The premier event for the Community Sector in greater Western Sydney returns in 2022.
We are thrilled to be returning for a twelfth year in 2022, with 2022 ZEST Awards Ceremony to be held on Friday 17 June.
Showcasing the vital work of the Community Sector across greater Western Sydney, the ZEST Awards have become a signature event on the calendar for the region and return in 2022 to recognise and acknowledge the work of more dedicated and passionate community groups and leaders.
The last few challenging years, particularly during COVID and natural disasters, have reinforced the importance of community and the positive impact that grass roots led projects and initiatives are having in the region.
Covering the region of Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, the Hills, and Wollondilly, the ZEST Awards are renowned for highlighting our assets, our diversity and our creative and innovative work.
The ZEST Awards, led by Western Sydney Community Forum, have celebrated nearly 1,200 outstanding projects and individuals from the community across the past eleven years.
Know an unsung hero making life changing differences in the region? Nominate them now for the 2022 ZEST Awards! Nominations close 6 May, 2022.
When an individual or project is nominated for a ZEST Award, they will also automatically be considered to receive the ZEST Partnering for Impact Grant valued at $5000 to support their work.
All nominees and their families, friends and colleagues are invited to attend the ZEST Awards Ceremony, which will be held at Accor Stadium in Olympic Park on Friday 17 June, 2022.
We look forward to a wonderful celebration of our local Community Sector, with an evening full of great food, entertainers from across greater Western Sydney and plenty of memorable moments.
Since 2011, the ZEST Awards have celebrated and promoted life in Western Sydney and the significant work undertaken by community service sector organisations and volunteers.
The impetus came for the awards came from a growing awareness in the community sector that it was the image of Western Sydney itself that was holding back the region. This was highlighted in a forum in 2010, Stronger Voice for Western Sydney, a partnership between the Western Sydney Community Forum, WESTIR and TRI Community Exchange. A key aim that emerged from this was to challenge the negative media focus on the region and instead work to promote the innovative, creative work being done.
With previous experience running a community awards program for local government Nancy Nicholson, Operations Manager at the Western Sydney Community Forum initiated the idea of an annual awards presentation that could showcase the positive work being done by the community sector.
With some early supporting and funding from individuals like David Borger, then MP for Granville and Minister for Western Sydney, and a big dose of the partner organisation’s time, the awards were launched the following year.
In 2011, this first awards night attracted nearly 250 attendees. From the start organisers noticed the positive impact being nominated for an award had on individuals and organisations. The awards also changed how organisers have seen the community service sector and how it works at its best, with a high number of nominees being partnerships between collaborating organisations. Also notable is the number of innovative projects being initiated by indigenous and ethnic communities.
Now twelve years down the track the awards themselves are promoting new projects each year. A tangible measure of what is working, the awards are also being used to as a promotional tool by government departments to highlight the meeting of performance indicators and by organisations themselves able to promote their own ‘best practice’.