9 August 2017

I attended the Local Government Awards in Sydney last Thursday evening and I am pleased to announce Cessnock City Council won the RH Dougherty Award for Most Innovative Special Event for our Seniors Week 2016. Cessnock Seniors Week 2016 was just fantastic with 45 activities and events, 30 organisations taking part and 1,504 participants across the region. This is such a great achievement for everyone involved and I would like to say a special thank you to the Cessnock Seniors Week Advisory Committee for all of their hard work. The Cessnock Youth Week Organising Committee was also acknowledged as a finalist at the LG Awards for Best Youth Week and came home with a certificate. Congratulations to all involved!

Congratulations to the Cessnock Relay for Life Committee who won the Business Engagement through Mission Delivery Award at the Relay for Life Leadership Summit in Sydney on 22 July. This award is very well-deserved as the committee has worked hard to engage local businesses in the participation, advocacy and fundraising for the event.

It was an absolute honour to be invited to speak as a local White Ribbon Ambassador to students at the Hunter Trade College on Friday 28 July. I spoke to them about the history of White Ribbon, what it is all about, the harrowing statistics of domestic violence both in our region and across the country and what they could do to help prevent it from happening. The students were so attentive and even stood up with me and took the White Ribbon pledge. They also kindly donated $200 to White Ribbon at the conclusion of my presentation, which made me very proud.

The Richmond Vale Railway Museum Country Music Muster on Saturday 29 July was a great success. This organisation is run by a dedicated bunch of volunteers who put on a fantastic day of live music to raise money for the museum, which preserves the railway and mining history of the Hunter.

As part of Local Government Week, we held our annual School Leaders Breakfast last Tuesday 1 August and it was just incredible to see so many students from across the region come along. We had close to 270 students and teachers enjoy the event which started with a delicious spread of food and then went on to a presentation by our special guest speaker, Jamila Gordon. This was the eighth year we have held the event and in that time, we have had some amazing speakers. Jamila was equally impressive telling her story of survival, overcoming the odds and how the power of positive thinking can have a huge impact on your life. I am certain our students walked away feeling inspired.

As many of you know, we are lucky enough to have the Qantas Wallabies in Cessnock for a training camp this week and I would like to wish them a warm welcome! Details of their visit will be posted on our Cessnock City Council Facebook page, so I encourage you all to jump online and keep an eye on the page for the latest updates.

You may notice something different about Council’s outdoor crews from August through to October as they’ll be sporting pink high-vis shirts to support breast cancer. This is the second year this fantastic staff-led initiative has taken place and I am proud of our crews for raising awareness of this cause.

While I am on the topic of our outdoor crews, roadworks currently underway include road and drainage construction at Dalwood Road Greta and Frame Drive Abermain, along with Culvert reconstruction on Buchanan Road Buchanan and Whitburn Road Greta. We have also completed the road and drainage reconstruction works on Wine Country Drive Nulkaba.