Centennial Parklands has won the Best Use of Technology Award at the Parks & Leisure Australia’s (PLA) 2017 NSW & ACT Regional Awards of Excellence on 18 May 2017 in Kiama NSW. The award recognises the Parklands for leading the way in creating on-demand, high-quality content to meet the ever-changing needs of our visitors and online audiences.
PLA’s Awards of Excellence showcase the excellent work of parks and leisure professionals who deliver enormous benefit to Australian communities in the parks and leisure space. We are now a finalist and progress to the prestigious Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner, which will be held in October at the Gold Coast! How exciting!
Why the Parklands are digital first
With more than 20 million visitors annually, one of our biggest challenges is getting the communication basics right whilst respecting the history and heritage of the Parklands and remaining responsive to the evolving needs of our community.
A big driver of this challenge is the ever-evolving and advancing technology which impacts the way we communicate with you and people around Australia and the world. Whether it be through email, social media, this blog or our website, we are always working on industry-leading ways to deliver you high-quality, shareable and relevant content – that not only adds value to your life but keeps you in the know.
New goodies for you to try
Over the last few years we have been working behind the scenes and investing in cost-effective and on-demand information services, which includes improved website experiences (a new website is coming mid-year so watch this space) and a fully-integrated online booking system to improve your online booking experience.
A suite of our new popular digital products include:
- a digital touchscreen kiosk at one of Centennial Park’s most frequently visited areas (Fearnley Grounds)
- a Nature & Wildlife-themed self-guided tour app
- a self-guided history tour app with audio commentary and historic footage to take visitors through the rich history of ‘The People’s Park’.
If you have tried them check them out!
Why does this matter?
These improvements have seen a 15% increase in our digital database, and a significant growth in engagement and online bookings which enables you to plan your visit at the touch of a button 24-hours a day!
This not only helps us promote what we do here at the Parklands but achieve our organisation’s strategic goal of becoming a world-class and sustainable parklands by reducing our printing and production costs significantly.
Awards all round
Centennial Parklands’ sister gardens also received three awards on the night for their exceptional work in events and community programs:
- Event of the Year Award 2017 (NSW/ACT) for its ‘Kaldor Public Art Project Number 32: barrangal dyara (skin and bones) presented by Jonathan Jones – celebrating the 200th Birthday of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’ submission in partnership with Kaldor Public Art Projects.
- The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney also received a High Commendation in the Event of the Year Award 2017 (NSW/ACT) category for the Vivid Sydney “The Light Garden” celebrating the 200th Birthday of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in 2016, in partnership with Destination NSW.
- Best Community Program of the Year 2017 (NSW/ACT) was awarded to the Community Greening program, which is 17 year-long community run program facilitated by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. Find out more about Community Greening here.
View all the images from the Awards night here.