It was my great pleasure to name journalist and cancer research advocate Jill Emberson as Newcastle's Citizen of the Year for 2019 at our Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.
The Newcastle media personality, who was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer in 2016, was recognised for her contribution to journalism and advocacy in the fight against the disease. She's shown great courage to remain focused on delivering better outcomes for others.
Having worked in Australia and overseas, Emberson relocated to Newcastle in 2009 to join ABC radio. She spent seven years with the public broadcaster, covering the topic of cancer with survivors and medicos in interviews, before leaving to seek treatment for her terminal condition. While away, Emberson ramped up her advocacy efforts for more funding and research.
John Hunter Hospital doctor Bhavi Ravindran was named 2019 Young Citizen of the Year. The 24-year-old University of Newcastle graduate holds positions on medical boards and has worked with the United Nations and World Health Organisation on international population health projects.
A trio of Newcastle teenagers was named the 2019 Community Group of the Year. Luisa Amosa, Charlotte Boulus and Mae Anagnostis started The Y Project to create safe space events for young people, and to raise awareness about social justice and environmental issues.