03 Dec 2020

Australia’s Top Projects of 2020 Revealed

Australia’s Top Projects of 2020 Revealed

​As we near the close of 2020 and look back at the year that was, there has never been a better time to celebrate project success.

Over the course of the year we have seen project leaders pivot and steer their projects through the challenges of COVID-19 to deliver exceptional results.

With the winners of the 2020 Project Management Achievement Awards (PMAAs) recently announced, in this article we highlight the projects that took out the honours of Australia’s top national awards.

Elizabeth Foley, CEO of AIPM, said “the calibre of entrants this year was truly exceptional. I would like to recognise and congratulate all of the winners of this year’s awards and the hard work of the professionals who drove these projects forward and delivered them to such a high standard.”

Here are Australia’s top projects of the year:



Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) Project, Australian Federal Police - RPS

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) Project took out the top award in the PMAAs, as well as the Government National award. The project was undertaken in 2019 for the Australian Federal Police and included the design and construction of a new state of the art office fit out, with the aim of delivering a technically capable and innovative policing facility focussed on improved staff mental health and wellbeing. A first of its kind for the newly established ACCCE, this facility is a national coordination hub supporting federal and state law enforcement agencies and non-governmental partner agencies in a national and global effort to pursue the recovery of victims from harm and prosecute those perpetrating acts of child exploitation.



UNSW Lower Campus Sciences and Engineering Precinct - Capital Insight Pty Limited

Capital Insight delivered an integrated program of works at UNSW within the Sciences/Engineering precinct over a seven-year program, that included four major projects, 55,000m2 of built space, ninety-eight handover milestones, with an aggregate value of $449.1 million. The program created Australia’s foremost Sciences and Engineering Precinct, when combined with the award-winning Tyree Energy Technologies Building and existing buildings, providing a ‘super sciences precinct’ of research and teaching facilities, as well as world-class performance and entertainment venues and major upgrades to the public domain, requiring management of diverse stakeholders and significant complexity in design utilising bespoke delivery strategies.


University Meeting Experience Improvement Project - University of Tasmania - Information Technology Services

The University of Tasmania connects local, regional, interstate and international students and researchers through education. Without reliable and fit for purpose ICT and telecommunication solutions the ability to provide high quality meeting experiences to ‘connect’ was significantly hampered, resulting in stakeholder dissatisfaction and reduced business and learning outcomes. This project aimed to improve booking, managing and attending video conference meetings through a multi-faceted approach involving innovative collaboration between departments and their networks to ensure optimal results for stakeholders. The project was complex due to scope, level of change impact and COVID-19.



TasNetworks Operating Model Improvement Project - TasNetworks Pty Ltd

TasNetworks Operating Model Improvement Project (OMIP) was a transformational project that identified and improved delivery of work at TasNetworks to increase value to customers, Tasmanian community and shareholders. Using data to make decisions, improving processes and formalising communication channels and operating system, the OMIP identified opportunities and implemented changes to facilitate the rigorous planning and prioritisation of the extensive capital and operating program. The project delivered significant value in both tangible and intangible benefits. It resulted in increased productivity, cost savings, reduced risk and increased employee satisfaction, as well as increased customer value and shareholder return for the Tasmanian community.


Route 96 Nicholson St Asset Relocation - CitiPower Pty Ltd

CitiPower’s project outcome was to successfully relocate CitiPower-owned AC power distribution assets on 112 Tramway poles being replaced by Yarra Trams supporting the overhead DC power lines for trams along 4.7km of Nicholson Street, a major thoroughfare in inner-city Melbourne. This $6.5 million project was initiated in 2017 and is planned for completion in 2020. Assets affected included aerial pole top structures, overhead mains cables, street lighting, new power poles, underground power cables, service connections and private customer mains upgrades. Project complexity was high due to the shared use of each pole by multiple organisations and local stakeholder impacts. 


Geelong Arts Centre - Ryrie Street Redevelopment - Development Victoria

Development Victoria (DV) commenced project management on the Geelong Arts Centre - Ryrie Street Redevelopment in September 2016. The project had been costed considerably over budget and DV was tasked with formulating a procurement strategy and scope of works that would sit within the funded budget and still create the required social outcomes. DV guided the project through complex latent conditions, significant personnel changes, budgetary issues and an archaeological dig to achieve additional scope, the restoration of the important historical feature, activation and employment of local tradespeople and engagement with the local community.


SwanCare Leisure Precinct, Bentley Park - NS Group

As one of Western Australia’s leading providers of quality retirement living and aged care, SwanCare has developed a new leisure precinct at their 15-hectare Bentley Park retirement village which is home to almost 1,000 residents. Driven by the ideas of community, activity and sustainability, the expansive precinct - with a footprint of approximately 8,400m2 - provides functional indoor and outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy. Enhancing the resort-style living on offer, the precinct features new clubrooms, function centre, landscaped gardens with sound and light features, exercise park, heated indoor swimming pool, wellness hub, gymnasium and bowling green.


The University of Melbourne, Old Quadrangle Redevelopment - Melbourne - Aurecon

The Old Quadrangle Redevelopment is a complex heritage refurbishment and sustainability project that overcame many competing challenges. The refurbishment has given life back to the University of Melbourne’s (UoM)’s most iconic building. An innovative re-design within the original envelope, the space has re-created the key cultural, civic, engagement and ceremonial heart of the campus, the crowning jewel for UoM. Aurecon supported UoM in the delivery of this complex project providing project management and superintendent services. It is the first application in Australia of the adaptive reuse model Passivhaus EnerPHit to a building of state and national heritage significance.


Coles Group Payment Services Governance Capability - Agile Management Office, Coles Group

As a result of the demerger from Wesfarmers Group, Payment Services, a department of Coles Group, experienced significant change and complexities impacting its technology, business, delivery model, size, and identity. Agile Management Office's professional services were engaged to assess and establish a best practice delivery governance capability, as well as standing up a central function for the delivery and governance of projects and programs. A model and framework was established by the Agile Management Office that would underpin their operating model and help put them in a great position to execute efficiently as they move toward their vision of a world class payments services business.


Capital Planning & Delivery PMO – Telstra

Telstra’s enterprise-wide Capital Planning & Delivery PMO (CP&D) is responsible for managing the enterprise wide portfolio planning and prioritisation, execution and benefits governance of Telstra’s capital investment program ($3-$4 billion pa). Given Telstra’s size and complexity, CP&D operates a federated PPM model to facilitate local leadership and administration within each business unit, creating a strong cross-functional virtual portfolio management team. Partnering with Corporate Strategy and working with the Executive team, CP&D prioritises a multi-year strategic investment plan and oversees its ongoing execution. CP&D also executes a roadmap of capability uplift to support the execution of Telstra’s strategy.


The winners of this year’s PMAAs showcase outstanding achievement in project and program leadership. Visit our 2020 Project Management Achievement Awards (PMAAs) landing page to see the full list of winners and for more information on the awards.