17 April 2019
Recent comments declaring the ‘cultural rot’ of our city are ludicrous. The Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) is a mecca for cultural experiences that only continue to flourish with more opportunities for arts, entertainment and intellectual pursuits. Our community is home to festivals and events, this is what makes us such an attractive destination. We host award winning weeks for our residents, including Seniors Week 2019. This festival saw around 49 people joining clubs whether it be the local sewing group, choir or mens shed. We are in the midst of Youth Week 2019 which gives our young people many opportunities to participate in the arts. Before we know it July will be here and with it comes our wonderful NAIDOC week celebrations. Our own libraries are thriving cultural spaces just recently again seeing the Newcastle Writers Festival collaborate with our team and hold events in the LGA for the second year running. Local writers, poets and storytellers now gather at Cessnock Library monthly as part of The Cessnock Writers’ Nest. We host over 1000 sessions of education, learning and special interest initiatives every year. These can include author talks, history talks and art exhibitions, and everything else in between. The Cessnock Performing Arts Centre program is so well curated it attracts people from across the Hunter.
Council is extremely proud of its cultural facilities that are run by various groups from the Cessnock Regional Art Gallery and Marthaville Arts and Cultural Centre. To question the culture of our city is an insult to so many community groups and local organisations who work tirelessly to add value to the cultural fabric of the Cessnock LGA. I know I echo the sentiment of many when I say Cessnock is exploding with opportunities for cultural engagements and experiences. Our future is bright.
The Australia Sustainable Communities - Tidy Town Awards were held in Tasmania on the 5 and 6 April. Cessnock City Council was in the running for a national award after being named Tidiest Town in the iconic Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Communities Awards. We came home winners from the national awards- our Council took out the Resource Recovery and Waste Management Award. This category of award is about recognising innovation and achievements in recycling or waste reduction including initiatives that conserve resources or recover materials. The Cessnock Waste Management Centre that opened in 2017 attracted the award. Receiving the award reflects the excellence and innovation of this facility. Council remain committed to providing a better service for our residents, increasing opportunities for resource recovery and improving the management of waste. The new facility is a huge improvement for our community and in the first six months we saw a 17% increase in recovery of source- separated materials. Congratulations to all the communities from across Australia who were recognised at the prestigious awards. Council is looking forward to hosting the 2019 State Awards and showing off what the Cessnock LGA has to offer.
National Youth Week 2019 is currently underway and is running until Friday 26 April. The program has been running since Thursday 4 April and there is still many activities for young people to get involved in. Youthfest is on this weekend at the Kurri Kurri Skate Park which will see both a skate and scooter competition. The celebration includes live music, street art and workshops, face painting and a cool chill out space for onlookers. To find out more call CYCOS on 0401 107 413. Other events include a sewing workshop, podcast workshop, cupcake decorating and a couple of day trips. To find out more visit www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/youthweek.
The Hunter Valley Airshow was an incredible event, drawing record crowds of around 14,000. The two day event drew not only locals but saw many people making the trip from out of area to enjoy the spectacle. Our LGA is now home to many events and it is important we continue to build our reputation as a destination with lots to see and do. Well done to organisers, Council were certainly happy to support the family event that has no doubt provided a significant contribution to the local economy.