President's Message

Shining a Light on the Stars in our Region

Celebrating the businesses and individuals among us who are going above and beyond, and sharing their stories with the business community, is the very essence of our 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. Our judges had the unenviable task of working through dozens of high-quality applications across all categories to select our finalists and then our winners.

Our awards luncheon kicked off with last year’s Organisation award recipient Marty Adnum from Out of the Square Media, delighting our members and guests with two of their recent initiatives “Newcastle & the Hunter is a region ready” and the “Get Your Hand On One” bottler opener fundraiser for the Hunter Prostate Cancer Alliance. Clearly a passionate advocate for our region and our community, sporting a coveted “Newcastle is Great” cap, Marty set the tone for a fantastic afternoon in celebrating of our finalists and recipients.

As I watched our award recipients deliver their acceptance speeches, what stood out for me was their humility, their acknowledgement of the support they receive from their peers and community, and their generosity in sharing what gets them out of bed in the morning to do the impactful work that they do.

Catherine Henry, recipient of our Individual award, whilst initially lost for words, shared her passion for supporting the most vulnerable in our community, no easy feat whilst running a law practice and contributing to the continual enhancement of the legal profession in the region.

When I called Joel Pilgrim to let him know he was the recipient of the Youth award, he was quite overwhelmed! The work Joel does as a mental health advocate through surf therapy charity Waves of Wellness is impacting so many people in our community, raising the voice of the conversation about well-being, particularly among young people.

Organisation award recipient Soul Café was accepted by Rick Prosser and he shared with us the work the Café is doing to support the homeless in our community. Unfortunately, growth at the Soul Café isn’t such a great thing, with tens of thousands of meals served annually and no signs of slowing.

For the second year we are proud to collaborate with The Equal Futures Project and their Hunter Diversity Awards. The Newcastle Business Club recognises the importance of diversity across all industry sectors and celebrating the individuals and organisations is a natural fit with our annual awards. It was our pleasure to work with the chair of The Equal Futures Project, Dr Kirsten Molloy, and chair of the Hunter Diversity Awards, Liz Baker and we congratulate Organisation Award Winners HVTC, and Individual Award Winner Will Wright of Douglas Partners.

Next month we invite Rod McGeoch to speak about his reflections on the business of sport. Perhaps best known as the leader of Sydney’s successful Olympics 2000 bid, he is Chairman or Director of a wide range of major corporations and past Chairman of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, one of Australia’s largest law firms.

Tickets are selling fast for what promises to be a great event so don’t delay purchasing yours.

And finally, I encourage you to reach out to any of this year’s winners whom you think you may be able to learn something from to enhance the success and well-being of your own organisation.

Award Winners 2019

Organisation: Soul Cafe

Individual: Catherine Henry

Youth: Joel Pilgrim

I hope to see you at our upcoming luncheon!

Craig Wellings | 2019 President