On 8 June 1859 Newcastle Municipal Council was one of the first local councils created in the State after legislation was passed in 1858. The first Council boundaries covered a small area in the inner city and served a population of 2,400. The first 12 councillors were elected by 350 property owners. James Hannell was elected as the first mayor.
Suburban councils in Wallsend/Plattsburg, Lambton, New Lambton, Waratah, Wickham, Hamilton, Carrington, Adamstown, Merewether and Stockton amalgamated with Newcastle City Council to become The City of Greater Newcastle Council in 1938. The former mayor of Waratah, Arthur Griffiths was elected mayor of Greater Newcastle
Newcastle was declared a Lord Mayoralty in 1948 with Ald H. D. Quinlan as the City’s first Lord Mayor. In 1974 Joy Cummings was elected as the first female Lord Mayor in Newcastle and Australia.
Some of the Council’s legacies include the construction of the Civic Theatre and City Hall, Blackbutt Reserve, and the redevelopment of the Newcastle Harbour foreshore.
The first identified Council crest used at various times before the 1961 official seal and coat or arms can still be seen on the front of the Cultural Centre building in Laman Street.
The crest features coal, wool and ships as a sign of the dominance of these trades in the 19th century. The motto in Latin, Finis Coronat Opus literally means "the end crowns the work" or "all's well that ends well."
In 1961 the Royal College of Arms in London granted the Council what is now the official seal and coat of and of the City of Newcastle and is proudly displayed on the wall of the Council chambers in City Hall. The motto Enterprise signifies the spirit of the citizens of Newcastle, with the design features of a ship, seagulls, lighthouse, sand, fleece, coal and a wheel, reflecting its trade and industry.
The modern logo now seen on all publications was adopted in 1993. The symbol is inspired by the city's Civic Fountain, regarded as one of the most distinguished landmarks in the city and one of the finest civic fountains in Australia.
Official City Colours
The city's official colours adopted in 1923 are Cinnamon Brown and Emerald Green which belonged to Newcastle's Own 35th Battalion whose members had served with distinction and suffered enormous casualties in WW1.