Last night’s Awesome Newcastle clearly demonstrated that the Awesome bar just gets higher and higher. Speaking of bars, the Edwards beer garden yet again served as the perfect location for us all to drink and delve into the newest Novocastrian initiatives.
From fundraising to floats to funny, we were blown away by the creative ideas coming from all pockets of the Newcastle community.
We began the night welcoming our guest board members Amber Moncreiff from Hunter Plastic Surgery and Natalie Egleton (Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal). The crowd was intimate and high energy. All candidates were snazzy and snappy, as we had to wrap up by 7:30 sharp to make way for the live music that followed us.
Despite being quick, the finalists didn’t disappoint. Local comedian Ethan Andrews started the evening describing his upcoming idea for a one-day comedy festival this October. Andrews already operates lots of comedy initiatives in the area including Madam Speaker, and he wants to make high quality comedy as normal to Newcastle as a Knights game.
Next Morgan Gollan tugged on our heartstrings as she described living with Cystic Fibrosis and knowing that most people diagnosed with the illness have a life expectancy of just 37 years. This fact has not deterred her in the slightest, and she shared with us her big plans to raise money to help find a cure for the disease. In early October she will be holding a Cystic Fibrosis Masquerade Ball at Newcastle City Hall. Here she hopes to raise $50,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Australia.
Last but not least Luke Bozic took the stage to tell us about his work with LGBTQI youth in the Newcastle community and his monthly Peach Night Spot. Peach Night provides a safe space for the LGBTQI community to party. He shared with us his dream to create a Newy themed Peach float for the 40th Annual Mardi Gras anniversary in Sydney. He said he would use these funds to give our community the chance to show Mardi Gras 2018 that the LGBTQI community in Newcastle is just as strong & supportive as ever.
After an energetic deliberation, the judges cast their votes. It was a particularly painful decision, as everyone agreed that each initiative would do amazing things in Newcastle.
But decisions must be made and votes must be cast, and at the end of the evening we were thrilled to pass $1,000 cash along to Bozic for his fabulous float idea! We can’t way to see this project happen, so we’ll be keeping an eye on Peach Night’s Facebook and Instagram.
We’re excited to learn that all finalists are pursuing their upcoming initiatives, with or without our grant, so keep an eye out for their projects! We want to give a big congratulations to all finalists. Remember, applications never expire, so you very well may hear from these Awesome candidates again soon!