A new year brings new stories and we’re asking you to nominate the individuals or groups in communities around the Hunter who are doing things to make a difference or helping others.
Each week in 2019, the Newcastle Herald will profile someone doing something extraordinary in and for the community to find this year’s Hunter Water Hunter Hero.
It could a paid position, a voluntary role or an unofficial endeavour.
From sport to business, education to charity, music to health and the armed forces to emergency services.
In the past six years, the Herald has profiled hundreds of these individuals.
Every year finalists are chosen through a public vote and a yearly winner selected by a judging panel.
Past winners include:
2018: Leanne White – Maitland Neighbourhood Centre community worker.
Organised children’s breakfast and holiday programs at Woodberry Neighbourhood Centre, which had a huge impact with local kids.
2017: Toby Kable – All Ability Sports Coaching
Established Hunter-based All Ability Sports Coaching – a sporting organisation geared towards supporting people with an intellectual disability. The program gave participants the chance to hone their skills, and then showcase those skills in a game. The end goal was about building self-esteem and confidence.
2016: Geraldine Moran – Centre For Hope founder
Ms Moran was recognised her work in establishing the Centre For Hope, a Hunter organisation that aimed to give disadvantaged young people strategies to deal with adversities.
Through Centre For Hope, Ms Moran established a bike shed project called Wheels For Hope, and a drop-in centre in Mount Hutton.
2015: Michael Phillips – Camp Quality fundraiser
A Central Coast financial planner who became a volunteer companion with Camp Quality in 2006.
Went on to win the Camp Quality’s national volunteer of the year award after he helped raise more than $1 million for the charity through the 1000 K’s For Kids bike ride.
2014: Denis Young – Cancer charity volunteer
Mr Young was in his 30s and visiting a friend’s son, who suffered from a brain tumour, when the young boy’s Camp Quality companion arrived.
Decided to take on a similar role and spent 24 years volunteering for the children’s cancer charity.
2013: Dave Robertson – Newy parkrun event director and running advocate
Inaugural winner of the yearly Hunter Hero award for his work with global phenomenon parkrun.
A driving force behind the running revival in the Hunter in 2013.
Mr Robertson helped establish the popular parkrun events in Newcastle, Maitland, Speers Point, Fingal Bay and at Blackbutt Reserve.