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COTMA Achievement Awards 

COTMA member museums achieve miracles – and that deserves recognition.

COTMA's Achievement awards have been made since the 2000 biennial conference.  The Achievement awards are not competitive, but are to set standards of achievement that their fellow peers can recognise, flag and inspire others to equal or better.  There may be any number of achievement awards at a conference.

For the first time in 2006, a formal "EAR Award" (Excellence and Recognition) was made to the organisation that the judges considered had made the most significant achievement.

In 2014, the EAR Award was retitled "The Bill Kingsley Award" to acknowledges Bill’s outstanding service to the tramway museum cause, including his work on the establishment and development of COTMA
We know that many of you have done some excellent work over this time. 

The criteria for judging the awards are: 

  • Degree of difficulty,
  • Quality of outcome,
  • Value to community,
  • Historical accuracy

Each criterion is given a score out of 5 by three judges and high scoring projects receive an achievement award marked by a certificate. 

The three judges are Graham Stewart, Dr John Radcliffe) and Carolyn Cleak.

The top scoring submission is the winner of the Bill Kingsley award, which carries a certificate, a trophy and a cash prize of $500.

Submissions can be sent to COTMA PO Box 6172 Hawthorn West Vic 3122 and/or by email to cotma@cotma.org.au giving details of the achievement in no more than three A4 pages, plus photographs etc, and attaching any supporting documents that you feel are relevant.

Individual members of museums also deserve recognition.

Individual Volunteer Achievement Awards may also be presented at the conference.  They are based on the recommendation and advice from any member group – without any selection process outside the nominating museum. 

We see individual recognition is best handled at local group level.  Please send your nomination(s) for outstanding contributions by your most valued volunteer(s). No more than two nominations per museum group please.
Nominations for Volunteer Achievement Awards are to be sent to the Deputy Chairman, Mal Rowe at email mal.rowe@gmail.com , should be on no more than one A4 page and should describe in some detail the contribution your nominated volunteer.



Achievement Awards have been made to:

2018 - Perth


The Bill Kingsley Award to the Perth Electric Tramway Society for the restoration of for the restoration to full operation of E class Perth Tramcar No. 66.

Achievement Award for the cooperative work across many years enabling the continued commercial Service of Sydney R class tram 1808, now running as Christchurch 1888. The award was shared between the volunteer-based organisations of Sydney Tramway Museum as owner of the car, Western Springs Tramway Auckland and Tramway Historical Society (Christchurch) on behalf of the Heritage Tramways Trust and Christchurch Tramway Ltd in developing a continued use for the car.

The Award Presentation and judges comments can be viewed here.

Volunteer Recognition Awards

COTMA marks notable volunteer efforts based on the recommendations of member groups. In 2018, we celebrated the following:

  • Tramway Historical Society (Christchurch) – Phyllis and Graeme Belworthy and Barry Marchant
  • Ballarat Tramway Museum – Barry Richardson and Les Williams
  • Melbourne Tram Museum – Carolyn Cleak and Noelle Jones.

COTMA Chairman’s Award

Wellington Tramway Museum was presented with the occasional “Chairman’s Award” for their commitment to purchasing at considerable expense, all of the available overhead fittings and parts arising from the closure of the Wellington trolley bus system. These are available for distribution across the world to museum tramway and trolley bus organisations.

James Duncan (Auckland) was also given an award, deserving “high commendation for the often heroic effort he has put in attempting to keep the struggling Dockline Tramline operating and for his ability to rally others to the cause”.

2016 - Christchurch

The Bill Kingsley Award to the Tramway Historical Society (Christchurch NZ) for the restoration of Dunedin Mornington Cable Car Trailer 111.

Achievement Award to:

  • Ballarat Tramway Museum - Installation of a Solar Power Supply System
  • Ballarat Tramway Museum - Cuthberts939 - Function Tram.
  • Wellington Tramway Museum - Restoration of Wellington Fiducia 260.

