Terms and conditions

Event terms and conditions are set by Australian Hotels Association (Victoria) 

Please see below terms and conditions of entry and participation for the 2024 AHA (Vic) State Awards for Excellence (SAFE).

References to ‘members’ relate to current financial members of AHA (Vic).

Entry process

Members are required to submit their nominations via the https://www.ahavicawards.com.au/

Nominations open on Monday 30 October 2023 and close Monday 27 November 2023 at 5pm. 


Nomination/submission criteria

Each category has specific nomination criteria. Click here, to view the criteria for each category. 

All written submissions and supporting documents are due by Thursday 7 December 2023 5pm.

Personal and contact details are collected to enable the judging process to be completed. By submitting your nomination, you also agree to SAFE event managers using and sharing this information, where necessary, to complete this process.



To be eligible to enter the SAFE, your venue must be a current financial member of AHA (Vic).
Each category has specific eligibility criteria. Please visit the award categories tab and click on individual categories to review your eligibility. 


Nomination fees 

Nomination fees to enter SAFE 2023 are between $175 and $250 (Inc GST) depending on the category you nominate in. 

  • Individual Employee Awards: $175 per nomination 
  • Dining Awards: $230 - $250 per nomination 
  • General Awards: $175 per nomination
  • Accommodation Awards: $250 per nomination
  • Gaming and Wagering: $175 per nomination 
  • Performance Awards: $175 per nomination

All nomination fees must be paid within 14 days from the invoice date. Any venues that have an outstanding nomination fee invoice after December 18 2023 will have their nomination withdrawn.  


Judging process

Depending on the category, award entrants are judged by an anonymous property visit, review of a written submission, or Zoom interview.

Judging for the SAFE 2024 will take place between Monday January 22 2024 – Friday March 1st 2024.

If you are a non-finalist, you will receive feedback on your judging by 25 March 2024. Finalist will receive their feedback post the awards ceremony on Monday 20 May 2024.

All judging is completed by a third-party anonymous assessment organisation that is completely independent of AHA (Vic).


Dining, General, Accommodation, Gaming and Wagering Awards: Anonymous property visit 

Performance Awards: Assessment of written submission. 

Best Non-Alcoholic Menu, Best Function and Event Space will also be subject to an anonymous property visit. 

Employee Awards Categories: Review of the employee's résumé and video. Finalist will then engage a Zoom interview.


Judging reimbursement

Pubs and hotels nominating in the dining, general, accommodation, gaming and wagering award categories will be invoiced to cover the actual cost of judging in each particular category. 

Depending on the category, the reimbursements may include additional costs required to complete the specific category judging. 

For example, the reimbursement for Best Family Dining awards will cover the cost for a family to dine at your venue.  

Reimbursements may include, but not are not limited to:

  • Dining Awards: Two courses and two beverages for one person.
  • Family dining: Two courses and two beverages for two people and one kids meal.
  • General Awards: One meal and two beverages for one person. 
  • Accommodation Awards: One night's accommodation - standard room, one meal, two beverages and breakfast for one person and parking (if applicable). 
  • Gaming and wagering: One meal and two beverages for one person.


Reimbursement Process

Once judging is completed, participating pubs and hotels will be issued an invoice to cover the actual cost of property visit judging. Any identifying information may be removed from the supporting documents to maintain a judge’s anonymity.

All invoices must be paid within 14 days from the invoice date.

Any properties that have a reimbursement invoice outstanding after Monday 10 April 2023 will be ineligible to receive an award. 



SAFE will only offer a refund of a ticket if the event is cancelled. SAFE does not offer refunds as a result of a change in your personal circumstances. Should the event be rescheduled, your ticket will be transferred to the new event date.

Tickets sales close Monday 6 May 2024 or when sold out. 

Any final dietary request will be accepted, up until 12pm, five (5) standard business days before the event. Attendee substitutions may be made until the event commences.



Photos and logos will be used for several marketing activities conducted by AHA (Vic) in promoting finalists and the awards night. Planned activities include general event marketing material, pre-event finalist announcements, a multi-media presentation to be played on the evening and post-event media releases. AHA (Vic) also reserves the right to use any images taken at the event for ongoing promotions, marketing material and collateral.


Regional or metropolitan Melbourne
We have used the VGCCC definition as to whether your hotel is regional (R) or metropolitan (M).
Depending on the city council or shire your property is located in will determine the classification. Please see the list below:

LGA Name Region
City of Banyule M
City of Boroondara M
City of Brimbank M
City of Casey M
City of Darebin M
City of Frankston M
City of Greater Dandenong M
City of Hobsons Bay M
City of Hume M
City of Kingston M
City of Knox M
City of Manningham M
City of Maroondah M
City of Melbourne M
City of Monash M
City of Moreland M
City of Port Phillip M
City of Whitehorse M
City of Whittlesea M
City of Wyndham M
City of Yarra   M
Shire of Cardinia M
Shire of Melton M
Shire of Mornington Peninsula M
Shire of Yarra Ranges M
City of Ballarat R
City of Greater Bendigo R
City of Greater Geelong R
City of Greater Shepparton R
City of Latrobe R
City of Warrnambool R
Rural City of Benalla R
Rural City of Horsham R
Rural City of Mildura R
Rural City of Swan Hill R
Rural City of Wangaratta R
Rural City of Wodonga R
Shire of Alpine R
Shire of Bass Coast R
Shire of Baw Baw R
Shire of Campaspe R
Shire of Central Goldfields R
Shire of East Gippsland R
Shire of Glenelg R
Shire of Macedon Ranges R
Shire of Mitchell R
Shire of Moorabool R
Shire of Northern Grampians R
Shire of South Gippsland R
Shire of Surf Coast R
Shire of Wellington R
Shire oof Colac-Otway R

AHA National Awards

Should you be a category winner, you may be eligible to enter the 2024 AHA National Awards.

By confirming your automatic precommitment to enter the AHA National Awards, as the category winner, you acknowledge that you will be sent an invoice for the nominations fee of $220 per category. This invoice will be issued after SAFE winners are announced.

In addition, if you are nominated for an accommodation category that requires overnight stay for judging purposes you will also be invoiced for the cost of one night’s accommodation and breakfast for two people (where required).


Participants have the right to withdraw their entry from the awards program at any time by sending written notice to the event organisers. The notice of withdrawal must include the participant's name, contact information, and the title of the entry being withdrawn. Once the notice of withdrawal is received, the entry will be removed from the awards program and will no longer be considered for any awards or recognition. In order to recieve a refund for nomination fees, participants must notify the organiser prior to the commencment of the judging period. If a participant request to withdrawl their entry during the judging period, and the judging for the nomination has been completed, no refund can be permitted.  

AHA (Vic) reserves the right to withdraw any entry from the awards program at any time, without notice or explanation. If an entry is withdrawn by the organisers, the participant will be notified and will be entitled to a refund of any fees paid.