Media Release: Blacktown Council named inaugural Leo Kelly Award Winner at LGNSW Local Government Week Awards

4 August 2017

Blacktown City Council’s innovative Australian Hip Hop history project has taken out the inaugural Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award handed out by Local Government NSW (LGNSW) overnight. 
The Award – introduced to honour the late Councillor Leo Kelly OAM, a passionate and dedicated LGNSW Board member from 1983 to January 2017 – celebrates outstanding achievement in the strategic planning and delivery of arts and culture to local communities.
LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said it was fantastic the independent judges selected Blacktown City Council as the award winner in the 70,000-plus council population category.
“Leo was a long-serving councillor on Blacktown City Council, and was instrumental in creating the Blacktown Arts Centre,” Clr Rhoades said.
“He continued to support the arts throughout his life, through the Blacktown City Art Prize and scholarships for local artists.
“I know he would be very proud that the council he served so faithfully has won the very first Leo Kelly OAM Award.”
Leo Kelly Award winners in the remaining two population categories were Wagga Wagga City Council, for We Are Here – LGBTIQ Stories of the Riverina exhibition, program and collection; and Griffith City Council, for their Centenary of Spears project.
Also announced at the Sydney ceremony overnight were winners of the RH Dougherty Awards for Excellence in Communication.
RH Dougherty Winners and Highly Commended councils included Central Coast Council, the City of Parramatta, Liverpool City Council, Northern Beaches Council, the City of Ryde, Camden Council, Upper Lachlan Shire Council, Cessnock City Council, Tweed Shire Council, Parkes Shire Council, and Wagga Wagga City Council.
“This year’s Local Government Week theme – Discovery, Diversity, Democracy– reflects the incredible breadth of activities undertaken by councils,” LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said.
“Councillors are not only the democratically-elected representatives of their local communities, but individuals working within a board-like structure to help govern multi-million-dollar businesses.
“Local Government employs almost 50,000 staff across the state, and has an annual spend of $10 billion – as a sector we’re active almost every sphere of daily life.
Also awarded at the Sydney ceremony were the:
  • NSW Disability Inclusion Award, with population-based categories won by Cobar Shire Council, Wollondilly Shire Council and Wollongong City Council 
  • Heart Foundation Local Government Awards, won by Kiama Municipal Council
  • Youth Week Local Government Awards, with category winners including Fairfield City Council, Newcastle City Council, Shoalhaven City Council, Walgett Shire Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, and Dubbo Regional Council.

Read a Full list of Local Government Week Award Winners 2017 (PDF, 301KB).

Media Enquiries
LGNSW President, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM: 0408 256 405
Media, Toni Allan: 0412 774 441