The City of Newcastle Ambassador Program

On 27 July 2017, a Lord Mayoral Minute was presented to City of Newcastle Councillors regarding the establishment of a Newcastle Ambassador Program.

The purpose of the Ambassador Program is to highlight the efforts of Novocastrians, across all sectors, both residing in our City and other parts of Australia and the world, in promoting our City, as well as to give promotion to those in our community who work without recognition or acknowledgement.

The Program sits within the office of the Chief Executive Officer and is a more informal acknowledgment of excellence when compared with the formal acknowledgments of excellence in the community. These include Freeman of the City, Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the year and Community Group of the Year.

City of Newcastle Ambassador Program Inductees

  1. Businesswoman, television personality, philanthropist and anti-domestic violence campaigner, Jackie Gillies. Ms Gillies was recognised for her regular promotion of Newcastle over a global television and social media audience.
  2. The Youth With a Mission (YWAM) medical vessel, The Ruach, whose home port is Newcastle, for their work in Papua New Guinea. The ship and her crew of medical professionals provide primary healthcare services in order to address infant mortality rates, deaths during childbirths, as well as disease control and general medical care.
  3. The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG. Justice Kirby was recognised due to his long-time connection and commitment to the City through the University of Newcastle and family connections.
  4. Newcastle Eye Hospital Foundation, for its tireless work restoring sight to disadvantaged people overseas. Established in 2013, the Foundation funds more than 2,000 operations each year in Indian communities where locals have gone blind from cataracts and can't afford the simple surgical procedure.
  5. Breast Cancer Trials, formerly known as the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia and the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, which has spent the past 40 years finding new and better treatments and prevention strategies for people affected by breast cancer.
  6. Outgoing University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen. Ms McMillen has been instrumental in Newcastle's growing status as a smart, liveable and sustainable global city and has been a formidable ally in our quest to transform Newcastle into a magnet city.
  7. Naval Officer Anita Sellick, a born-and-bred Novocastrian, was presented a Key to the City as tribute to her Newcastle roots and her formidable achievement, as a woman, rising through the ranks of one of Australia's most respected, traditionally male-dominated institutions.
  8. Director of the National Gallery of Australia and former Newcastle Art Gallery Director, Nick Mitzevich, for his service to the arts. During his tenure at Newcastle Art Gallery, Mr Mitzevich brought community engagement, programming, marketing and collection development to the fore, and remains today a passionate advocate for the Newcastle Art Gallery redevelopment.
  9. Her Excellency the Hon. Patricia Forsythe AM received a Key to the City in recognition of her lifelong service to democracy, diplomacy and business. Appointed as the Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Cook Islands and Niue in March 2019, Mrs Forsythe began her remarkable career in public service in Newcastle as a secondary history teacher at Jesmond High School and Newcastle Grammar School before being elected to the NSW Parliament as a Member of the Legislative Council in May 1991.

1. Jackie Gillies with husband Ben Gillies and family

2. YWAM - Youth with a Mission - David Stephenson

3. The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG 

4. Dr Peter Davies Newcastle Eye Hospital Foundation

5. Dr Soozy Smith, CEO, Professor John Forbes AM, Founder, Professor Bruce Mann, Chair - Breast Cancer Trials

6. Outgoing University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen

7. Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes honouring HMAS Newcastle Commander Anita Sellick with Federal Senator Arthur Sinodinis 

8. Director of the National Gallery of Australia, Nick Mitzevich

9. Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Cook Islands and Niue, Her Excellency the Hon. Patricia Forsythe AM