Sydney council takes on NASA for award

A Sydney council’s beach pollution website is up against NASA for an international award for excellence on the internet.

Randwick Council’s Beach Pollution Ends Here website is one of five international nominees up for a gong in the Webby Award’s Government and Civil Innovation category.

Mayor Danny Said

It’s up against the NASA Home and City website, the US government data website USA Facts and the League of Women Voters Education Fund “Vote411” website, which contains US election-related  information.

Randwick’s entry was one of nearly 13,000 from 71 countries around the world.

Winning websites are judged on content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality and interactivity, and overall experience.

Randwick isn’t the only entry flying the flag for Australia in the government category – The Perfect Candidate, a data-driven site created by the not-for-profit Australian Futures project which compares the concerns of Australians with politicians has also scored a nomination.

The Randwick council website, part of a wider campaign to improve water quality, was launched last November.

It was developed by staff from Council’s Communications, Business Systems, Engineering and Environmental Health teams as well external agencies Paper Cranes ad Ernst and Young.

The interactive website takes users on a journey “down the drain” to explain how pollution ends up in the ocean, provides tips on how to minimise it and allows people to symbolically “adopt” a drain in their area.

Mayor Danny Said said it was a huge honour to be nominated.

“For the past 24 years, being nominated for a Webby Award has meant that you’re one of the best on the internet,” he said.

“I’m delighted, but not surprised, that (this) project is considered worthy of competing with the best on the internet.”

The Webbys are presented annually by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a judging body composed of over two thousand industry experts and technology innovators.

Voting closes on May 7 and winners will be announced on May 19.

If Randwick council wins it will join the ranks of past winners including Google, Nike, Instagram and the National Film Board of Canada.

Cast your vote here.

*Update May 19: Randwick City Council missed out on the main gong this year, which went to the USAFacts website. But Government News offers a big bouquet to Randwick for its nomination.

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