27 July 2016
week, I met a group of high-flying individuals from DreamSky Aviation. Based at
Cessnock Airport, DreamSky is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander youth to give them the chance to pursue a career in aviation and also to
improve access to medical services in remote communities. The Hunter region has
a long association with aviation and it was a privilege to meet young pilots
who are refining their skills in our community.
This August Cessnock City Council joins other councils across the state to celebrate NSW Local Government Week 2016. Good luck to the Cessnock Youth Week Organising Committee who have been nominated for the Best Local Youth Week Program 2016. It’s also great to have Paul ‘The Chief’ Harragon as guest speaker at the School Leaders’ Breakfast. Chief Harragon will share his journey - the kid from Kurri Kurri to sporting superstar, giving local students a unique understanding of the effort and perseverance needed to achieve their goals. The chance for local students to hear the highs and lows that go hand-in-hand with chasing your dreams will encourage them to aim high and persist even when they encounter setbacks.
Later in the month, the Mayoral Debate will take place. This event is a wonderful opportunity to showcase sharp minds and encourage academic endeavour. Year 9 and 10 students from four High Schools in the Cessnock LGA will come together to share and challenge ideas in an articulate and informed manner. The students and teachers are very enthusiastic about the debate and I wish all them all the very best.
Our next Citizenship Ceremony is only a few weeks away. So far I will be welcoming 15 new Australian citizens. Citizenship ceremonies are very special and memorable occasions for everyone involved. We like to give our new citizens a warm welcome and keep tradition alive by having our Town Crier join the festivities.
As this term of Council winds up and this is my last Mayoral column, I reflect on the last four years as Mayor and sign off as always with “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It has been a great honour to be able to use that
enthusiasm and to be involved with so many community organisations. The value
that the VIEW, Lions, Rotary, Probus Clubs and other cultural groups bring to
our community is immeasurable. My special project has been as a ‘White Ribbon
Ambassador’ campaigning with our young people to learn more about domestic
violence and how our community can work hard to reduce the appalling statistics
in the Cessnock LGA.
Our community has been enriched by new festivals like the Kurri Kurri Festival, Branxton Umbrella and Mulbring Fair, with ‘The Postie Bike Grand Prix” and ‘Stomp’ bringing extra tourists to enjoy our LGA. Hosting the Japan national team for the Asian Cup pre training showcased the Hunter Valley to the world. The Hunter Expressway has changed the traffic network and made it easier for visitors to come to our community. Council still needs to work hard to improve local roads for our residents and guests.