Golden Gecko Award

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Geckos are among the last species to return to an area after a land disturbance such as mining and their presence indicates a return to a healthy functioning ecosystem. As such the gecko was chosen as a symbol of environmental performance.

The Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence recognises leading practices and innovation in environmental management and provides an opportunity to share experiences between government, industry and the community.

Receiving a Golden Gecko Award also helps to build the reputation of being a responsible corporate citizen with a responsible attitude to the environment. Just participating in the Golden Gecko Award process has been known to internally increase awareness and interest across an organisation in environmental work.

For 30 years, Award recipients have raised the best practice standard, and thus demonstrated the continual adoption of innovative techniques and skills by industry. Still today, individuals and companies continue to stand out and develop innovative and remarkable solutions to address modern challenges and regulatory requirements.


Entries for the Golden Gecko are encouraged from individuals, companies and organisations and can be for a particular stage of an activity, an environmental program or an entire resource operation (the project). It is important that you clearly identify specific actions that show excellence, leadership and have demonstrable environmental outcomes.

It is important to note that the Golden Gecko Award is assessed based on the merit of each application, not as a competition between applicants. Small projects are encouraged to apply, as the merit of their project will be assessed taking the size and resources of the individual or company into consideration.

Examples of environmental projects which can be entered for an award include, but are not limited to:

  • carbon neutral programs or environmental offsets;
  • energy conservation;
  • environmental engineering;
  • decommissioning;
  • pollution prevention;
  • rehabilitation;
  • scientific research;
  • training, education or changing culture; and
  • waste minimisation and/or recycling.

Entries must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • relate to a resource industry operation (i.e. mining, petroleum, geothermal or geosequestration);
  • relate to environmental management or research;
  • be based in Western Australia (including State waters); and
  • meet the assessment criteria.
Assessment Criteria

It is important to clearly establish how your application has met each of the four criteria.

1. Demonstrated excellent environmental outcomes

This is the key criterion to the Award. It is important the applicant clearly demonstrates that the project has achieved positive environmental outcomes and describe the environmental results directly achieved by the operation/project. Facts and figures are essential.

To address this criterion, provide evidence of the outcome of the project (i.e. reduced emissions or clearing, reduced impacts to sensitive fauna) along with any specific outputs from the project (i.e. research results, published journal articles, new techniques or equipment that is developed, survey results).

2. Commitment to environmental excellence

This criterion requires demonstrated commitment to the project in terms of involvement of all levels of staff, financial or resourcing commitment including time and materials.

The application should discuss the specific resources put into the project, along with any outputs that will ensure continued action (i.e. management systems, training and induction programs, etc.).

3. Sets a new industry standard, demonstrates innovation or goes beyond regulatory compliance

For this criterion, you have the option of choosing which of the following best reflects your project.

  • Project sets a new standard or benchmark - The application should provide a comparison of the old standard with the new improved standard and detail why the change is beneficial. The application should consider how this is or could be applied across the resources industry. Detailing any efforts to communicate and share your findings with the industry and community is beneficial.
  • Project is innovative - Innovation is the creation of something new (ideas, forms, methods or interpretations) resulting from intuition, study and/or experimentation. The project will have created or modified something to gain improved environmental outcomes. The application should detail how the project was innovative and how will it be able to be used in future projects and/or by others in the resources industry.
  • Project has gone above and beyond regulatory compliance (requirements) - This criterion highlights projects which have gone above and beyond what is required of them. The application should demonstrate how, or how far, the project goes beyond their regulatory requirements. It may be useful to compare the current compliance standard and what the project has achieved.

4. Community engagement and corporate social responsibility

This criterion requires an application to demonstrate that the project has positively contributed to the community. The context of the project should be considered when answering this criterion (size, location etc.)

In relation to community engagement, consider how the local community has been involved in the project and if there were any tangible benefits to the community. Take into consideration consultation, community events, employment of local contractors or community organisations.

In relation to corporate social responsibility, consider how the company engaged its workforce in this project or in environmental awareness. Also consider any non-work interactions between the company and the local community.

It is important to remember that the Assessment Panel will look at the whole of the operation or project to understand the environmental culture and verify environmental performance.

How to enter

Each entrant has up to ten pages to succinctly describe their project and how it meets the criteria.

The 10 page limit includes all pictures, diagrams, plans, graphs and tables. Videos can be uploaded separately.

It is best to include an introduction by providing a brief background of the project and the company. This provides context for the Assessment Panel and Selection Committee who are not all from the resources industry. Details can include what the operation/project is addressing, its location, the size, the number of people involved, the history to the project and its relevance to Western Australia.

The submission also needs to provide a section to address each of the above criteria and include any supporting evidence and information such as photos, graphs, tables or testimonials that best demonstrate the main initiatives and results of the project.

