Awards for 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

2019 Awards Submissions have been extended until Monday 5th August 5.00pm due to some website issues. 

  • Submissions for the 2019 IA Awards for Excellence are now open and will close at 5pm on Monday 5th August, 2019. 
  • To submit an entry, please read the Submission Guidelines and submit via the linked form.
  • 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.


2019 Awards Recipients will recieve: 

In 2019 the IA Awards Judging Committee will announce the following winners and prizes:

Award For Excellence in each category

Winners in these categories will receive:

  • Opportunity to showcase the project at the 2020 Interpretation Australia National Event and/or the opportunity to participate in a conference panel.
  • Digital promotion in the IA eNews
  • Plaques for self and client
  • Certificate for each member of the project team
  • Feedback from the IA Awards Judging Committee
  • Opportunity to Curate the IA Instagram
  • Invitation to showcase your project or work in a podcast or webinar.


Award for Excellence – Judge’s Discretion Award

In addition to the winner, our judges can also reward two projects that are particularly innovative and/or demonstrate best practice in interpretation.

Each winner will receive:

  • Digital promotion in the IA eNews
  • Plaque
  • Certificate for each member of the project team
  • Feedback from the IA Awards’ Judging Committee

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.