19 October 2016

Firstly I would like to congratulate Councillor Allan Stapleford for his election to the position of Deputy Mayor at the first general Council meeting of the new Councillors. Councillor Stapleford was elected by fellow Councillors to be Deputy Mayor for the term of office from October 2016 to September 2017.

This will mark Cr Stapleford’s third term in the position, his experience, commitment and dedication to community makes him an outstanding representative for our local government area. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Cr Stapleford and I look forward to another strong working relationship.  

Last week was National Mental Health Week which Council marked in conjunction with National Safe Work Month October 2016. Council staff attended a presentation by explosives expert Darren Flanagan who recounted his involvement in the rescue at Beaconsfield Mine in 2006. It was absolutely incredible to hear the story of survival, how it impacted all involved and how it still affects their lives today.  

The presentation focused on the fact we need to have a work life balance, put family first and look out for our mates. A particularly point that I resonated with was that men often struggle to have conversations around mental health. It is a good reminder we should not be afraid to open up to our mates during tough times and we should feel comfortable asking a mate how they are going.  

What a fantastic Relay for Life in 2016. The concept of using the money raised to purchase a vehicle to transport cancer patients to their medical appointments is certainly innovative and is a great asset to our community. Thank you to everyone involved and I congratulate the community on getting behind this worthwhile cause.  

Cessnock City Council is inviting the community to nominate people for the Cessnock City Hall of Fame by the end of October. This is the tenth anniversary of the Hall of Fame and it is fantastic we’ll soon be welcoming our next inductees.  

Nominations are for notable people from the Arts, Business, Public Service, Science, Sport and also Meritorious Families. For more information on eligibility and the varying categories of achievement head to Hall of Fame.  

I was very sad to hear of the passing of Audrey de Krey, who was a wonderful local resident and gave so much to her local community. Mrs de Krey received the prestigious award of Senior Citizen of the Year in 1999, in honour of her work in our local government area and in recognition of her dedication to community. I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to Mr’s de Krey’s family and friends at this time.