“You’ve got everything you could possibly want and need here."
The special 25th anniversary award was announced recently as part of the 2019 UDIA (Urban Development Institute of Australia) Queensland Awards for Excellence.
This year’s Awards ceremony celebrated 25 years of recognising developers creating inspiring places for Queenslanders to live, work and play.
Springfield resident Janelle Burton moved to Greater Springfield in 1996 with her then husband and two little girls and were one of the first families to embrace the vision of founders Maha Sinnathamby AM and Bob Sharpless.
She said watching Greater Springfield grow had been a great adventure. “When I moved into my home it was the furthest house in the development and on the other side of my fence was bush, so I have sat on my pergola for many years and watched this place bloom,” Ms Burton said. “I’m not at all surprised by the award because I live here and already know it’s the best place in Queensland to live. “You’ve got everything you could possibly want and need here- you’ve got schools, the rail line, movie theatres, shopping centres, medical services, vets and all within five minutes of each other. I can’t think of anywhere else like that.
“It’s been really important to have Maha and Bob at the forefront of this project because they’ve got the vision and influence to achieve their goals and I know they’ll continue to do so.”
Ms Burton was also instrumental in campaigning for the first school in Greater Springfield. Springfield State School (now Woodcrest State College) was officially opened in 1998 and the mum of two was appointed as their first Administration Officer. She continues to work in the same role more than 20 years on.
“My girls were the first two students enrolled at the school and went all the way through to year 12,” she said.
“I am proud to say that now my grandchildren attend Woodcrest State College which is very special. As a parent to be with your children every day and now my grandchildren, not many parents or grandparents have that luxury.”
Greater Springfield is Australia’s largest master-planned community outside of Canberra and has successfully turned an economically depressed area into a thriving city of the future.
Springfield City Group Deputy Chairman Bob Sharpless said the award was recognition of more than 27 years of hard work and that the best was yet to come.
“When we first bought this land back in 1992, it was always our vision to create a city in which people could live, work and play,” Mr Sharpless said.
“That vision has resulted in an incredible community of more than 40,000 people who have access to local jobs, world-class education, a rail line, a hospital, a diverse range of retail and food options as well as residential offerings.“We want the community to know that this is their award and to thank them and our partners for being a part of this journey.
“And the best thing is, we’ve only just begun. Greater Springfield’s population will more than double in size over the next 25 years and we’ll continue to deliver even more world-class opportunities for our residents.”UDIA CEO Kirsty Chessher-Brown said Greater Springfield was a premier example of a successful large-scale, master-planned community brought to life.
“The Greater Springfield development is a shining example of what the industry is capable of achieving and has created a significant legacy for future generations of Queenslanders,” Ms Chessher-Brown said.
“In judging this award our independent judging panel was seeking a winner from the past 25 years that set a new standard in development in its time, utilising new techniques, technology or innovation, to resolve engineering, planning, community, or environmental challenges.
“We were also looking for a project that demonstrated architectural and urban design excellence and incorporated sustainability initiatives beyond the regulatory requirements at the time.
“As part of our criteria we also sought a project that had created a positive legacy, evidenced by the fact it sustains a thriving community today.
“Greater Springfield is a thriving community that provides a diversity of housing types together with extensive revegetated and rehabilitated active and passive recreational areas and facilities for the people who call it home.
“Greater Springfield has developed into a self-sustaining, urban hub with extensive educational institutions. The community has also attracted quality retail, commercial, advanced technology, and medical businesses.”
Finalists for the 25th anniversary award included Varsity Lakes by Delfin Lendlease, Cutters Landing – The Refinery Apartments by Mirvac Queensland, North Lakes by Lendlease/Stockland/Lensworth and The Village Coorparoo by The Village Retirement Group.