June’s Awesome Newcastle took place last Thursday behind the big blue doors at The Village of Useful. Finalists and board members gathered once again to choose the next awesome winner for the month.
Choosing finalists is getting increasingly difficult as there are so many great applications and ideas happening in the area. This month’s finalists were Nikki McFarland for Crazy Craft Group, Brett Piva from the Make it/Made it Conference, and Adam Price presenting his Adopt a Singer project.
Accompanying our permanent board members in the decision making were our awesome guest board members, Sarah Ladyman who is a former winner of Awesome Sydney, Adam Novak from NIB, Cathrine Long founder of Long&Co, and Michael Hogg from Robinson Property. Amy Tribe from the NIB Foundation is a new addition to our permanent board.
Starting the ball rolling was Adam Price from Adopt a Singer, who provides entertainment to seniors within aged care facilities, and hospital palliative care wards to bring happiness through music. Price explained that his passion project came from his own experiences in and out of hospital in mid 2010 as he battled and conquered Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Price said that he wants to put the money towards a concert series DVD and training program to ensure ongoing entertainment therapies.
Next up was Brett Piva from MAKEit / MADEit Conference. Piva has partnered up with Newcastle Museum and local businesses to host the creative conference for its second year. The conference commenced in 2015 to share the lifestyle, processes and difficulties a maker or artist possesses throughout their career. Piva explained the grant money would assist in flights, meals and accommodation for his guest speakers.
Lucky last was Nikki McFarland from Partners in Recovery, who assist those with severe and persistent mental illness to improve their quality of life. McFarland presented Crazy Craft Group, which is a group for people living with mental illnesses who have an interest in the arts and crafts, giving them a safe space to communicate about their lives and illnesses, but also explore new skills and share existing ones. McFarland explained the funding would be used to promote the group within Newcastle, to purchase craft supplies and find a space in the community.
While our board members gathered to choose the winner – our finalists mingled and congratulated each other on their ideas. The presentations were strong, so our board had a tough decision ahead of them.
As usual, there were some healthy heated discussions between board members but after a while a winner was agreed upon.
NIB’s Head of Customer Experience, Adam Novak announced our lucky winner this round. Before announcing, he encouraged our finalists to talk to the board members as they have great experience and advice to share about how to get their ideas up and running.
The winner of $1,000 grant was Adam Price from Adopt-a-Singer. The board felt that Adam’s idea has the potential to reach a large amount of people, and potentially be franchised and rolled out around the world.
If you have a great idea for a community project in Newcastle and would like to be in the running for this no-strings grant, apply through the Awesome Foundation.