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Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award


Elizabeth Robertson
Senior Policy Officer 

Phone: 02 9242 4028 

The Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award celebrates outstanding achievement by local government organisations in strategic planning for arts and culture.

Read this page for the history of this award and its criteria before applying. 

2020 winners

Cultural Plans

About Leo Kelly

Councillor Leo Kelly OAM was a passionate and dedicated LGNSW Board member who served from 1983 until his passing in January 2017. His service included 15 years as Vice-President (Metro) on the Local Government Association of NSW Board, and he was also a long-serving Blacktown City councillor.

As a champion for the arts, Councillor Kelly was instrumental in creating the Blacktown Arts Centre, as well as supporting the Blacktown City Art Prize and awarding scholarships for local artists.

About the award

The Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award recognises councils that are leaders in arts and culture, and have excelled in strategic policy, planning, delivery and evaluation. This includes:

  • Integrated cultural planning and policy
  • Creative stakeholder engagement
  • Building capacity of the arts and cultural sector

Eligible projects or initiatives will be judged on whether they:

  • Are innovative and resulted in improvements to cultural planning, policy, delivery and or evaluation
  • Achieved their intended goals with measurable cultural outcomes

Councils may enter initiatives or projects that demonstrate:

  • Leadership in developing, implementing and evaluating strategic cultural planning, in particular where initiatives relate to overall integrated planning and reporting
  • Community and stakeholder engagement that utilises best practice or innovative techniques to inform council planning
  • Collaboration across divisions of council in developing policy, plans, strategies or evaluation techniques

The project or initiative must have been:

  • Undertaken during the previous calendar year
  • Managed by a NSW council or group of councils that is/are a current member of LGNSW

Entries must have received the approval of the General Manager A winner and highly commended will be awarded across three divisions based on council population:

  • Less than 30,000
  • Between 30,000 and 70,000
  • More than 70,000

Eligible nominations are assessed based on the content provided in the submitted entry form against the criteria, and judged by a professional panel consisting of industry professionals and LGNSW. The winners are announced in Local Government Week in August each year.