Economic Development Awards for Excellence – Winners & Finalists 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary to make changes to the National Economic Awards for Excellence program this year. However, EDA is thrilled to recognise the remarkable individuals who are demonstrating leadership and excellence throughout this challenging period.

The following winners in the honorary categories were announced at NEDC20 on 19 November 2020:

Peter Chaffey Award

Winner: Shaun Miller (Warrnambool City Council)

When Shaun Miller arrived at Warrnambool City Council as economic development manager and investment, the city was facing considerable economic and social disruption.

Shaun was directly involved in securing over $5.5 million in funding for programs and projects across a range of industries and sectors in the region and he helped drive indirect spending of over $100 million in the city over a two-year period.  Warrnambool was a changed city by the time Shaun left the role in January 2020 and he was influential in not just stabilising, but revitalising the city.

Finalists: Jordy Bowman & Kevin Van Boxtel


Rising Star Award

Winner: Ryley Heap (Developing East Arnhem)

Ryley Heap joined Developing East Arnhem DEAL in November 2019. Ryley is leading the growth of the tourism industry by working collaboratively with stakeholders and Traditional Owners in East Arnhem. His work illustrates that tourism can drive economic growth and meaningful employment, benefiting local communities.

Highly Commended: Beau Reid

The results in this category were so close, the judges made the unusual decision to present a Highly Commended award to Beau Reid, City of Parramatta.

Beau commenced at the City of Parramatta in 2018 and has made significant contributions. In particular, Beau has led the development of Paramatta’s first Night Time Economy Strategy which recently won the 2020 Local Government NSW Planning Award for culture change, innovation and excellence. Beau has also led the strategy to grow the legal and justice sector in Parramatta.

Economic Development Leadership Award

Winner: Peter Jeffery (GrantGuru)

Peter Jeffery’s work has long demonstrated a commitment to Australian economic development practice.  Working as Business Development Manager with the City of Greater Bendigo, Peter was committed to developing and supporting local businesses through projects such as the Bendigo Inventor Awards, Career Horizons and the Business Help Desk. After nine years with the City, Peter moved into the private sector to help develop a digital product to help Councils capture grant opportunities. Peter’s work demonstrates sustained commitment to economic development practice, through his foresight, enthusiasm, collaboration and willingness to share what he has learned with other economic development practitioners.

Finalist: Kristie Johnston


Economic Development Australia (EDA) congratulates all winners and finalists in the National Economic Development Awards of Excellence 2020.