The Award Presentation and judges comments can be viewed here.

Volunteer Achievement Awards

  • Roger Gosney and Peter Waugh of the Ballarat Tramway Museum
  • Murray Sanders of the Tramway Historical Society
  • Gus Weir of the Wellington Tramway Museum

2014 - Sydney

The Bill Kingsley Award to the Tramway Historical Society (Christchurch NZ) for the restoration of Invercargill City Tramways Birney No. 15. Click here to read their submission.

Achievement Award to:

  • Western Springs Tramway for: Restoration of Melbourne SW6 906.

Volunteer Achievement Awards were awarded to Roger Salen and Gavin Young of the Ballarat Tramway Museum.




Click on each image to see a larger version. Achievement Award photos - Warren Doubleday.

Bill Kingsley Award PETS for tram 66

Mal Rowe presents the certificate and winning cheque of the Bill Kingsley Award to Noel Blackmore of the Perth Electric Tramway Society for the restoration of Perth 66.

Achievment Award to those involved in tram 1888

The Achievement Award presentation for the co-operative work across many years for the continued commercial operation of Sydney tram 1808, now Christchurch tram 1888. Left to Right are: Stephen Taylor (Christchurch), Ian Saxon (Sydney), Wayne Smith (Auckland) and Mal Rowe (COTMA Secretary)."

Melbourne Tram Museum Volunteer Award

Noelle Jones, Carolyn Cleak of the Melbourne Tram Museum and Rod Atkins with the Volunteer Achievement Awards.

2012 - Adelaide

The "EAR" Award To the Perth Electric Tramway Society (PETS) for their book "Tracks by the Swan – The Electric Tram and Trolley Bus era of Perth, Western Australia."

2010 - Wellington

The "EAR" Award to both the Ballarat Tramway Museum and Western Springs Tramway.

Achievement Awards to:

  • Australian Electric Traction Museum for: Restoration of Bogie Open Combination tram 118.
  • Ballarat Tramway Museum for: Community Partnership - Horse Tram Operations.
  • Tramway Historical Society for: Christchurch Tramway Board Electric Tram No. 26.
  • Western Springs Tramway for: Wellington Double Decker Tram No. 47 "Big Ben".


2008 - Launceston

  • Wellington Tramway Museum for: Conservation Plan for Wellington Electric Tramway No. 17.
  • Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Association for: The Preservation and Restoration of MMTB L class tram No. 103.

2006 - Melbourne

The " EAR" Award:

Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Association for the Preservation and Restoration of tramcar VR No. 41.

Achievement Awards to:

  • Ballarat Tramway Museum - "Meeting Challenges" - Rebuilding the electrical sub-station and publishing "The Golden City and its Tramways"
  • Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Association - Preservation and Restoration of VR No. 41
  • Wellington Cable Car Museum - Restoration and display of Cable Grip Car No. 3.
  • Australian Electric Tramway Museum – Northern Depot and Administration Building
  • Ballarat Tramway Museum – Ballarat Begonia Festival 2004 – “Moving People”
  • Perth Electric Tramway Society – Mainline Re-sleepering Project
  • 1912 Boon Tram for Wanganui Society – Conservation Plan for Electric Tram No. 12.
  • Omnibus Society - Restoration of NZR Omnibus 3583
  • Steam Tram & Railway Preservation Society -  Recommencement of Regular Museum Operations at Valley Heights
  • Ballarat Tramway Museum - The Ballarat Gold Tram Marketing Project
  • Portland Cable Trams - Construction & Opening of the Portland Cable Tram Project
  • Sydney Tramway Museum - 50 years of Trolley Wire

2000 - Ballarat

  • Australian Electric Tramway Museum – Refurbishment of Glenelg 360
  • Museum of Transport and Technology - The MOTAT Act 2000
  • Tramway Historical Society - Restoration of CTB No. 1
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