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Australia Day 2017

All members of the community are invited to Cessnock City Council’s Australia Day celebrations on the 26th of January. A huge range of activities have been planned which includes welcoming Australia’s newest citizens, recognising those in our community who do an outstanding job, sharing a bite to eat and enjoying the first Mayoral Cup Cricket.

The day will kick off with a Citizenship Ceremony and the Australia Day Awards at the East Cessnock Bowling Club from 10:00am to 12:00pm.

The official proceedings will be followed by a FREE BBQ lunch from 12:00pm to 2:00pm at East End Oval, Victoria Street.  

This will be followed by the inaugural Mayor’s Cup Cricket Match, a free event for the community to enjoy.  

The Mayor’s eleven starts as 12:30pm with the presentation of the trophy at 3:30pm

In true Aussie style the weather will likely be warm so be sure to pack a hat, sunscreen and a comfy chair to sit on for the oval activities.

Share your Australia Day moments by tagging photos on Facebook and Twitter with #AustraliaDay and #Cessnock.  

2017 Australia Day Awards Nominations Now Open


Nominations are now open for Cessnock City’s 2017 Australia Day Awards until Friday 9 December 2016.

Residents are encouraged to nominate those doing outstanding work in the community.

Local citizens and organisations are invited to nominate for the following categories:

• Citizen of the Year Award
• Senior Citizen of the Year Award
• Young Citizen of the Year Award
• Community Event Award
• Sports Award
• Environmental Award
• Heritage Award
• Achievement and Appreciation Awards

Please review the 2017 Australia Day Criteria and Guidelines.

To nominate fill out the following: Australia Day Nomination Form 2017

2016 Australia Day Award Recipients 

  • Citizen of the Year—David Clark

For outstanding contributions to the community. David has given much to his community through his involvement in The Rotary Club Cessnock – sharing his professional expertise as a management consultant in the mining sector and committed his time to being both Director of Youth Services and Director of Community services since 1995. In 2010-2011 he was appointed president of The Rotary Club Cessnock and was awarded Paul Hariss Fellow in 2012. Through his work with Kurri Kurri TAFE David is focused on supporting young people as they transition to a professional life. With wife Judy, David judges the Mayoral Debate, Assists Toastmasters and assists young people applying for work by conducting trail employment interviews. A member of the Gospel Hall Church, David is part of the Cessnock Gospel Hall Boys and Girls Rally Youth Group and the Cessnock Christian Christmas Dinner Team—providing Christmas dinner for the homeless and underprivileged. Undertaking many other projects, David never expects to be repaid and truly believes “service above self”.

  • Senior Citizen of the Year—Alison Davey

For outstanding contributions to the community. Alison has been an active member of the Cessnock community since her days as a teacher at Cessnock West Public School from 1961-1968 and as Principal of Ellalong Public School 1974-1978 and Bellbird Public School from 1978-2003. Her contributions to the community include a long list of initiatives such as establishing the Cessnock Tidy Town Committee, initiating Australia Day celebrations for Cessnock, the City’s Bicentennial Celebrations and as a passionate member of Cessnock Business & Professional Women’s Group. In 1983 Alison expanded her career into the realm of politics was elected Cessnock City Mayor in 2008. It is difficult to sum up Alison’s generous contributions and this award is a small token for all that she has given to our community.

  • Young Citizen of the Year—Hayden Gray

For outstanding leadership in youth issues in the Cessnock LGA. Hayden is an active member of our community as a member of the Hunter Region Student Representative Council, World Vision Ambassador, Hunter Region Minister of the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament and NSW Youth United Nations. As an effective communicator, problem solver and gatherer of information, Hayden has made important inroads on Youth issues across the Cessnock LGA.

  • Community Event of the Year—Postie Bike Grand Prix

For their contribution to the community. For two consecutive years the Postie Bike Grand Prix has brought over 8,000 people to the Cessnock CBD for its annual motorcycle race. This local event has tied in the region’s love for motorcycle riding and has generated economic and social value for the whole community. The Postie Bike Grand Prix has successfully drawn national interest from the  motorcycling community by attracting stars such as nine-time Australian dirt track champion Paul Caslick. The event is an occasion that brings Cessnock City’s community together.

  • Environment Award—Valerie Milgate

For outstanding dedication to the improvement of the local environment through removal of litter. Valerie has been an environmental advocate to for the Wollombi area. Her contributions to our community and to the environment have been outstanding and have included orchestrating Clean Up Australia Day in Wollombi and undertaking road-side litter clean up events over the last 20 years. Valerie has worked closely with Cessnock City Council in her environmental initiatives including the Wollombi Tidy Valley Committee as part of the Tidy Towns program. 

