President's Message

Giving back to the community we work within

Sometimes you come across business and individuals that are going out of their way to contribute to the communities we work and live within – and this is what was on display during the 2018 Newcastle Business Club Awards.

Established in 1975 the core purpose of the awards is to recognise those that are contributing positively to the commonweal of the region. And all of our finalists certainly demonstrated that!

When our winners were announced at the July luncheon, what struck me most was how easy it was to see the judges had made the right choice. All three of our winners were able to eloquently demonstrate why they won, during their acceptance speeches.

The contribution of the winners to our community cannot be denied and it was a pleasure to be able to recognise them in front of a sold out crowd. The awards have been running for 43 years and Colin Law (individual), Lloyd Valentine (Youth) and Out of the Square Media (Organisation) now have a place in history. (Make sure you read to the end to view in detail why they won).

Our winners were presented with a framed certificate detailing why they won, as well as a print of The Summerhouse by Hilda Rix-Nicholas. 43 years ago when the awards were established the Newcastle Region Art Gallery project was underway and the Club decided to make a presentation to the Gallery of a major work of art – which ended up being The Summerhouse.

The painting symbolises a commitment by this Club and its members to the people of this region and importantly helps us to keep a strong tradition of recognising those who have contributed to the commonweal of the city.

Another exciting element to our awards this year was our collaboration with The Equal Futures Project to help deliver their Hunter Diversity Awards. Newcastle Business Club itself has come a long way in its diversity – but like many organisations, there is still room for improvement! It was great to work with chair of The Equal Futures Project, Dr Kirsten Molloy, and chair of the Hunter Diversity Awards, Liz Baker, to announce their winners – Deirdra Tindale (Individual) and AECOM (Organisation).

Next month we are thrilled to be bringing Effie Zahos to town – you would know her from her frequent appearances on The TODAY Show as their finance expert and also as Editor of Money Magazine.

We are able to bring this event to you thanks to the sponsorship of Thirdi Group as our gold sponsor and Evolution Advisers as our silver sponsor.

Tickets are already on sale and selling fast! So, get in quick.

And before you buy, if you’re not a member yet, make sure you sign up as we have a discounted half year price and then you can get all the member benefits for the rest of the year.

Award Winners 2018

Out of the Square Media

Out of the Square Media (OOTS) is an advertising, creative and content agency, located in Newcastle but working with client across Australia. They produce high quality work, both locally and nationally, for organisation such as Greater Bank, Port Waratah Coal Services, Port of Newcastle and Newcastle Airport.

OOTS are clearly an organisation passionate about Newcastle, which is evidenced by their outstanding portfolio of self-funded projects, a body of work that have been tirelessly produced by the team over many years, to raise the profile and awareness of Newcastle and the Hunter region.

One of the cornerstone projects has been the ‘Newcastle inspired’ video series. These videos showcase the region’s natural beauty, urban splendour and thriving communities. Importantly, the series encouraged people to celebrate the growth and development of Newcastle well before others locally were doing so. These inspirational snapshots have been shared by hundreds of thousands of people and organisations locally, nationally and internationally. It could be argued this has been the best piece of self-funded promotion for Newcastle in decades.

From a corporate perspective the last year has seen OOTS showcase businesses from across the region. Prompted by their own 20th anniversary the Newcastle 20/20 Business video series features 20 diverse businesses in the region that have been operating for 20 years or more. These videos were not only designed to celebrate longevity and success, but also intended to share knowledge and inspire further economic growth in the region.

OOTS also have a commitment to charities in the region and are ongoing supporters of the Cancer Council and Lifeline. As a major sponsor of Cancer Council’s “Stars of Newcastle” event, OOTS has provided in-kind design and production support to all video content for the event and the promotional lead up for the past five years. OOTS’ relationship with Lifeline Hunter Central Coast has enabled the organisation to produce television commercials to a higher value than the limited budget would normally allow for. Each of these philanthropic commitments equate to donations of well over $20k per year.

Newcastle Business Club consider that Out of the Square Media clearly embodies local organisation that is working to put the region on the map and are thrilled to recognise and celebrate the business for their support of the commonweal of the region.

Colin Law

Colin Law is a well-known businessman, committed to working in collaboration with businesses in the region.

His role leading SME Business Banking with CommBank sees him liaise with a wide range of business owners and managers across the region, providing advice and reassurance. But more than that, he has led the charge to ensure the multinational bank has strong ties to the local area and supports the community it works within.

He leads by example within his team, resulting in a team of business bankers who has a strong sense of purpose when it comes to giving back to the Hunter region, looking to deliver not only for their clients but also to make a positive contribution to charities.

In 2015, Colin was the primary driver of the crowdfunding initiative to save the Surfest women’s competition. Previously severely under-funded, it is now one of the top point scoring events on the circuit; a QS6000 competition that draws top national and international talent to Newcastle.

In addition, in 2016 Colin and his team partnered with ConnectAbility to create a unique five-star dining event. Wine and Dine for Disability saw 100 guests enjoy food by four of Newcastle’s top Chefs and wine from two fantastic vineyards, each donating time and skills. The $12,000 raised is now helping ConnectAbility provide opportunities for people with significant disabilities. This is now an annual event that continues to support local people.

Other charities Colin has lent the CommBank name, reputation and connections to include Mai-Wel Group, Newcastle Cricket Association, Wine Industry Association, Hunter Culinary Association and Gen Collective.

Newcastle Business Club is proud to present Colin with this year’s prestigious individual accolade, for both his business and personal commitment to the commonweal of Newcastle and the wider Hunter region.

Lloyd Valentine

Lloyd Valentine is an exceptional example of someone who doesn’t let adversity stop him from achieving and giving back to his community.

After experiencing significant and debilitating health issues for many years, including significant brain deterioration, Lloyd started to tentatively regain his strength – both mentally and physically. He began volunteering in the disabilities sector and discovered he had a passion for helping and working with people with a disability. At the same time, he realised that he wanted to provide a different and more positive experience for marginalised people and launched the Health Change Challenge in 2016.

Healthy Change Challenge is a fun, empowering, social and community engaging holistic health program for people with a disability and/or mental illness. Challengers learn to run exercise, shopping, cooking, mindfulness and meditation sessions in collaborative teams for each other and the general public. It is a registered NDIS provider and as a social enterprise any funding outside of NDIS is directed towards opening the program to more challengers and employing more challengers to run the program.

The organisation is making long term improvements to lifestyle habits of the challengers by working in collaboration with parents, carers, friends as well as the best health and wellness professionals.

Newcastle Business Club awards Lloyd Valentine the Youth Award for his commitment to the commonweal of the Hunter, through his passion for effecting positive change for local people with a disability.

I hope to see you at one of our luncheons soon.

Holly Martin | 2018 President