After a series of rainy days, yesterday’s warm(ish) weather couldn’t have been more welcomed. Last night we gathered at The Edwards Front Bar as we’ve done many times before and prepared ourselves for another night of learning about and celebrating the talented creative people in this region.
Last night we recognised three guest board members to go with our ravishing regulars. This month’s guest board members were business consultant Don Magin, Bradd Morelli from Jirsch Sutherland and Rob Buck from Diamond IT. And where would the board be if it weren’t for our awesome applicants? This month’s finalists were Eloise Sinnott from Hot Milk Beauty, Carolyn Leishmen from Mercy Services and Sam Reich from Newcastle Cycleways Movement.
We introduced our finalists and then let them do their thing.
First up was Eloise. Eloise told us about her experience being a new mum. She found it difficult and frustrating to go to the beauty salon with her young child in tow and didn’t always feel welcome. She realised there was a gap in the market, so out of her own home she created Hotmilk, a blissful Beauty Salon for mums. It’s community that helps mums bring out their inner babe and feel empowered. The child-friendly space offers coffee, wine or cake whilst women are waxed. Eloise said if she won she would use use the money to invest in educating herself on being a better business owner.
Next we welcomed Carolyn Leishman from Mercy Services, an elderly care center in Newcastle. Carolyn told us about the huge retaining wall next to her building that was covered in weeds. Now, slowly but surely, she and the community have been turning the wall into a natural work of art, complete with mosaics and cacti. Local workers and residences have been weeding on their lunch break, and volunteers have been taking care of it, donating plants and soil. It’s becoming a community garden. Carolyn would use the money for scaffolding and equipment so she can beautify the top half of the wall too. Our last finalist of the evening was a yank from New York who has been living down under for over 30 years! Sam Reich is from Newcastle Cycleways Movement, a local organisation that promotes bicycle riding as a primary mode of transport. Together with other organisations, they are proposing that the CycleSafe Network be constructed by the state government throughout Newcastle and northern Lake Macquarie, connecting 90km of existing routes with 160km new ones! He would use the money to purchase an automated bike counter for a trial of the methodology. We applauded our amazing finalists and then we left the board to the always-difficult process of deliberating. At last a decision was reached. We invited our guest board member Bradd to give away the cash, and he passed the money along to Sam! We are excited to see what he and his supporters can do for cyclists in Newcastle, and we will be sure to share what he is up to through our networks. Congratulations to Sam, and all our phenomenal finalists! Please remember that applications never expire, so there’s chance we could get you back again. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see everyone next month!