Awesome October is fast, friendly and full of heart!

Last night at the Flying Tiger, another Awesome Newcastle commenced! We were on a mission of time efficiency while still having a special evening as per usual. The drinks were served, the salty delicious chips were off the chain and everyone was looking attentive and attractive!
board members gatherWe were thrilled to introduce a gang of new and returning board members. Last night we welcomed regular guest members Ty Brennock from Monica Clare Recruitment, Business Consultant Don Magin, and returning guest members Amy Beckett, founder of Newcastle Business Networking Group. Excitingly, we had three first-time members including Amanda Kirkman of Shorthand Studio, Robyn Blackwell of Being More Human and Sheree Chambers of Brugel Creative.
guest board members Amy and Ty
We chatted and chowed down and introduced our finalists.  This month we had Sarah Monk, Joseph Asquith and Naomi Smith of Vox Balanae: Voice of the Whale, Madeline Hunt from Youth Frontiers and Let Kids Be Kids and Bonnie Lee Tipper from Perfect Sunday Markets.

Madeline was up first, and she told us about how she works with teen leaders in the community through the Youth Frontiers Project. The kids she works with are actually the ones who applied for the grant, so thanks for that, Preston Douglas, Ella Griffith and Hannah Thoroughgood! Madeline was representing the kids during school holidays. She told us that her group wants to take women and children from a local multicultural domestic violence refuge and bring them to a neighbourhood centre in Maryland. Here they would set up activities and have a BBQ and games to help them take their minds of their current situation and make them feel like normal children for a few hours. The kids from Youth Frontiers Project would use the money to pay for food and drink and buy toys to donate to the refuge. Madi presentsNext up we welcomed fashion designer Bonnie who also runs a local vintage handmaid label called Chinchen Street. She’s no stranger to markets, and she is now running “Perfect Sunday Markets” which are a little bit different from a conventional markets. Held in the beer garden of the Lass O’Gowrie hotel, Perfect Sunday Markets offers stall spaces free of charge. The markets spaces are only offered to locally handmade, vintage, visual art and charity stall holders. The focus is on ethical and environmentally aware products that are not only in demand but sometimes hard to find as a consumer. She would like to put the money towards advertising and promoting this event. Bonnie had a real breakthrough moment for her own brand when she was given the opportunity to set up her first stall for free at Beach Street Festival. Bonnie presentsLast but not least we listened to musicians Sarah, Joseph and Naomi tell us about the upcoming concert they organised to raise money for the local organisation Hunter Community Environment Centre. They want to help young people become more aware of local environmental issues and, in particular, the impact of seismic testing which has taken place off Newcastle’s coast. The initial concert will take place at the The Dungeon, Brunker Road, Adamstown on the 19th October.  They have invited a diver and marine ecologist guest speaker. The concert is entitled ‘Vox Balaenae’ (Voice of the Whale), and will showcase a 1970 work of the same name, by composer George Crumb, alongside other environmentally-themed works. They would use the money for venue hire costs, public liability insurance and also to help pay for sound and lighting technicians.musicians presentThe presentations were short, sweet and informative, and then we left it to the judges to make the tough decisions.
board members debate

At last, a decision was reached, so we called on Amanda to present the $1000 cold hard cash. We reminded all finalists that applications never expire, so remember that there’s a chance that we can get you back at the next Awesome Newcastle.

And the winner is Madeline! We can’t wait to hear how your young leaders react when they hear they news! Maybe we’ll see them at the next Awesome Newcastle! Amanda awards the cash