Last night we had our first Awesome Newcastle of 2019! Morale was up as we gathered downstairs in the Flying Tiger‘s lively and leafy courtyard. The sun set, and we settled in for a night of learning about the brightest and best ideas of our city.
We were excited to see returning guest board member Don Magin. After attending heaps of Awesome Newcastles in the past, last night he joined the ranks and became a permanent board member! We were also happy to catch up with a few regular guest board members as well including Amber Moncrieff of Hunter Plastic Surgery, Jacqui Daley of The Measured Marketer, Martin Spiers of H & M Accountants and consultant Amir Antebi.
Our finalists this month brought forward an eclectic mix of ideas. We had Alyssa Salamon representing Sketch Party Newcastle , Chad Ramage representing Accessibility in the City and Stephanie Moscovis representing Welcome to Newy.
Alyssa spoke first. Alyssa is a civil design engineer who also owns a photography business. She started The Sketch Party project in Newcastle, a monthly event dedicated to a group of people sketching and drawing. Patrons experiment with sketching while enjoying drinks, snacks and live music. It’s a chance for people to explore their inner-artist free from judgement. All materials are supplied and no skill is required. Local musicians regularly play while people sketch. Last year at Hudson Street Hum, Alyssa hosted regular sketch parties. In 2019 she plans to use a different venue each month to further support local businesses. She told us if she won she would use the money to purchase new materials and cover costs required for each event.
Next up we welcomed Chad. Chad works in web development at TAFE, and his idea is Accessibility in the City (AitC), a user-friendly online mapping platform which provides accessible features within cities. The website helps people with accessibility issues navigate challenging environments and improve their lives. He explained that accessible environments benefit everyone, not just people with disabilities. He told us his platform will help reduce isolation and discrimination. He would use the Awesome money to help deploy specific features in the platform.
Our last act of the evening was Stephanie, one of the founders of Idea Bombing Newcastle. Stephanie wants change the first thing visitors on cruise ships see when they arrive in Newcastle. Currently there is a sign, but she thinks this can be better. She told us that our harbour is expected to welcome up to 20 cruise ships a season over the next 5 years alone, and visiting cruise ships are estimated to add about $11 million per annum into the Hunter economy. She hopes to establish a competition for creative agencies from the Hunter to bid for the right to brand Newcastle Harbour’s Dyke Point. She would use the money to go towards a project website which would receive submissions, communicate terms of the competition and promote the progress of the project.
It’s always hard but at last a decision was reached. We asked our guest board member Marty to deliver the cash to our first winner of 2019, and he passed it along to Alyssa from Sketch Party.
A big thank you to everyone who comes out each month and makes this night happen, and a reminder that if you have an idea or you’d like to be a guest board member, all you have to do is apply! See you next time!