Interpretation Australia Awards of Excellence


Effective interpretation of our natural and cultural heritage makes a difference to our daily lives. It helps us understand and navigate our world, and adds depth and insight to our experiences in museums, zoos, parks, the outdoors and commercial environments.

The Interpretation Australia National Awards for Excellence were established in 2008 to recognise and reward outstanding heritage interpretation.

Entering the Awards

  • Submissions for the 2019 IA Awards for Excellence will open soon. 
  • For Submission Guidelines for all awards please click here.
  • Please note: These guidelines may be updated for the 2019 Awards


Award Categories for 2019

Award Category
Award for Excellence Project Under $15,000
Award for Excellence Project between $15,000 – $50,000
Award for Excellence Project between $50,000 – $150,000
Award for Excellence Project over $150,000
Award for Excellence Judges Choice  
Georgie Waterman Individual – Lifetime Achievement
Young Achievers Individual – Emerging Professional


Georgie Waterman Award

Since 1999, Interpretation Australia has celebrated the life of interpreter Georgie Waterman by awarding the Georgie Waterman Award to an outstanding interpreter.

The Georgie Waterman Award recognises individuals who have made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the development of the profession of interpretation in Australia. The key focus for this award is on the sustained contribution being made to the profession.


Young Achievement Award 

The Young Achievement Award is for emerging professionals who are making an outstanding contribution to the development of interpretation in Australia. First presented in 2008, this award celebrates inspiration, creativity, innovation and audience awareness of young individual who demonstrates commitment to Interpretation as their chosen profession.

The IA Awards are judged by a panel of experts with comprehensive experience in the field of heritage interpretation. Receiving an IA Award acknowledges that you are a leader in the profession and that your work has made a vital contribution to the success of your project.

2018 Interpretation Australia Awards for Excellence Winners

This year we had a phenomenal number of entries for our Awards! The range and quality of the entries were outstanding and it was a difficult year for our judges. In order to showcase these great projects it was decided that we would also have Runner Up Awards this year. Additionally the judges also chose two Judges Choice Awards. Congratulations to our 2018 National Award winners:

Under $15,000 Category Winner: Poihākena Tours: Stories of Māori in Sydney (Kotahi Tourism)
Runner Up: Judbarra / Gregory National Park (NT) Visitor Centre Interpretation Plan (Parks, Wildlife and Heritage – Department of Tourism and Culture)

$15,000 – $50,000 Category Winner: Darwin: A Tale of Four Cities (Caddie Brain)
Runner Up: Alice Anderson Motor Service (Synthetic Creative Services)

$50,000 – $150,000 Category Winner: Explore Walka (Maitland City Council)
Runner Up: Alphabet Sydney creative Lab (Sydney Living Museums)

$150,000+ Category Winner: Tiger Trek (Taronga Conservation Society)
Runner Up: Keeper Kids Melbourne Zoo (Zoos Victoria)

Judges Choice Awards:
Port Arthur Gallery (Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority)
Interloop (Transport for NSW)

Young Achievement Award: Katy Penman (Australian National Botanic Gardens)

For case studies and more information on these Winners visit our 2018 Award Winners page. For winners from previous years  please visit our Previous Winners page or visit our Georgie Waterman page for previous winners.

Upcoming Events

all-day Visitor Research Forum 2019 @ Taronga Institute of Science and Learning
Visitor Research Forum 2019 @ Taronga Institute of Science and Learning
Apr 3 all-day
Visitor Research Forum 2019 @ Taronga Institute of Science and Learning
The event aims to bring together industry and academic thought leaders working and researching in the area of visitor research across Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world. Please do not hesitate to contact Dr.[...]
all-day International Conference on Inte... @ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
International Conference on Inte... @ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
May 20 – May 24 all-day
International Conference on Interpretation @ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Join us in Rio de Janeiro, a city famous the world over, for the 2019 International Conference on Interpretation. Hosted for the first time in South America, the International Conference on Interpretation takes place in[...]

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