Mainstreet Australia  Awards 2023 winners

Mainstreet Australia Awards are over for 2023!

On Friday 19 May 2023 over 100 passionate Mainstreet Australia members and stakeholders gathered at the Greek Centre on Lonsdale Street, a vibrant main street in Melbourne’s Greek Precinct, to celebrate the Mainstreet Australia Awards Gala.

In 2023 we had a truly national spread of entries, showing the growing movement and support for main street revitalisation. It was fabulous to see winners from Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania at the event to accept their award in person.

Congratulations to the thirty-three finalists and ten winners for 2023.

Finally a big thank you to our sponsors without whom the Awards would not have been possible – the City of MelbourneRenew AustraliaDynamite PrintingThe Place Agency and Silver Lining Strategy.

We’ll see you again in 2025!

Elizabeth Joldeski, Executive Officer

Mainstreet Australia Awards 2023 Photo Gallery

Check out the amazing images of the Mainstreet Australia Awards 2023 by Lizzy Jacobs Photography!

2023 Awards Finalists & Winners

Best Main Street place Activation, Event or Initiative – Council working with Trader Association, Traders, Community Group etc – Activity Cost under 100k

  • WINNER: Yarra City Council – “Silent Disco Walking Tours”
  • City Precinct Traders Association – “Melbourne CBD Walking Tours”
  • Mackay Regional Council – “City Heart Fridays”
  • Merri-bek City Council –“MoreSpace Vacant Shop Activation Program”


Best Main Street Place Activation, Event or Initiative – Council working with Trader Association, Traders, Community Group etc – Activity cost over 100k

  • WINNER: City of Melbourne – “Shopfront Activation Program”
  • City of Boroondara in partnership with City of Melbourne and City of Stonnington – “Go Full Circle Sustainability Program”
  • City of Parramatta – “Phillip Lane Activation Project”
  • Reactivate Consulting in partnership with City of Canterbury Bankstown – “The Campsie Street Festival”

Best Main Street Place Activation, Event or Initiative – Business/Trader Association with a special levy – Activity cost under 100k

  • WINNER: Launceston Central City – NORTH Festival
  • Camberwell Centre Association – “CamberWELL-BEING Wellness Festival”
  • Eaglemont Village Traders Association – Eaglemont Village Heritage Day

 Best Main Street Place Activation, Event or Initiative – Supplier/Consultant 

  • WINNER: Reactivate Consulting – “The Campsie Street Festival”
  • Ginnane & Associates – “Vacant Shopfront Activation Program”
  • Premier Retail Marketing – “Retail Report Card project”
  • Urban Spark Studio – “Elizabeth Street Parklet at Prahran Market”

Best Traditional/Digital Marketing – Council/Government

  • WINNER: Mackay Regional Council – “City Heart Fridays”
  • Brisbane City Council – “Local Retail and Activation Toolkit”
  • Melton City Council – “Melton Town Centre Trader Video Series”

Best Traditional/Digital marketing – Non-Council/Govt Organisations ie. Associations, Chambers, NFPs

  • JOINT WINNER: Launceston Central City – “FIRE & FOG Winter Event”
  • JOINT WINNER: Storytowns – “Audio Guides/Podcasts Program”
  • St Albans Business Association Group – “Lunar New Year Festival”

Best Main Street Streetscape and Design

  • WINNER: City of Parramatta – “Phillip Lane Activation Project”
  • Greythorn Traders Association – “The Faces of Greythorn statues project”
  • City of Whittlesea – “Rochdale Square Town Centre Upgrade”
  • Wyndham City Council – “Cultural Centre Public Realm project”

Best Regional Main Street or Town Centre

    • WINNER: Launceston Central City
    • Horsham Rural City Council
    • Mackay Regional City

    Most Sustainable Main Street or Town Centre

    • WINNER: Mackay Regional Council
    • Ipswich City Council 

    Main Street Champion Award

    • WINNER: Mr Bob Stensholt, President Ashburton Shopping Centre Traders Association
    • Mr Tony Cavallaro, T.Cavallaro & Sons
    • Ms Rania Fayad, Yellow Round Table

    About the 2023 judges:

    Mainstreet Australia Awards

    Louise Grimmer: Dr Louise Grimmer is one of Australia’s leading retail researchers, focussing on small stores, local shopping, consumer behaviour and the visitor economy. She is a Fulbright Scholar, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management in the UK and Associate Head Research Performance at the University of Tasmania. Louise has worked as a national radio presenter for the ABC and has featured in hundreds of media interviews on retail marketing and consumer trends. She writes the ‘Retail Therapy’ column for The Mercury newspaper and is the top University of Tasmania author on ‘The Conversation’. Her retail and marketing research has been published internationally and she is Associate Editor of the Journal of Consumer Behaviour and the International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research. Louise’s new venture is the recently founded retail consultancy ‘Shopology’.

    Mainstreet Australia Awards

    Steve Bentley: Steve is the Past President and Life member of Mainstreet Australia. He has an extensive experience in Events and Arts management and delivery with 20 years’ experience in City Centre, Waterfront and Activity Centre Place Management. Steve owned and operated a coastal Health Club and managed many small businesses such as gyms, pools, caravan parks, tourist attractions and livestock facilities. Steve also has two decades of experience working alongside investors, entrepreneurs, government and NGOs to enable innovative, prosperous asset development, both public and private. He has vast experience on panels evaluating applications for grants and recognition on behalf of State & Local Government as well as community organisations.

