Judging Process


yellow diamond


yellow diamond


The Banksia Sustainability Award entries go through a three part judging process by Banksia’s national team of judges. Banksia judges are experts in their field and this expertise is matched to the relevant category for assessment. Judges must absent themselves from judging any entry which may be a conflict of interest.

Final decisions are made and reviewed in an audit by a senior panel of judges. All judges sign and are bound by a confidentiality agreement.

The Banksia judges volunteer their time and are a valuable and valued part of the Banksia Foundation’s body of people who work towards Australia’s recognition of environmental excellence.


The judging process for the Banksia Category Awards involve three levels:


 Our expert panel of Judges read, score and give feedback on all entries based on criteria. From here the scores will indicate a shortlist of entries that will proceed to personal online interviews.


From the shortlist, our expert panel of judges will conduct an interview with each successful entry, where a list of questions will be asked. Each category panel will then discuss each entry and recommend and nominate who the finalists and winners are.


All finalists’ entries and scoring results are reviewed by an Audit Panel and a winner from each category is ratified based on the comments and scores made by both rounds of judging.


All category winners are then further reviewed and evaluated by the audit panel to decide the Banksia Gold Award Winner.

Gold Award Winners


The role that judges undertake is vital to the Banksia Awards Program. There are 3 rounds of Judging per category and each category has a separate panel of judges led by a nominated judge. 

The Banksia Foundation has a national team of over 80 judges who are independent to the Banksia Board and Staff. The judges are all experts in their field and the judging panels are organised for each award category to match that expertise. All potential conflicts of interest are investigated and results audited by a senior panel of judges.

Banksia would like to acknowledge our Chair of the Judging Panels, Jo Cain. Her commitment and support is invaluable and ensures that we maintain a viable, efficient and integrated judging process.

On behalf of the Banksia Foundation, we would like to thank the following individuals for giving us their time and providing their expertise to the 2020 Banksia Awards Program.

If you would like to join the judging panel, please email office@banksiafdn.com


  • Aaron Organ
  • Andrew Block
  • Angela Crossland
  • Barbara Nebel
  • Bram Mason
  • Cameron Jones
  • Carolyn Ingvarson
  • Charles Rendigs
  • Cheryl Taylor
  • Chris Bourke
  • Danielle King
  • David Rake
  • Dominique Hes
  • Elizabeth Hurst
  • Emma Treadgold
  • Evelyn Jonkman
  • Fran Madigan
  • Gail Dawson
  • Hayley Purbrick
  • Helen Gibson
  • Iain Smale
  • Ian Culbard
  • Izabella Kobylanski
  • Jeffrey Robinson
  • Julie Boulton
  • Mark Thomson
  • Mark Watson
  • Melissa Schulz
  • Meredith Banks
  • Monica Richter
  • Nadya Krienke Becker
  • Nicola Schroder
  • Olivia Tyler
  • Oona Nicholson
  • Pipilippa Marks
  • Priya Pathmanathan
  • Rebecca Cain
  • Rosemary Bissett
  • Ross Wyatt
  • Ruby Finlen
  • Rupert Posner
  • Russell Seaman
  • Scott Losee
  • Sheree Marris
  • Shona Cameron
  • Simon Boughey
  • Stacey Daniel
  • Stephanie Camarena
  • Stephanie Rich
  • Sue King
  • Tim Langdon
  • Tom Davies
  • Tom Garrish



David McCarthy
Senior Manager, Public Relations, Product and Corporate Communications
Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific

I was involved in the Banksia Environmental awards for a number of years when my company sponsored an annual Environmental Research Award. This award recognized those who could demonstrate a significant contribution to understanding or resolving local or global environmental problems through research. The opportunity to be a judge and to contribute through this process to greater awareness of environmental issues and to recognize the work on and possible solutions is a great honour. The Banksia Foundation and the Awards have for twenty five years had a very clear focus and have played an incredible role in educating both the public and industry on the importance of environmental sustainability.


Dr Tamara Boyd
Founding Director
INtrinsic SCOPE

I began judging for the Banksia Awards in 2006. At the time I worked for Parks Victoria where I focused on maintaining and enhancing the health of our precious wetlands and waterways. Each year I looked forward to reviewing the range of entries in the Banksia’s water category. Having been the recipient of a fellowship to study water management overseas while completing my PhD in environmental engineering, it was inspiring to see the level of leadership and innovation right here at home!