  • Heritage Award—Abermain, Branxton, Cessnock, Greta, Kurri Kurri and Weston RSL Sub-Branches

For their contributions to the commemorations of the centenary of ANZAC Day 2015. The Anzac Centenary is a time to honor the service and sacrifice of our original ANZACs, and the generations of Australian servicemen and women who have defended our values and freedoms, in wars, conflicts and peace operations throughout a Century of Service.

  • Appreciation Award—Mr Gregory Lewis

For his contribution to Coalfields NeighbourCare. Greg is recognised for his contributions as a volunteering member of CNC advisory board and has held the role of treasurer for the last seven years.      Volunteering four days a week, Greg brings a wealth of expertise from his past experience working with Multi National Corporate organisations. He also volunteers delivering meals on wheels, is involved with local school fundraising committees, is a member of  the local community Landcare group and is a board member of the Cessnock Community Transport organisation.

  • Appreciation Award—Mr Matt Dillow

For his contributions to the Christmas Lunch. Matt has been acknowledged for his contributions to our community by helping others less fortunate than him. Matt fundraises each year at his restaurant       for the Christmas lunch provided for the less fortunate in our community. For 2014 he raised over $8000 to provide for volunteers to prepare lunch for over 100 people. Without his efforts many families in the area would not have an opportunity to share a Christmas lunch.

  • Achievement Award—The Smith Family

For their contribution to the transport industry in the Cessnock LGA. Smith Transport Pty Ltd has been an iconic family owned and operated business in the Upper Hunter since 1952. Founded by Darrel Smith and still operated by son Jeffrey this family business is most remembered by their much loved beer truck. Contributing to six decades of stable and reliable service to the area the Smith family and Smith Transport Pty Ltd have contributed to the rich history and culture of Abermain.

2015 Australia Day Award Recipients

  • Citizen of the Year – Dr John Holly
  • Senior Citizen of the Year – Mr Errol Jordan
  • Young Citizen of the Year – Mackenzie Pringle
  • Appreciation Award - Christine Davey
  • Appreciation Award – Cessnock Youth Entertainment Committee
  • Appreciation Award – Ms Jane Hayes
  • Appreciation Award – Kurri Division of Legacy
  • Community Event of the Year – Murray Thompson & Jordan O’Brien
  • Environmental Award – L J Hooker
  • Heritage Award – Cessnock Croquet Club
  • Sports Award – Sophie O’Brien

2014 Australia Day Award Recipients

  • Citizen of the Year - Ellena Morris
  • Young Citizen of the Year - Joel Troy and Kasey Williams
  • Community Event of the Year - Ben and Lauren Woolley - Relay for Life
  • Sports Award - Harold Clough for his contribution to the sport of bowls.
  • Environmental Award - Bryce Gibson - LJ Hooker
  • Heritage Award - The Convict Trail Project
  • Appreciation Award - Merle Pullar, Hayley Doherty, Una Reid and Maria Hardy
  • Achievement Award - Lindsay Nichols and Keziah Elliott

2013 Australia Day Award Recipients

  • Citizen of the Year - Les Beveridge
  • Young Citizen of the Year - Matthew Rees
  • Community Event of the Year - Melissa Gibson - co-ordination of successful community events for Salvation Army, Cystic Fibrosis and Breast Cancer Research
  • Appreciation Award - David Clark, Ray Foster, Marianne Lawrence
  • Achievement Award - Neil McGuigan

2012 Australia Day Award Recipients

  • Citizen of the Year - Herbert Leslie Elvin
  • Young Citizen of the Year - Emily Angwin
  • Community Event of the Year - Cessnock Rugby League Centenary Celebrations
  • Heritage Award - The Ben Ean Winery - The Old Still House
  • Environment Award - Companion Credit Union
  • Appreciation Award - Ruth Gorton, Norm and Audrey Brown, Lorraine Wilks, Alan Gray, Jack Wright, Coalfields United Amateur Swimming Club
  • Achievement Award - Myra Hill, James Price

2011 Australia Day Award Recipients 

  • Citizen of the Year Joy Laws
  • Young Citizen of the Year Sophie Hedges
  • Community Event of the Year -  Sounds of the Spectrum - organised by Maxine Baird
  • Heritage Award - Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association Inc.
  • Sports Award - Bayden Ellison
  • Achievement Award - Cessnock Woodturner’s Association
  • Appreciation Award - Tara Naysmith
  • Janette and Stephen Jackson and Stanley Neilly