    Mainstreet Australia Awards

    Andrew Wear: Andrew is City Economist and Director of Economic Development and International at the City of Melbourne. He is currently supporting council’s economic response to the impacts of COVID-19 and the city’s 10 year economic development strategy. Until 2020, he was Director of Innovation at the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, where he played a key role supporting the growth of Melbourne’s life sciences sector. A Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria) and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, he is also a director of Ardoch Ltd (a children’s education charity) and the BioMelbourne Network (an industry association for the healthtech sector). Andrew is also an author who is passionate about searching the world for policy solutions that work. In 2020, his first book, Solved! How other countries have cracked the world’s biggest problems and we can too was published around the world. His latest book is Recovery. How we can create a better, brighter future after a crisis.

    Mainstreet Australia Awards

    Jack Amies: Jack is the Founder of award-winning marketing and placemaking firm The Place Agency, which delivers retail marketing, communications, economic development programs and placemaking initiatives for commercial precincts across the country. Beyond leading the TPA team, Jack also provides strategic advice to Government organisations, delivering large-scale development projects and major infrastructure works.

    Mainstreet Australia Awards

    Angela Simons: Angela leads the Renew Australia team to work with Mainstreets, Councils, and Property Representatives to activate vacant space and bring life back to otherwise underutilized spaces. Through stakeholder engagement, facilitation, and planning, Angela and the Renew team demonstrate the future use of ‘meanwhile’ spaces providing opportunities for creative enterprises to capacity build and experiment in a visible location.

    Mainstreet Australia Awards

    Stu Speirs: Stu Speirs is the founder and director of event evaluation and strategy firm Silver Lining Strategy. Specialising in place-based events that showcase local culture, Stu works with communities to uncover their points of difference and leverage them to drive investment.

    Mainstreet Australia Awards

    Barbara Cullen: Barbara is a Director for the Industry Sector Engagement in the Victorian Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions with responsibilities including delivery of premium industry events to support the state’s manufacturing sectors. She has contributed to public policy through the Victorian Government’s Equal Workplaces Advisory Council and as a member of the Australian Business Register Board. Barbara holds a Master of Business Administration from RMIT University and qualifications in Marketing and Fine Art. She is an alumnus of the Cranlana programme and a member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

    Mainstreet Australia Awards

    Awards Winners & Finalists 2021:

    Main Street Public Space and Streetscape Design Award

    WINNER: Brimbank City Council (Hampshire Road Civic Green project)
    Maroondah City Council (Ringwood East Place Activation Project)
    City of Port Phillip (
    Live, Love Local – Temporary Play Spaces and multi-use platforms)

    Digital and/or Traditional Marketing Award for Promotion of a Program Initiative, Activity or Event

    WINNER: Banyule City Council (Rediscover Local Campaign)
    Wellington Shire Council (The Middle of Everywhere)
    Footscray Traders Association (#LoveFootscray)

    Outstanding Management Committee / Business Association / Trader Group Award

    WINNER: Ashburton Shopping Centre Traders Association
    West Vic Business
    YMP Mainstreet

    Outstanding Contribution to a Main Street – Mainstreet Champion

    WINNER: Marty Thomas (nominated by South Gippsland Shire Council)
    About Sight

    Program Initiative, Activity or Event Award: With a budget under $50,000 (no special rate)

    JOINT WINNER: Kensington Business Association (March Madness!)
    JOINT WINNER: West Vic Business (The Business Reimagined Series)
    Eastern Dandenong Ranges Assoc. Inc (Get your Fill in the Hills!)

    Program Initiative, Activity or Event Award: With a budget over $50,000 (no special rate)

    WINNER: Clunes Neighbourhood House (Boom Clunes)
    Mirboo Country Development Inc (Reinvigorate Ridgeway)
    Glen Waverley Traders Association (supported by the City of Monash) (Lighting up Kingsway Precinct)

    Program Initiative, Activity or Event Award: With a budget under $100k (with a special rate)

    WINNER: St Albans Business Association Group Inc (St Albans Digital Lunar Festival 2021)
    Kew Junction Business Association (Kew Progressive Dinner)
    Mildura City Heart (The UP Program)

    Council Program Initiative, Activity or Event Award: With a budget under $100,000

    WINNER: Brisbane City Council (BNE Local and Liveable)
    City of Stonnington (Prahran Square)
    City of Port Phillip (Dessert First)

    Council Program Initiative, Activity or Event Award: With a budget over $100,000 

    WINNER: Wyndham City Council (MADE on Watton)
    City of Stonnington (Outdoor Dining Program)
    City of Greater Geelong (Little Malop Central)

    Best Regional Main Street

    WINNER: Business Mount Alexander
    West Vic Business 

     Best COVID-19 Response Initiative in a Main Street

    WINNER: Western Melbourne Tourism Inc (Westside Crawls)
    Camberwell Centre Association (We’ve Still got it All)
    City People Pty. Ltd. (Wanna Dance?)

    Click image below to see our Awards Winners and Finalists 2021 publication

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