30 November 2016

Last week I had the privilege as a White Ribbon Day Ambassador to attend a number of events and talk about our community’s responsibility in stemming rates of domestic violence as 25 November, 2016 marked White Ribbon Day.

It was fantastic to see a number of local schools getting involved in the conversation. Cessnock High School and Kurri High School both held events focused on breaking the silence about violence. The Silent Disco was a fantastic initiative to get young people talking about addressing the issue of domestic violence. I also had the opportunity to lead the oath at Mount View High School. It is very positive for the entire community that our young people are taking a stand and I hope everyone in our community will consider taking the oath against violence.

Last week also marked Social Inclusion Week a reminder to celebrate our differences. The theme this year was Collaborate, Connect and Celebrate. I encourage everyone to think about these words and why it is so important we continue to work together, have open conversations and celebrate what makes us unique.

During last Council meeting I moved a Mayoral Minute to officially recognise Emergency Services involved in the bush fires earlier this month at the Australia Day 2017 Civic Reception. All Councillors agreed this was a wonderful idea, as all emergency personnel did an exceptional job in protecting our community.

Residents are reminded to submit their Australia Day 2017 Award nominations. Entries close on Friday 9 December. Official nomination forms and selection criteria are available from www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au.

This Australia Day we’ll also be introducing a new annual event the Mayor’s Cup. More details will be released shortly but it is shaping up to be a fantastic cricket competition.

Congratulations to Janice Limn who been named on the NSW Hidden Treasurers Honour Roll 2016 which is an annual initiative recognising the outstanding efforts of women volunteers in NSW. Janice has been an active member of Cessnock VIEW (voice, interest and education for women) Club for 41 years and has also been instrumental to our local Guides club.

The residents of Kelman again should be congratulated for their Christmas appeal, their generosity is always something to be admired. Cessnock City Council is also launching an appeal and look forward to the communities support.

Tomorrow night marks the 2016 Elf Challenge where an attempt will be made to break the world record of the largest congregation of elves. Good luck Project Cessnock!

Finally the Carols in the Park have arrived. I very much look forward to celebrating the festive season as a community this Friday. It all kicks off at 4:30pm with the Funky Junk Flea Markets with the carolling starting at 6:30pm.