Last night we got together for another Awesome Newcastle at The Criterion, and what fun we had! With an intimate crowd and plenty of energy, the night kicked off to a great start. We quickly got down to business.
This month was an exciting one for our board members. We welcomed back Graham Batten and as of this month he is officially a permanent board member. Welcome Graham! We were glad to see returning guest board member Sam Wallace of Puro People, who brought along his amazing mother Nola who was kindly happy to step in as a guest judge! Then we were happy to get to know first-time board member Chris Old of Avid Project Management.
Each finalist for this month came from a very different background. We welcomed Aimee Homer from Happy Little Yogis, we welcomed Eddy Rockefeller of FACE Open Mic Comedy, and Monty Sharma of Urban Botanica.
Aimee went first. She explained she’s a mother, a holistic health coach, yoga teacher, youth mentor and founder and creator of Happy Little Yogis. With Happy Little Yogis, she works to implement positive changes to families through yoga, meditation, mindfulness, health, wellness, creativity, kindness, community and so much more. She hopes to reach a larger audience and to positively change the lives of more children, women and families by launching the Happy Little Yogis Podcast. The guests and conversations she plans to have on the podcast will help families feel grounded, calm and in control and anchored. She hopes the podcast will make it easy for mothers to listen to professional holistic practitioners to help support their family and themselves. She would use the money to professionally record the first few episodes.
Eddy went next. She’s a local comedian and musician and explained that being in a male dominated industry can make it difficult to inspire female creatives to get involved in comedy. Time and time again she’s heard “Comedy is such a boys club”. With her open mic comedy creation, she’s seeing more women than ever in comedy, but she wants to take it a step further by starting a monthly all-female comedy showcase that both supports new female talent and inspires newcomers to the scene. The show would book professional female headliners and also provide spots to female comics from Newcastle. The event will also fundraise and raise awareness for “Jenny’s Place” a local charity helping women and children suffering from domestic violence. Eddy’s aim is to create a supportive and creative hub that nurtures, inspires and proves that we can have “The Whole Shebang”. She would use the funds to book quality female headliners, pay local acts to perform and to pay for marketing.
Monty went last but not least. Monty is a certified permaculturalist and mycologist who runs nature inspired workshops for wellbeing in Newcastle. He sells boutique hand made terrariums from upcycled glass waste, Medicinal Mushrooms and ethically-sourced Mushroom grow kits from Australian companies. He explained that combating climate change starts with sustainable culture and his Seedling Project idea is a series of workshops which would educate urban populations on all steps they can take locally for global impact! He’s already started running monthly workshops and this money would support some of the upfront costs just as substrate, tools and plant purchases.
The judge had a tough task at hand but they buckled down and got busy. After much chat and debate they cast their votes.
We invited Chris to the stage to announce the winner, and he passed the sack along to Eddy! We congratulated Eddy and enjoyed her enthusiastic thanks. Then she immediately had to jet as she had a comedy event to host! Congratulations, Eddy, we can’t wait to see the whole Shebang and action, and congratulations to our other finalists for jobs well done all round!
Remember, applications never expire, and we regularly get guests back so we might see you again sometime at another Awesome Newcastle.