Nominations now open for City of Newcastle 2022 Citizen of the Year Awards

18 Oct 2021

As another challenging year draws to a close, City of Newcastle is calling for nominations for its 2022 Citizen of the Year Awards to recognise the strength, resilience and excellence of Novocastrians.

Nominations are being sought for Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year and Community Group of the Year, with consideration given across each category to nominees’ community contributions throughout 2021.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the awards recognised the outstanding achievements of everyday Novocastrians.

“This year has been just as, if not more, testing than 2020, with the Newcastle community feeling the sustained effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Cr Nelmes said.

“The City of Newcastle 2022 Citizen of the Year Awards are our opportunity to formally acknowledge those among us who have risen to the challenge to improve, innovate, support and lead – it could be your neighbour, friend or colleague.”

The 2022 recipients, to be announced at an award ceremony in January, will be in esteemed company. Past Citizens of the Year include Indigenous ENT surgeon Professor Kelvin Kong; ovarian cancer awareness campaigner and ABC radio presenter, the late Jill Emberson; and three-time Paralympic gold medalist Kurt Fearnley OAM.

A proud Worimi man and passionate advocate for health equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, devoting time to working in remote Australian communities and contributing to vital research at the Hunter Medical Research Institute, Dr Kong has ascended from Associate Professor to Professor during his time as 2021 Citizen of the Year.

“I was humbled to accept the award earlier this year on behalf of all of Newcastle, following proudly in the footsteps of such extraordinary Novocastrians including Jill Emberson, whom I admire to this day,” Prof Kong said.

“I am honoured as your 2021 Citizen of the Year to represent First Nations people who have been practicing medicine in this country for 60,000 years. This important work does not stop when I pass the baton to the 2022 Citizen of the Year, whose contributions I’m certain will further exemplify what the award means and the recognition it brings.”

Nominations are now open online at or via hardcopy form available on the website or at City of Newcastle’s City Administration Centre. Nominations close 5pm Wednesday 17 November 2021 and will be judged by the City of Newcastle Award Panel consisting of the Lord Mayor, CEO, Councillors, The Grainery Church Pastor Sue Irwin and the current Citizen of the Year Award holders.