Once an entry is short-listed, nominees will have the opportunity to provide more information during the assessment process.


  1. Keep your entry succinct. You don't need to use all 10 pages.
  2. Keep to the context. Your submission is trying to highlight the facts of your project and the environmental benefits.
  3. Divide your submission into sections to address each criteria individually and equally.
  4. You can get information across easily in dot points, images and tables.

Additional to your application and submission, DMIRS also requires:

  • A statement of approximate costs (if known);
  • Company logo;
  • Four High Resolution Photographs of the project for publications; and
  • 200 word summary for use in DMIRS publications and website.

If you experience any problems with the nomination form, or would like more information about the Golden Gecko Awards, please contact the Golden Gecko Coordinator by emailing

Assessment process

Each application is reviewed to ensure that it is eligible to be considered for an award subject to the above requirements and criteria. DMIRS will notify entrants of their eligibility by the end of May.

Throughout May, June and July the Assessment Panel assesses each entry by undertaking a review of the written submissions and a presentation or inspection of each project.

The Assessment Panel has representatives from:

  • Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development;
  • Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions;
  • Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety;
  • Department of Water and Environmental Regulation; and
  • Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

Following the assessment period, the Assessment Panel prepares a detailed report on each of the submissions for presentation to the Selection Committee who then selects the award recipients. The Selection Committee is chaired by the Deputy Director General, Resource and Environmental Regulation of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, and includes three independent members.

Site Visits and Presentations

Most entrants host site visits as an opportunity to showcase their project. They are not mandatory but are highly recommended. If a visit is not possible, relevant or desirable, you may choose to deliver a presentation to members of the Assessment Panel in Perth.

Site visits and presentations provide the opportunity to showcase the project and answer any questions from the assessment panel. Applicants may wish to:

  • introduce key staff/managers;
  • introduce community members that were involved in the project (if appropriate);
  • deliver a presentation to summarise the project;
  • display appropriate management plans and relevant materials;
  • conduct a physical tour of the operation that was submitted for the Award; and
  • conduct a tour of the remaining site (if appropriate).

Please note that the Golden Gecko Coordinator will liaise thoroughly with the entrant prior to a site visit.

Terms and Conditions

The following Terms and conditions of entry apply to all submissions for the 2023 Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence.

  1. DMIRS must receive submissions in accordance with the criteria by 5pm on 27 April 2023, to be eligible to participate in the 2023 Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence. For reasons of fairness late applications will not be accepted.
  2. It is the responsibility of an applicant to ensure that all information relevant to the submission is:
    • Provided in full and meets the page or word limit requirement; and
    • Correct – any information provided which, in the view of the judging panel, is misleading or deceptive in any way will result in disqualification
  3. The Assessment Panel has complete discretion and its decision is final and binding in:
    • Assessing a submission’s compliance with the terms and conditions of entry;
    • Assessing that submission against the assessment criteria;
    • Determining the recipient or making no award if the eligible submissions are not within the required standard; and
    • Any other matters relating to the Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence.
  4. The assessment, conduct and results of the Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence will not create any legal obligations between applicants and DMIRS.
  5. DMIRS will not be responsible or liable for:
    • Any loss or damage to submissions; or
    • Any loss, injury or negative publicity to an applicant as a direct or indirect result of the Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence.
  6. DMIRS reserves the right to verify information contained in a submission, including requiring an applicant to answer questions or provide additional information relating to the submission at any time during the assessment process.
  7. All submissions will be treated as confidential except for purposes associated with the Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence and the matters set out below.
  8. By entering the Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence you agree for your organisation to be part of any media publicity and for information provided in a submission to be used for promotional activities of DMIRS, if required.
Key Dates

2 March 2023
Nominations open.

27 April 2023
Nominations close at 5pm. In the interest of fairness no nominations will be accepted after 5pm (WST).

May 2023
Entrants informed whether their submission is eligible.

May - August 2023
Assessment Panel undertakes an assessment of submissions which may include site visits to the project site or presentations by the nominees to the Assessment Panel.

August 2023
Assessment Panel provides a report to the Selection Committee, which will select the award recipients.

Resources Sector Awards for Excellence Ceremony

Recipients of a Golden Gecko Award or a Certificate of Merit will be interviewed on stage at the Awards Ceremony in September, so please ensure the person nominated to collect the award is familiar with the project and has the ability to answer questions from the compare.

Assessment is merit based so there is no competition between entries. There may be more than one award presented as it is not possible to compare two completely different activities, which both demonstrate best-practice in their field and have gone above and beyond their regulatory requirements.


View the previous recipients of the Golden Gecko Award and Certificate of Merit and the 2022 Resources Sector Awards for Excellence ceremony.