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Banyule City Council wins innovation award

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Banyule City Council has won the Gold Medal in the 2017 MAV National Local Government Innovation Awards for its Sensory Friendly Festivals initiative.

The award was voted on by attendees at the national local government conference ‘Hacktivation: Transforming Local Government in the Innovation Era’ held on 15-16 March.

Banyule’s Sensory Friendly Festival initiative was inspired by work happening globally to support attendance of children on the autism spectrum at major sporting and culture events.

The Sensory Friendly Festivals were developed in consultation with the autism spectrum disorder community and an internal working group.

All festival volunteers, vendors, stall holders and performers undertook autism awareness training, and there were a number of resources at the festival to ensure the fun and safety of all attendees.

Cr Mary Lalios, MAV President said it was critical for councils to explore new-age thinking and innovative business models for the betterment of the local government sector.

“It is estimated that one in 100 Australians are on the autism spectrum. Banyule City Council should be applauded for identifying a sector in their community that required greater services and using innovation to supply this demand.”

Cr Lalios said the MAV’s Hacktivation conference was designed to challenge the conventional way of thinking, especially around customer engagement, organisational structure, strategy and business models.

“We’re in a time of change, where it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet the needs of our communities with limited budgets and resources. And, communities are expecting faster and easier services.

“To keep up we need to find new ways of doing things. It is critical that local government embraces innovation and new technology.”

Silver Medal – Mount Alexander Shire Council

A new Fire Inspection App automatically generates a fire prevention notice for the selected property on the spot. It has reduced the time taken for the council to generate fire prevention notices from an hour to less than a minute per property.

Bronze Medal – City of Melbourne

The 10-week Local Food Launchpad Program was delivered in collaboration with Doing Something Good to better support social enterprises in the city’s food sector. It included mentoring and group sessions where participants could refine their ideas, hone their business models and learn the skills needed to launch and manage successful social enterprises.

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Contact MAV President Cr Mary Lalios on 0447 189 409 or the MAV Communications Unit on (03) 9667 5547.