At their June luncheon, the Newcastle Business Club (NBC) recognised individuals and an organisation that have made significant contributions towards the commonweal of the Hunter region.
Joel Pilgram was announced by NBC President, Craig Wellings, as the winner of the Youth Award for 2019.
Joel is a mental health advocate and founder of the mental health surf therapy charity, the Waves of Wellness (WOW) Foundation.
“At the WOW Foundation, Joel and his team are pioneering evidence-based surf therapy intervention in mental health on our beautiful Newcastle beaches with a vision to roll out international programs,” Mr. Wellings said.
“Under his direction, WOW is expanding programs nationally, addressing the need for innovative solutions in the mental health space, bringing that difference to a broader community, providing additional outreach, resources and people power to create long lasting impact.”
Joel is also a university lecturer and international speaker who is constantly inspiring conversations surrounding mental health in a diverse range of settings, including schools, corporate workplaces and everything in between.
This was followed by the presentation of the Individual Award to Catherine Henry, the founder and principal of Catherine Henry Lawyers, a highly successful Newcastle practice specialising in health, relationship and elder law.
Catherine is also a member and past president of the Newcastle Law Society and is currently an executive committee member of Women Lawyers NSW, and founder of its Newcastle Chapter.
“Her involvement in seeking to improve the business community, her profession, the plight of women and vulnerable people within the community as well as the lives of those who have suffered at the hands of others demonstrates Catherine’s significant contribution to the greater good of Newcastle,” Mr. Wellings said.
“Newcastle Business Club are proud to present Catherine with this individual accolade, for her legal acumen and advocacy and commitment to the commonweal of Newcastle and the wider Hunter region.”
The final award for the day, the Organisation Award, was presented to Soul Café.
In presenting the award he said that Soul Cafe play an integral role in catering for the needs of the homeless and highly disadvantaged within the Newcastle community.
“Soul Cafe provide hundreds of free sit-down and take-away meals to people in need,” Mr. Wellings said. “But the work of Soul Cafe is more than just a simple meal – they are about restoring dignity to people in the community who are doing it tough.”
“Many of Soul Cafe’s guests are dealing with issues of homelessness, drug, alcohol or gambling addiction, crime or violence, poverty, separation, mental health issues or illness. These free meals are an avenue to link cafe guests with support services and re-engage with society once again,” Mr. Wellings continued.
The Newcastle Business Club Annual Awards recognise a younger (under 35) person, an individual and a company/organisation each year who have made a significant contribution toward the improvement of industry, culture, education, sport or the overall wellbeing of the citizens of Newcastle.
Each award winner is presented with a framed photograph of The Summer House by E.Hilda Rix-Nicholas, as well as an overview of their recognised accomplishments.
The original painting was purchased in 1976 by the Newcastle Business Club and presented to Newcastle Region Art Gallery for the benefit of the people of the region. It is a lasting gift to mark the inauguration of the Annual Award to an individual and organisation from the region who (or which) has made a major contribution to the commonweal of the city.
The Newcastle Business Community also celebrated HVTC, Hunter Water and Will Wright, Managing Director of Douglas Partners at the Hunter Diversity Awards on 18 June, 2019.
The awards are an annual event which encourage the celebration of those who have discovered what works in making their organisation or community a fairer, more equitable and more successful place to live and work.
Chair of the Diversity Awards, Liz Baker said the awards celebrate the diversity and success of businesses and people in the Hunter region.
“We are delighted to present our Organisation Diversity Champion award to HVTC and offer highly commended to Hunter Water. These organisations support diversity though inclusiveness, flexibility and focussed program to encourage inclusion in their organisations,” she said.
HVTC has developed a wide range of initiatives at an Indigenous Employment Strategy to provide new apprenticeships and traineeships for indigenous people and it has doubled the industry benchmark in its Strategic Plan to increase the level of women in non-traditional trades.
The Individual Diversity Champion, Will Wright of Douglas Partners was recognised for pioneering the firm’s diversity strategy which has initiated unconscious bias training, pay-gap analyses, diverse recruitment strategies and flexible work opportunities for all staff.
The Diversity Awards were presented by the Equal Futures Project at the Newcastle Business Club lunch and are made possible by sponsorship from Strategic Group.
IMAGE | Soul Café’s Rick Prosser, NBC President Craig Wellings and Catherine Henry (left – right)
Since 1933 people from the Newcastle and Hunter business community have met for a luncheon to hear from speakers who present their views, opinions and directions in business and the wider community.
Newcastle Business Club guest speakers have included high profile community members, management experts, business people, politicians and people from the areas of sport, arts and entertainment.