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Local Government Awards

As the peak body for local government, the LGA is proud to recognise the dedication of long-serving elected members and staff by through a series of awards.

Local Government Service Awards

These include service recognition awards for both Elected Members and staff who have contributed more than 10 years to local government.

Jim Crawford Award

CrawfordThe Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries was created to ensure that Mr Crawford's legacy in creating and developing South Australia's public libraries system is remembered. The Award is available to individuals or groups working in, or associated with, public libraries eligible for funding by the Libraries Board of South Australia.

About Mr Jim Crawford

Mr Crawford was Chairman of the Libraries Board of South Australia from 1977 until 1987 and, prior to that, was a member of the Libraries Board from 1972 to 1976.

As Chairman of the Libraries Board, Mr Crawford guided the development of two reports entitled Library Development in South Australia (1978) and South Australian Libraries - Moving Towards 2000 (1986).

Jim Crawford

The first report became the blueprint for the establishment of all public libraries in South Australia, while the second supported the continued growth and development of these libraries.

Mr Crawford also spent more than 20 years as an elected local government member. He was a Councillor of Brighton City Council from 1973 until 1977, Mayor of Brighton from 1977 to 1980, and a Councillor at the City of Adelaide from 1985 until 1997.

Mr Crawford was a successful businessman who, through generous financial donations, sought to use his position as Chairman of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) to benefit the wider community, including many charity groups.

CMV encompasses a range of motor vehicle franchises and agricultural operations in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

A steadfast vision

Mr Crawford was well respected for his vision, sense of justice, personal and business ethics and genuine awareness of community needs.

In line with these character traits, he worked to establish a library network that would allow all South Australians to access books, information technology and other beneficial learning tools from a local library, regardless of where they lived.

"South Australia is significantly indebted to Jim Crawford for his creation and development of the South Australian public libraries network," Vice-President of Public Libraries South Australia (PLSA), Mr Geoff Strempel, said.

"Jim's towering personality, intellectual rigour, boundless energy and good humour were brought to bear on Governments and communities to ensure that public libraries were embraced as part of the fabric of South Australian life."

According to Mr Crawford's family, Jim Crawford was "not prepared to oversee the status quo, but had a vision of all people throughout South Australia having access to a free, quality public library network".

"Where the bureaucrats couldn't find a solution, Jim Crawford would burst through with his raw enthusiasm and passion and achieve what needed to be achieved," son, Mr Paul Crawford, said.

In keeping with his ability to broker partnerships in all walks of life, Mr Crawford convinced both State and Local Governments to implement an equal funding partnership for the public library network.

This partnership remains strong today. 

The Award

The Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries is available to individuals or groups working in, or associated with, public libraries eligible for funding by the Libraries Board of South Australia. It is awarded biyearly

The intention of the award is to reward those people making a significant contribution to South Australia's public libraries and to encourage and drive further innovation.

In line with this, the award will be granted to recognise proven outstanding contribution to public libraries as judged against the following criteria:

  • the fostering and/or implementation of innovations in library services which have direct benefits to the public
  • the implementation of improvements which directly advance library services for disadvantaged communities
  • demonstrated individual excellence in providing inspirational leadership in the field of public libraries
  • the implementation of an outstanding proposal which keeps with the spirit of the award

Award funds may be used to:

  • provide professional development for staff
  • drive further innovation in service delivery through research and development
  • build on existing innovation
  • purchase significant equipment or library materials

Note that before a winning Public Library or School/Community Library can receive any funds under the Awards, it must be registered as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) with the Australian Tax Office. This process is a simple one and information and an application form can be found at the following webpage:

Jim Crawford Award Recipients

  • 2018 Winner - City of Salisbury, Microsoft Office Bootcamp
  • 2016 Winner - The Rural City of Murray Bridge, Re-ignighting a loge for local language
  • 2014 Winner - The City of Playford Library Service,  Give the Gift of Reading initiative
  • 2014 Encouragement Award - Roxby Council, Community Library English Conversation Group
  • 2012 WinnerThe Mount Gambier Library (City of Mount Gambier) 
  • 2012 Encouragement Award -  Alexandrina Library, Strathalbyn(Alexandrina Council);
  • 2012 Honourable Mention - Morgan Library (Mid Murray Council).
  • 2010 WinnerCity of Salisbury Library (City of Salisbury) and the City of West Torrens Library (West Torrens) 
  • 2010 Merit Award - Yorketown Community and School Library (District Council of Yorke Peninsula)
  • 2010 Commendation Awards - Murray Bridge Public Library (The Rural City of Murray Bridge) and the Unley Young Writers' Group (City of Unley)

  • 2008 Winner - Charles Sturt Library Service (City of Charles Sturt)

  • 2008 Merit Award - Murray Bridge Public Library (Rural City of Murray Bridge) 
  • 2007 Merit Award - Campbelltown Public Library Service (City of Campbelltown) 
  • 2006 Winner - West Torrens Library Service (City of West Torrens)
  • 2006 Special Recognition Award - City of Onkaparinga
  • 2004 Winner - District Council of Mt Barker
  • 2004 Commendation Award - City of Salisbury
  • 2002 (Inaugural) Winner  - Wattle Range Council


Joy Baluch Award

The Joy Baluch Award, launched at the 2014 LGA Ordinary General Meeting and Showcase honours the late (Nancy) Joy Baluch AM, former President of the LGA and Mayor of Port Augusta. This annual award was established to recognise the contributions of women currently serving as Elected Members of South Australian Councils.

