April’s Awesome Newcastle is Digital!

April’s Awesome Newcastle is Digital!

It would sound like an April Fool’s joke if you haven’t been reading the news, but here we are. Awesome Newcastle is adapting to the realities of Covid-19, keeping each other safe and playing to an empty stadium. This Wednesday night instead of meeting at our much loved local haunt, our host and organiser sent a group email out to the team with the three videos of our finalists, which you will see below shortly.

We welcomed to the email thread returning guest board member Emma Levine, one of the original overseers of Awesome Newcastle. Emma joined us from her lounge room in Sydney, as you can see in the cover photo. We welcomed Ethan Andrews of Central Coast City Council. It was great to have Ethan on board as he was a finalist for Awesome Newcastle back in April of 2017. Last but not least we welcomed first timer guest board member Jamie Ferguson, of City of Newcastle.

Our organiser sent off the videos to our board and you can watch each five minute show below.

Our first video is from Peggy Vlismis of Friends with Dignity‘s Sanctuary Projects. Their sanctuary project outfits a house and turns it into a home for someone to escape domestic and family violence. Peggy is hoping to assist the Newcastle Hub which is growing exponentially.

Next up we welcomed Lars  Steffans. He told us about his dream is to convert his 63-year-old commercial timber prawn-trawler with home port Newcastle into Australia’s most sustainable fishing vessel. (Lars has been isolating for a while, so he had to chance to make his video a little bit Hollywood.)

And our final finalist of this month’s Awesome Newcastle is Jacqui Hicks. Jacqui has plans for a car-free street party in King Edward Park. It can’t happen straight away,  but she’s hoping it will be able to be better than ever after Covid-19.

Awesome Newcastle Pitch from Jacqui Hicks on Vimeo.

We sent the videos out to the judges, and they kindly and trustingly transferred funds to our host’s bank account. Over the evening the votes started rolling in. Two judges told us they watched the videos with their families at home, debating and discussing with their loved ones where the money should go. Several members noted that the current email solution worked well, although it can’t compare to an in-person Awesome Newcastle.

By 9 pm last night, every vote had been cast. It wasn’t unanimous; it rarely is, but the majority agreed that the money should go to Peggy from Friends With Dignity. We reckon that the work Peggy is doing will be very crucial in the coming months, and we’re happy to see it going to our Newcastle community.

Thanks to everyone who was involved in this Awesome Newcastle! We’d like to remind you all that applications never expire, so if you didn’t win this time there’s a chance we’ll get you back again.

Click here to apply to be an Awesome Newcastle guest member and click here to submit an awesome idea. We’re sending big digital hugs and love during this strange time. We hope that we can see innovation and creativity persevere at Awesome Newcastle, despite the current challenges.

Alex cheersing