Recently Newcastle City Council staff developed four organisational values which will guide our behaviour at work.

We believe in co-operation, respect, excellence and well-being. We are focusing on working together as an organisation, helping and supporting each other to do the best we can, respecting diverse views and opinions and acting with integrity.

It is solid values such as these that drive many members of our community to generously contribute to the welfare and well-being of others, often without recognition or reward.

The City of Newcastle stages two events each year which seek to reward outstanding contributions made by an individual and by groups to our community and city.

These accolades are known as the community awards and Australia Day awards and recognise outstanding effort and achievement towards advancing values like a fair go, democracy, integrity, diversity, participation, endeavour and service.

They acknowledge the leadership provided by ordinary people doing extraordinary things, or the ordinary things people do extraordinarily well.

The community awards recognise outstanding effort and achievement by Newcastle individuals or community groups.

There are three levels of awards including the Freeman of the City, the City of Newcastle Medal and the Service Award.

The most prestigious is Freeman of the City. It goes to an individual who has provided the highest level of service to Newcastle, Australia or humanity. Historically the Freeman of the City award has been given rarely. The award dates back to ancient times, when an exceptional person was recognised and given privileges that extended beyond the law. That is, they were given the ‘‘run of the city’’ and hero status.

The Australia Day awards recognise achievement in the fields of arts, sport, the environment, community service, career, or sustainable development.

The Citizen of the Year is presented to the individual judged to have made the most outstanding contribution to Newcastle in any field. The Young Citizen is presented to the individual under the age of 27 who has made the most outstanding contribution.

The Community Group of the Year is presented to the cultural, social, educational, environmental or sporting group which has made a significant contribution to the community as a whole or to a specific community.

The program aims to celebrate community spirit, raise awareness of the many contributions people make individually and together, and recognise ambassadorship.

The awards honour those people or groups whose contributions have made them role models for other Novocastrians.

If you know someone who deserves to be acknowledged go to or phone 49742841 for a nomination form.

Phil Pearce is Newcastle City Council’s general manager.

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