13 July 2016
At the start of July speedway driver John Pyne was inducted into the Hunter Sporting Hall of Fame. This follows a huge career on the track with over seven New South Wales State Titles under his belt and ten Club Championship victories. A huge highlight of John’s career was taking out the Australian Title in 1990 and 1996. John, a Kurri Kurri local, is a great role model for young people living in our community. John’s success on the track is a reflection of his passion and dedication off the track. It is a good reminder for young people that if you work hard at something you will achieve great things. Congratulations John on this fantastic achievement.
Cessnock City Council’s Youth Week has once again been recognised for its outstanding program. The 2016 Youth Week Organising Committee is a finalist in this year’s Local Government Awards. Over 18 events and activities were organised seeing over 1800 young people participate. This is the highest participation rate we have had in a decade. Well done to all of those people in the community who put together the program and especially those young people who gave up their time.
Over the course of June and July we have been celebrating NAIDOC Week 2016 and what a great celebration it has been for the entire community. The Barkuma Neighbourhood Family Fun Day saw a good turnout, despite some rain in the morning. I had the opportunity to participate in the flag raising ceremony and learn from the Wakakulang traditional dancers.
Last Friday marked the opening of the Les Elvin Education Room at Cessnock Regional Art Gallery. The room recognises his contribution and encouragement of Aboriginal culture in our community. Uncle Les has had a huge impact on our community and particularly on the hundreds of young people he worked with. He is sorely missed.
The Black Creek Aboriginal Corporation Flag Raising Ceremony and Street Parade marked the end of NAIDOC Week 2016. It was fantastic to see families of Cessnock enjoying themselves and learning more about indigenous culture. These events are what NAIDOC Week is all about, the community coming together to promote understanding, acceptance and harmony. I very much look forward to getting involved again next year and thank everyone for their involvement in the range of activities offered.
The community lost two great members in the last week. Ray Nickerson assisted Council in the Mayoral Academic Scholarships and worked tirelessly to make Cessnock a better place. Fred Brown’s work on ‘Link or Sink’ was a driving force in assisting Council in establishing the Hunter Expressway.