2019/20 Joy Baluch Award

Nominations for the 2019/20 Joy Baluch Award are now open.

The Award recognises the contributions made by female council members to the South Australia's Local Government sector.

A copy of the flyer can be downloaded here The Joy Baluch Awards - flyer(215 kb)

To download the nomination form please click here The Joy Baluch Award - nomination form(228 kb)

For further information please contact the Events team on 8224 2047 or

Joy Baluch Award Recipients

  • 2017/18 - Mayor Kathie Bowman, District Council of Orroroo Carrieton
  • 2016/17 - Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg, City of Onkaparinga
  • 2015/16 - Cr Carol Martin, City of Port Adelaide Enfield
  • 2014/15 - Cr Betty Gill, City of Salisbury

John Legoe AwardLaunched in 2006, and named after the late Kingston Mayor and former LGA President, the John Legoe Award was set up to recognise Elected Members who demonstrate a commitment to personal development, as well a passion for serving their councils and communities over an extended period of time.

Over the past decade this award has recognised the contributions made by many hard working and passionate Elected Members.

However, in recognition of the declining number of entries, and changing  landscape of local government in SA, we have - in consultation with John’s wife Gayle - decided that the 2015/16 John Legoe Award was the last.

John Legoe Award Recipients

  • 2015/16 Winner: Mayor Ray Agnew OAM (Yorke Peninsula) 
  • 2014/15 Winner: Cr Garth Palmer (West Torrens) 
  • 2013/14 Winner: Cr Peter Solomon (Port Augusta)
  • 2013/14 Encouragement Award: Cr Carol Martin (Port Adelaide Enfield) 
  • 2012/13 Winner: Mayor Jayne Bates (Kangaroo Island)
  • 2012/13 Encouragement Award: Mayor Erika Vickery (Naracoorte Lucindale) 
  • 2011/12 Winners: Cr John Ross AM, (Tatiara) and Cr David Plumridge AM, (Adelaide)
  • 2011/12 Encouragement Award: Mayor Julie Low, (Lower Eyre Peninsula)
  • 2010 Winner: Mayor Brian Hurn OAM (Barossa)
  • 2010 Encouragement Award: Cr Jill Whittaker (Campbelltown)
  • 2009 Winner: Mayor Joy Baluch AM, Port Augusta City Council
  • 2009 Certificate of Recognition: Mayor Paul Thomas, District Council of the Copper Coast
  • 2009 Encouragement Award: Cr Jane Muras, Campbelltown City Council
  • 2008 Winners: Mayor James Maitland, Wakefield Regional Council, and Cr George Demetriou, City of West Torrens
  • 2007 Winner: Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis, City of Marion 
  • 2006 (Inaugural) Winner: Mayor Kym McHugh, Alexandrina Council
  • 2006 Encouragement Award: Cr Glenn Docherty, City of Playford

State and local government in South Australia have a long history of collaboration. Significant developments included the establishment of the Local Government Finance Authority and the legislative backing for the LGA Workers Compensation Scheme and the LGA Mutual Liability Scheme in the 1980s.

The LGA has a number of policies which support and seek collaborative approaches with other Governments on issues where it will benefit South Australians.

Partnerships involve two parties and the LGA has decided to create this award to acknowledge those public sector employees from State and Commonwealth Government who demonstrate a true partnership approach in working with councils, treat the local government sector with respect and go the extra mile in engaging with councils for the benefit of communities. It is expected that nominees will have worked with a number of councils across the sector or within a region.

The Award is promoted and presented annually. It has been named to recognise the partnership work of Jim Hullick, who served as CEO of the LGA from 1975 to 1996.


Nominations will be accepted from councils, Regional LGAs or from SAROC or GAROC for State or Commonwealth public servants who have worked with councils in the previous 12 months.

Why you should be nominated

The judging panel will be looking for the following qualities and attributes in assessing award applications:

  • Mutual respect and a commitment to
    co-operative and productive work on issues of mutual importance.
  • Work collaboratively to achieve better outcomes for SA Communities.
  • Regular and effective communication, consultation and negotiation on the formulation and implementation of key policies and projects affecting local government.

As such, nominees will be expected to have:

  • influenced positive outcomes on issues of mutual importance to State and local government;
  • benefitted a number of communities across South Australia or within a region;
  • gone ‘above and beyond’ in their approach to engaging or negotiating with local government.

Past winners

  • 2019 Winners - John Chapman, Small Business Commissioner, Office of the Small Business Commissioner and Dennis Kuhlmann, Senior Property Officer, Crown Lands Program – National Parks & Wildlife Service Division - Department for Environment & Water
  • 2018 Winner -  Leeanne Redpath, Senior Electoral Officer, ECSA
  • 2017 Winners -  Ronnie Faggotter, Director of the State Recovery Office and Geoff Strempel, Associate Director Public Library Services
  • 2016 Winner - Michelle Brown, Department of State Development




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