The Criterion hosted another admirable Awesome Newcastle last night, adding a little Wednesday-evening-excitement to Carrington.
We welcomed a unique crew of talented board members and finalists to share the awesomeness all around. We introduced returning guest board member Anne Long from Greater Bank and first timers Brian Daly from The Proverbials, Cheralyn Coffey from The Press Bookhouse and Aleeta Cliff from Hudson Street Hum.
Our finalists this month were varied and very good! Jason Fox joined us from Lifeline Hunter Central Coast, Michelle Dado-Millynn presented from Dungog Cup Rescue and Kath Teagle spoke on behalf of Mayfield’s Healthy Connection For All. We sipped beverages and chatted, and then we assigned a timekeeper and got down to business!
First up we welcomed Jason. Jason is Lifeline’s Innovation Manager, and he opened his talk with heartbreaking statistics about Australian suicide, with eight Australians taking their life each day. Jason told us about Lifeline’s upcoming Book Fair during the long weekend in October, their biggest fundraiser for 2019/20. They’re expecting more than 4,000 customers, and the money raised will stay go towards direct crisis services in Islington. He would use the Awesome money to buy three iPads which would help generate receipts, volunteer information, data base building and social media sharing.Next up Michelle spoke. Michelle lives in Dungog and works as a producer/designer/lecturer, and she’s also a passionate environmentalist, active in her community. She told us about her different green endeavors including making Dungog the 20th Boomerang Bags town in 2016. (Dungog is working towards becoming a single-use-plastic free!) She wants Dungog to set examples for other communities, so she’s created Blue Planet Status, a way for businesses and communities to create a greener world by making choices like reducing waste, choosing reusables and recycling. Blue Planet Status would allow them to tick boxes and be recognised for their hard work. Kath wrapped up the presentations for the evening. She’s the owner and director of Mayfield Medical Connection. Running MCC has shown her how poorly Australia’s health system provides equity of care, so she started Healthy Connection For All. She explained how homeless people often need the most care and have the hardest time accessing it. HCFA is a charity engaging volunteers from the community including GPs who provide non-judgmental health services to those who need it most. She would use the $1000 to fund referrals to practitioners who require payment. This makes volunteer GPs’ lives simpler, allowing them to refer patients to other professionals.
We left the board members to the challenging task of finding a winner. They discussed and deliberated, weighing their options.
They had robust conversations and eventually reached a conclusion. We invited guest board member Brian to deliver the cash. Brian warmly invited Kath to the front to receive the money and we gave her a big round of applause. We thanked all our finalists and reminded everyone that applications never expire, meaning there’s a chance we’ll get an August Awesome finalist back again.
If you’re keen to be involved with Awesome Newcastle, apply to be a guest board member or money winner via this website. Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you next time at Awesome Newcastle!