National Public Works Medal

About this Award

The IPWEA Australasia Public Works Medals are awarded by Engineers Australia to recognise excellence in local government engineering.

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA), on behalf of Engineers Australia invite nominations for the IPWEA Australasia Public Works Medals on a biennial basis to be awarded at the IPWEA International Public Works Conference.

There are two medals available: IPWEA Public Works Project of the Year Medal and IPWEA Public Works Leadership Medal. Both awards are available to engineers who are members of Engineers Australia and the IPWEA. Nominations come from winners of Division awards in the two (2) year period prior to the closing date for nominations of each International Conference year.

Nominees for the Public Works Leader Medal will have displayed excellence in public works engineering or leadership and for the Public Works Project of the Year Medal must have been responsible for the design and/or construction of a local government engineering project.

From 2017 the IPWEA Project of the Year, has been determined by the IPWEA Australasia Awards Committee from all nominations submitted by Divisions as winners across their respective Divisional categories.

Therefore, the winner from each category of the IPWEA Australasia Awards will be eligible for consideration for the IPWEA Public Works Medal – Best Australasian Project 2019 – 2021, sponsored by Engineers Australia.

Conditions of the awards and nominations forms are available from IPWEA Divisions. Visit for contact details.

Nominations are to be submitted to IPWEA Divisions by the nominated closing date of each International Public Works Conference year.

Biennial award, will open again in 2023.

2021 IPWEA Public Works Project of the Year Medal

Waka Kotahi Strategic Maintenance Investment Justification Project

Infrastructure Decision Support (IDS) was engaged by Waka Kotahi to answer the ‘billion- dollar’ question around how much investment is needed to maintain the 24,000 lane km New Zealand State Highway Network over a 3-year funding block (2021/24) and inform the long term strategic 10-year and 30-year investment horizons.

IDS used a scientific model that forecasts road condition, maintenance and renewal needs into the future.

Under the IDS umbrella, representatives from 14 organisations and 23 NOC suppliers collaborated to deliver an end-to-end solution. This encompassed not only the strategic business case and investment justification but also an operational implementation plan. These deliverables included a suite of advanced technical developments in asset modelling and analysis. This IP which was always intended to be shared with the industry, will enhance infrastructure decision making across the country. It sets the scene across the entire network for a wave of highway renewals over the next five years that will have a ground- breaking impact both economically and socially for future generations.

2021 IPWEA Public Works Leadership Medal

Rita Excell

Past President IPWEA Australasia

Rita is a results orientated leader, who develops and mentors teams of professionals as well as building mutually beneficial strategic relationships.

An experienced professional who has spent her career at the forefront of business transformation and reshaping organisations to meet challenges and opportunities through innovation.

Rita is a qualified Civil Engineer with over 25 years’ experience across transport planning, urban planning, business transformation and managing organisational change.

An experienced board President (IPWEA SA and Australasia) Rita achieved these roles by being elected by her peers, in recognition of her outstanding leadership and strategic thinking capability.

Having started her career in Local Government, Rita has maintained a deep connection to the sector through her various professional roles in South Australia and New South Wales.

Career highlights include establishing the International ADVI program and being the first female President of IPWEASA and IPWEA Australasia.

Presentation of the Award

Presentation of the Award

The winning person and project receive an engraved bronze medal. For the Public Works Project a certificate is also presented to the client organisation, contractor and consultant associated with the winning project.

Footnote: Due to Covid 19 concerns the next International Public Works Conference will now be held 1-5 May 2022

Past award recipients