Time to nominate the passionate, inspirational and courageous

Jill Emberson counts being named 2019 Newcastle’s Citizen of the year as one of her greatest achievements and said it’s something she never imagined would happen in her life.

“To get an accolade like this gives me a spring in my step and makes my days here happier. There is a pride and joy that it has given me,” she said when reflecting on the honour.

Jill was recognised for her contribution to journalism and advocacy in the fight against Ovarian Cancer, a disease she has lived with since 2016. In the lead up to and after receiving her prestigious award Jill has shown she truly embodies the very spirit of the Citizen of the Year Award.

As unique and outstanding as Jill is, Newcastle is fortunate to be home to many other likeminded courageous, passionate and inspirational citizens who strive to improve the lives of others and make our community a better place.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said now is the time to put their names forward for recognition.

“Nominations are open for Newcastle’s 2020 Citizen of the Year Awards, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Group of the Year which will be presented on Australia Day,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Recipients don’t necessarily need to be high profile individuals. We’re looking for people who are motivated and passionate about improving the lives of others and are role models in our community.”

“Nominating someone is simple, so we want to see as many worthy people as possible nominated and considered for these annual awards.”

Previous winners include, Mark Hughes, whose Foundation has raised more than $1.75 million for brain cancer research, Newcastle refugee advocate Sister Diana Santleben and legendary wheelchair athlete Kurt Fearnley.

Junior John Hunter Hospital doctor Bhavi Ravindran was named 2019 Young Citizen of the Year while Luisa Amosa, Charlotte Boulus and Mae Anagnostis were recognised for starting The Y Project, which hosts safe space events for young people, and raises awareness about social justice and environmental issues.

Nominees must be residents of the Newcastle local government area, except for Community Group of the Year which can be from outside the LGA in exceptional circumstances.

They must also be Australian citizens and must be turning at least 16 years of age in 2019.

Hard-copy nomination forms can be downloaded from City of Newcastle’s website and can also be completed and lodged online. A panel of judges will consider each nomination on its merits, with the awards presented at a ceremony on Australia Day, 2020. Nominations close on Sunday 8 December.