28 November

In the lead up to White Ribbon Day last Friday I attended a number of local events as a White Ribbon Ambassador. It was great to see such a strong level of support in the Cessnock Local Government Area including local high schools and the Cessnock Business Chamber. The Cessnock Business Chamber hosted a breakfast in recognition of this important issue, raising awareness about this problem that sadly is happening in our community. Mount View High School also had a number of activities last week to raise awareness in their school community. This culminated with a performance by their drama students which demonstrated domestic violence from a young person’s perspective. Last Friday I joined Cessnock High and walked from Kearsley to the school campus. As a community we need to continue this important conversation.

Organisations across our community are beginning to celebrate the Christmas season. It is always a pleasure to recognise the magnificent work many organisations do in our community. Whether it be Lions, Rotary, View Clubs or the Retired Mineworkers, all of these organisations contribute so much to us all. On behalf of the community thank you for making our community so much stronger.

It was great to attend the 100 years celebrating the Branxton Uniting Church and the 175 years of Christ Church Mt Vincent. These events illustrated the importance of churches in our community over a long period of time and how they form a very important part of community life for many residents.

Carols in the Park 2018 is on next Friday at Cessnock Sportsground from 5:30pm. Country music star and local, Tara Naysmith returns as MC. Santa’s Little Helpers, a 14 piece big band are expected to put on a wonderful performance. For those last minute Christmas gifts, there will be market stalls by Market2Markets showcasing some of the region’s finest handmade items. The night will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display. Gates open at 5:30pm with Carols from 6:45pm. Pack a picnic rug and join us in making this a truly wonderful community event. The event is proudly sponsored by Newcastle Permanent Building Society (our major sponsor), Cessnock City Council, Rover Motors and Slatterys Helicopters.  

The Mayoral Scholarships are open again for residents looking to further their education in 2019.The Scholarships support those in the community who are working hard to build a career and are enrolled to study next year. If you are studying at university or TAFE you may be eligible for one of the nine scholarships on offer. The scholarships are $2,500 and can be used at the recipient’s discretion to support their studies. Applications are now open and close Friday 1 March 2019. For more information and to apply online visit www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/council/mayor/scholarships.  

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Australia Day Awards and Council is calling on the community to nominate locals who deserve to be recognised. There are a number of award categories to choose from including Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Community Event, Sport, Environment, Heritage, along with Achievement and Appreciation awards.  In 2019 ‘The Marie Callaghan Young Female Achiever Award’ has been announced. It is inspired by women contributing service to the community. Nominations must be submitted by Monday 10 December 2018. Nomination forms and selection criteria can be found on Council’s website at www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/community/events-ceremonies/australiaday.