is open to all NSW councils irrespective of size or resources. The Awards Trustees encourage NSW councils to enter this prestigious Award and are interested in all aspects of council operations and services. Please review Award information and previous winning entries below before completing an entry form.

Entries for the 2016 Awards opened 1 June and closed 1 August 2016.

Who was Albert Robert Bluett?

Albert Robert Bluett was an outstanding figure in Local Government, serving as the Secretary and Solicitor to the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW for 30 years. He was the authority on Local Government law, and his opinion was respected by the legal profession and ministers of the crown. He helped to write the Local Government Act of 1919.

Following Bluett's death in April 1944, the councils of NSW subscribed to a fund as a permanent memorial to his work. This money funds the bronze plaques, awarded to the winning councils each year. His legacy also lives on through 'Bluett Local Government Handbook' often referred to as the Local Government bible.

Categories for Councils

There are two categories for the Bluett Awards:

1. City & Regional Councils

This includes city, metropolitan and major regional rural councils.

2. Rural Councils

This includes all other rural councils and county councils.
The Trustees believe the two categories provide fairness and equity for all councils, whilst at the same time preserving the original intent of the Trust Deed to judge councils on 'relative progress'.

How to enter

NSW councils were encouraged to enter by completing the Application Form (PDF 343KB) and submitting it to bluett@lgnsw.org.au before 1 August 2016.
Information for newly formed councils: New councils are welcome to submit entries for any of the former councils’ 2015/2016 achievements. 
An entry fee of $550 is payable to cover the costs incurred in judging and administering the Award. On receipt of the council’s entry in the Award, Local Government NSW, on behalf of the Trustees, will invoice your council.
For further information please contact Graeme Fleming PSM , Trust Chairman on 0427 291 664 or graeme.fleming4@bigpond.com.

Stephen Ward Scholarship

The Awards also includes the official presentation of the prestigious “Stephen Ward Scholarship”. 
The Stephen Ward Scholarship of up to $2,500 shall be made available to at least one employee from each of the Bluett Award winning councils. The Scholarships are for council employees to undertake further study, professional development or research. 
The Stephen Ward Scholarship was established as a memorial to Stephen Ward who was the Shires Association President from 1991 to 1993 and was involved in local government since 1985. Stephen was tragically killed in a plane crash in June 1993 whilst returning from a major local government forum.
The funds for the Stephen Ward Scholarship were raised from contributions from councils, government agencies, professional associations, some individuals, as well as the LGSA to set up a scholarship Fund.

How is it judged?

There are three honorary Trustees/Judges. At the end of the financial year, the Trust invites councils to submit an entry. All entries are judged independently and objectively by each Trustee, who then meet to deliberate on their findings and select councils who may be shortlisted for inspection and presentations.

Please note for consistency in judging the 2016 Bluett Awards, the assessment process will use council boundaries prior to 11 May 2016.

For 2016 the inspections are scheduled for late September/early October. The winning councils will be announced at the LGNSW Conference in Wollongong 16-18 October 2016. Councils are requested to detail the work, using statistical information and other evidence of progress.

A R Bluett Memorial Trustees

  • Graeme Fleming PSM, Trust Chairman
  • Allan Ezzy AM APM
  • Mike Montgomery AM

2016 Winners

The 2016 winners announced at LGNSW's Annual Conference were Albury City Council and Parkes Shire Council. 

Winning Submissions


2015 Winners

The 2015 winners announced at LGNSW's Annual Conference were Warringah and Lithgow City councils.

Winning Submissions

Warringah Council's winning submission (PDF, 16.7KB)

Lithgow City Council's winning submission (PDF, 18.3MB)

Pittwater Council also received a special award.

2014 Winners

The 2014 winners announced at LGNSW's Annual Conference were Ku-ring-gai and Bankstown councils who shared the winning honors for the City and Regional category, and Cootamundra Shire Council who won the Rural category.  

Winning Submissions

The Trustees also made special mention of the efforts of Warringah, Tumut and Upper Lachlan Shire Councils.

2013 Winners

The 2013 winners announced at the Local Government NSW Annual Conference were Tumbarumba Shire and Mid Western Regional Council.

Winning Submissions

The Trustees also made special mention of the achievements of Goldenfields Water County Council based at Temora and Upper Lachlan Shire Council based at Crookwell.

2012 Winners

The winners for 2012 were announced at the Local Government Association Annual Conference.

Winning Submissions

The Trustees also made special mention of the efforts of Wyong Shire Council and awarded a rarely presented Commendation for Murray Shire Council.

Roll of Past Winners