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history of the awards

in 2022, we celebrated 40 years of the innovation & excellence awards.

In 1982, as the property industry gathered to present its first annual awards for excellence and innovation, many of the buildings that now shape our skylines, bring life to our cities and energy to local economies were still distant dreams or sketches on the drawing board.

Since then, the Property Council of Australia (originally the Builders Owners and Managers Association) has been recognising and rewarding excellence. And Rider Levett Bucknall has been the proud sponsor and supporter of the awards program for each of these 40 years.

The bronze sculpture ‘Aspiration’ was selected from 12 designs entered into a competition conducted by the Property Council of Australia, RLB, and the Art Gallery of NSW in Australia to recognise achievement in commercial property excellence.


In 1991, the Property Council’s state-based award programs were amalgamated into a national program to recognise excellence across the country.

From 1991, the Rider Levett Bucknall Australian Development of the Year has been presented to some of the nation’s most iconic buildings.


In 2006 our awards program evolved once more, rebranded as the Innovation and Excellence Awards to celebrate leading-edge practice and inspire innovation within our industry.

Excellence was recognised across 12 categories:
- Office Developments
- Shopping Centre Developments
- Emerging Assets
- Tourism & Leisure Development
- Business or Industrial Parks
- Residential Development
- Government Leadership
- Heritage and adaptive Reuse
- Master Planned Communities
- Mixed Use Development
- Public Buildings
- Sustainable  Developments

As Australian cities continue to expand, our industry responds to myraid challengers – from delivering affordable housing to supporting Australians as they age, and from improving the environmental sustainability or buildings or creating a rich and diverse workforce.

As a result, a number of new categories have been introduced.


In 2007, we began to recognise our next generation of talent through Future Leader of the Year Award.


In 2010, the Retirement Living and office Workplace categories were introduced, and the following year the Sustainable Development category was expanded to recognise the different approaches taken on new and existing building


In 2012, the Award for Innovation first gained its moment in the spotlight and has since transformed into two awards: one for Project Innovation and another for Development Innovation.


The Award for Best affordable Housing Development was presented in 2015.


The Award for Diversity, introduced in 2016, has been split into two categories in 2017 in response to the number of entries.

While the categories and number of entrants have grown, and the quality and sophistication of the entries have increased, the underlying aim of the awards remains the same: to support and showcase the developments creating brilliant places for all Australians.


In 2022, with the celebration of 40 years, a new award category was introduced – Award for Best Public Art Project. Along with this new award, two small updates were made to two of the award categories. Sustainable Development – Existing Buildings and Sustainable Development – New Buildings has now been combined to the one category; Award for Best Sustainable Development and Diversity >250 Employees and Diversity <250 Employees has now been combined to the one category; Award for Diversity. 

relive the past awards

Want to see who the past finalists and winners were last year to know what to expect? Visit our YouTube channel and go on the journey again with us.