W.S. Lonnie Awards

The WS Lonnie Awards were established in 1984 following a bequest from Mrs H.L. Lonnie in memory of her late husband Mr W.S. Lonnie MC CBE MVO. Mr Lonnie had a long and distinguished career in the State public service, culminating in his final post as Under Secretary, Premier’s Department during the premiership of Sir Charles Court.

The primary vehicle for accountability in the Public Sector has been and always will be the way Public Sector agencies report their performance. The Awards recognise the importance of being accountable and transparent in a succinct and independent way.  It encourages and celebrates excellence in annual reporting, which is central to good corporate governance.

The Institute organises and host these important annual awards which recognise and highlight excellence and improved accountability standards in annual reporting across the WA State Public Sector.  This is a mammoth task as all State agencies are eligible and considered as part of the judging process.

Click here to view all W.S Lonnie Award Winners.


An independent panel of leading figures assesses all entrants against the established criteria.


Professor Christopher Doepel PSM
Adjunct Professor, University of Notre Dame

Professor Doepel’s professional qualifications are in law and he has had extensive experience in senior management roles. He was previously a member of the Senior Executive Service in the Australian Government. Chris was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours 2006 for outstanding public service in the development and implementation of legislation and policy relating to native title.


Dr Jim Rhoads
Director, Rhoads Bird & Associates

Dr Jim Rhoads’ involvement with the W.S. Lonnie awards spans 14 years, as an IPAA Council member and for the last five years as a judge. Jim’s professional career has two parts. For more than 30 years he was an anthropologist / archaeologist specialising in Papua New Guinea and Australian Indigenous cultures. As well, he served as a senior / executive manager with the Commonwealth and two State governments for about 11 years - specialising in strategic planning and policy development and review. Now ‘mostly retired’, Jim is involved in anthropological research though his association with UWA.

Sheryl Fewster
Director Communications Directorate, Department of Health

Sheryl Fewster has held senior Government communication positions for the past 20 years, before which she held similar positions in the private sector. She started her career in journalism and worked on newspapers in Perth and London. Sheryl is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, sits on the Curtin University School of Marketing Advisory Board, and has won many State and national Awards for Excellence in Public Relations.

Michael Day
Director, KPMG

Michael is the Head of KPMG’s CFO Advisory practice in Western Australia. He has over 17 years professional experience in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Through his career, he has worked with a large number of Government entities to assist them navigate complex accounting issues. This work has included the interpretation and implementation of new accounting standards, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of process and controls and the streamlining of financial statements.

Michael is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Carmen Lawrence
Professor, School of Psychological Science, The University of Western Australia

After training as a research psychologist at the University of Western Australia and lecturing in a number of Australian universities, Dr Lawrence entered politics in 1986, serving at both State and Federal levels for 21 years. She was at various times W.A Minister for Education and Aboriginal affairs and was the first woman Premier and Treasurer of a State government. She shifted to Federal politics in 1994 when she was elected as the Member for Fremantle and was appointed Minister for Health and Human Services and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women. She has held various portfolios in Opposition, including Indigenous Affairs, Environment, Industry and Innovation and was elected national President of the Labor Party in 2004. She retired from politics in 2007. She is now a Professorial Fellow at the University of Western Australia where she is working to establish a centre to research the forces driving significant social change in key areas of contemporary challenge as well as exploring our reactions to that change. (Bio taken from http://www.web.uwa.edu.au/people/carmen.lawrence)

Dr Yvonne Haigh
Senior Lecturer, Murdoch University;
Vice President, IPAA WA

Yvonne teaches public policy and public sector management at both undergraduate and post graduate levels at Murdoch University since 2004. She has developed and taught units on social policy, public policy, media, politics and community development.

Yvonne has completed her PhD at Murdoch University in 2004. Her PhD examined the concept of ethics and the role it plays in our everyday decisions. This project explored the everyday decisions of police cadets attending the Western Australian policy academy and considered the range of factors that impact on their capacity to act ethically. Her current research project on corruption expands on these ideas in order to build on our understanding of corruption.

Judging Criteria

Click here to download Judging Criteria.


The W.S. Lonnie Awards are judged against the following categories across State government and each receive a bronze, silver and gold winner:

  • Category 1 - State Agency with less than 100 FTEs
  • Category 2 - State Agency with less than 1,000 FTEs
  • Category 3 - State Agency with more than 1,000 FTEs
  • Category 4 - Government Trading Enterprise Sector

Bronze Awards
Demonstrate high levels of accountability and good reporting to Parliament, the community and key stakeholder groups.

Silver Awards
Exceed the criteria and are considered to demonstrate particularly good reporting and accountability.

Gold Awards
Excel in accountability and annual reporting. Annual reports that receive this award have exceeded the requirements and are considered model reports.

Major W.S. Awards and Trophies

Margaret McAleer Special Commendation
This award is presented at the discretion of the panel for an outstanding report that, in some respect, establishes a benchmark to which others should aspire.

The Allan Skinner Trophy
Awarded to the best annual report in the General Government Sector.

The Margaret Nadebaum Trophy
Awarded to the best annual report in the Government Enterprise Sector.

The WS Lonnie Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the best annual report for the year.

Specialist Awards

Office of the Auditor General Award for Transparency and Accountability

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety Award for Occupational Safety, Health and Injury Management

State Records Commission Award for Excellence in Compliance Reporting
Ombudsman Western Australia Award for Complaints Handling

CPA Australia Award for Performance Reporting

Public Sector Commission Award for Good Governance

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Award for Chief Financial Officer of the Year

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development​ AE Gaby VC Memorial Award for Achievement of Objectives Reporting


Award Winners

Click here to view an archive of W.S Lonnie Award Winners.