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Dr Durrheim speaks to guests at the ceremony

Lake Macquarie City has honoured public health crusader Dr David Durrheim with the prestigious title of Freeman for his outstanding contribution to public health and unwavering dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser presented the honour at a formal ceremony on Monday night, attended by Dr Durrheim's family, friends, and colleagues.

As the Director of Health Protection with Hunter New England Health since 2004, Dr. Durrheim became a household name during the pandemic, serving as the Public Health Controller for the district's COVID-19 response.

"His ability to convey complex scientific and medical information in an understandable way kept residents well-informed and calm during an unprecedented time of fear and uncertainty," Cr Fraser said.

Cr Fraser commended Dr. Durrheim's exceptional leadership and added, "Lake Macquarie is fortunate to have such a capable and committed leader. We're honoured to bestow the Freedom of the City upon Dr Durrheim—a worthy celebration and recognition of his immense and ongoing contributions to our community."

The Freeman of the City honour recognises individuals for their outstanding achievements and dedicated services to the community over their lifetime. Dr Durrheim is only the tenth recipient of this honour in the past 40 years, with performing arts advocate Mercia Buck being the most recent recipient in 2021.



City of Newcastle is investing nearly $450K to triple the number of public electric vehicle (EV) charger ports across the city, catering to the growing number of EV owners who live in or visit Newcastle. Thirty-two ports across 11 new locations will be installed, supported by a $270K grant from the NSW Government's Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said that delivering the necessary public infrastructure to support the community's EV uptake is essential to the city's vision for a net-zero transition, a key priority under the Newcastle Environment Strategy.

"We applaud the NSW Government's commitment to making NSW the easiest and most affordable place to buy and use an EV in Australia and thank them for their support in driving our sustainability initiatives forward in Newcastle," Cr Nelmes said.

NSW Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe said the government is delivering on its commitment to increase EV uptake by investing $4.1 million to install 671 EV charging ports at 391 sites across the state.

City of Newcastle will install new chargers in Beresfield, Georgetown, Stockton, Adamstown, Mayfield, Hamilton, New Lambton, Newcastle, Newcastle East, Wallsend, and Wickham. They will join the existing public EV charging network and be powered by 100% renewable energy



Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Cr Elizabeth Adamczyk celebrate National Volunteer Week with some of City of Newcastle's dedicated volunteers during a morning tea at City Hall.

The City of Newcastle has celebrated the dedication of over 250 volunteers who contributed more than 6000 hours of service to the community during the past year. Their efforts were acknowledged during a special morning tea held at City Hall to mark National Volunteer Week, Australia's largest annual celebration of volunteering.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes expressed gratitude for the selfless volunteers who contribute to strengthening the Newcastle


"Today is about thanking, recognising, and acknowledging the amazing work our volunteers do across Newcastle," Cr Nelmes said.

"Each of them positively contributes by helping out at facilities, events, or with special programs and initiatives."

The theme for this year's National Volunteer Week, "something for everyone," resonates in Newcastle, where volunteers from all walks of life lend their time, skills, and passion to the various City of Newcastle facilities and projects, including Landcare sites, Libraries, the Museum, Gallery, Civic Playhouse, and major events.

Among the attendees was Robert Clifton, a retiree and avid bushwalker who has dedicated 14 years of his life to volunteering with Landcare. As part of the Obelisk Hill - Arcadia Park group, he has contributed to the planting of over 10,000 native plants and the maintenance of the local environment.

"I have always been passionate about the environment, so when my walking group decided to give back by caring for the land around Newcastle's Obelisk, I wanted to help," Mr Clifton said.

"Our core group of 25 people now meet most Fridays and work for around three hours before stopping for morning tea. It is good exercise in the fresh air and a great way to meet new people. We all started out as strangers and have since become friends."

The City of Newcastle continues to recognise the invaluable support and dedication of its volunteers, inviting expressions

of interest for new volunteering opportunities through its website.


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