Our environment sustains us. Every individual and every business depends on it, either directly or indirectly. It is essential to our wealth, health and happiness. Yet this contribution is often undervalued or simply not accounted for. I believe we must value nature and the ecosystem services a healthy environment provides, which is why I’ve recently established as an independent knowledge broker. I help clients, primarily land and water managers, explore and communicate the benefits of the environmental works they undertake and the natural assets they manage.

The Banksia Awards do this too by helping promote and examine the contribution people and businesses make to managing our environment sustainably. I still enjoy reviewing and providing feedback, along with my fellow judges, on the many ways entrants maximise the environmental and community benefits of their actions. These initiatives should be applauded and encouraged, which is why I’ll continue to support the Banksia Awards through the judging process.

Bobby Ali-Kahn
National Business Development Manager,

Bobby Ali-Khan was previously a Director of the GECA Board from 2008 to 2014. Her extensive consulting background covers business strategy, change management and workplace performance evaluation, relating to corporate organisational structures and facilities management, specialising in business effectiveness and productivity in the Built Environment. Bobby has represented and implemented organisational ESD policies and programs across the government and commercial building sectors. Bobby’s various corporate positions have also involved creative and detailed design development, environmental planning and compliance, project management and workplace solutions for commercial mergers, office fitouts and base building design.

A passion for environmentally sustainable product specification, as well as an understanding of materials and manufacturing processes, has come from a career starting in architecture, evolving to facilities management consulting, and over eight years in manufacturing and sustainability. Leading design teams across Europe opened up global choices in best practice products for multinational clients like Texaco / Caltex, the World Bank, Qantas and many more organisations that were conscious of indoor environmental quality and their environmental footprint well before the formation of the Green Building Councils, when ecolabels were and are the trusted choice for sustainably manufactured products.

Bobby has represented GECA on the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), is a member of the Facility Managers Association (FMA) of Australia, Property Council of Australia – Retirement Living Manager of the Year Judge 2013, GBCA Green Star Accredited Professional, and 2014 Banksia Award judging panel member for the ‘Product Sustainability – through design, manufacture and use’ award category which GECA helped create to recognise product sustainability as part of its awards for 2014. It included new products as well as improvements in process or design that improve the sustainability of existing products.



A helpful insight into entering the Banksia Awards


Key components of a good entry – what stands out?

“Using the criteria as obvious headings in the entry really helps, especially with scoring. It draws our attention to how the project/initiative/entrant really nailed what Banksia is looking for.”

Fiona Baxter, ERM

“Highlighting at the start of the entry what is unique/innovative about it? As judges in a particular category, it is not unusual to receive a number of similar entries in a year. There may be a “flavour of the month” out there. So it really counts in your favour to spell out what makes yours the best out there, shout it from the rooftops. Provide context by telling us what makes your entry different at the start of your entry and remind us again at the end – leave us with your key message.”

Geoff Byrne, ERM

What are the obviously poor things that you have found in an entry?

“Endless text with no headings to break it up, in particular no reference to the category criteria. This makes it difficult to read and a challenge for us judges to draw out the strengths of the entry.”

Fiona Baxter, ERM

“Inclusion of lots of clearly valuable “extras”, such as videos, CDs, brochures, but with no cross-referencing from the entry. Our time as judges is limited, effectively with a certain amount of time allowed to review each entry. Hence, we can only look at “extras” if the entrant points us to the specific page number in the report or the specific time point in the video. We would love to have the time to look at it all, but in reality its not achievable.”

Geoff Byrne, ERM

What surprised you in a good way?

Good visual presentation of an entry is always a pleasant surprise, drawing you in, as a judge. Photographs, charts, diagrams, anything to visually depict what the entry is all about is always a bonus. And remember that “a picture is as good as a thousand words”, so if you’re struggling to keep within the word limit….:

Fiona Baxter, ERM

When a small organisation puts in a substantially better presented and written entry than a large corporate – that is always a nice surprise. That even with clearly limited resources, they have put the effort in and come up with something great.”

Geoff Byrne, ERM

What are the recurring mistakes that you see?

“Ignoring the category criteria has to be the most regular obvious mistake – where an entry describes the project/intiative but without reference to what Banksia is looking for.”

Fiona Baxter,