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2023 Lake Mac Awards – finalists announced


Local sporting icons, selfless seniors, aspirational artists and junior juggernauts making a big community difference feature in an eclectic list of finalists for the 2023 Lake Mac Awards.

Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser said this year’s crop of nominees represented the best qualities of the city’s diverse and talented community.

“We had a record number of entries this year and the quality was outstanding across the board,” she said.

“It’s always a treat to learn about the remarkable things people from Lake Mac are achieving, and a real honour to put them in the spotlight and celebrate their success stories.

“Some of our finalists have been in the headlines throughout the past year, while others have quietly worked quietly behind the scenes to make our city an even better place, but all are worthy of recognition.”

The 2023 awards will include an inaugural winner for Community Event of the Year, a new category acknowledging small and grassroots groups contributing to the social and cultural fabric of Lake Macquarie.

Finalists will be celebrated, and category winners announced, at a gala ceremony on 11 March 2023 at Belmont 16s.

Lake Mac Awards

2023 Lake Mac Awards finalists

Volunteering and community

Lake Mac Ambassador Award for outstanding contribution to the Lake Mac community

  • Cheyne Waddingham, Charlie’s Run 4 Kids
  • Matt Dun, Cancer Signalling Research Group
  • Victoria Carr, Community Hair Project

Lake Mac Volunteer of the Year 
for outstanding community contribution

  • Mark Carr, Charlie’s Run 4 Kids
  • Jacqueline Doyle, Belmont 16s
  • David Martin, Survivors R Us
  • Ali Kimmorley, Camp Quality
  • Ann Maria Martin, Survivors R Us
  • Gwen Gould, Valentine Bowling Club / various
  • Leah Buchanan, West Wallsend District Heritage Group Inc

Lake Mac Community Group of the Year 
for outstanding community contribution

  • Southlake Community Services Inc
  • Umbrella Hearts
  • ADRA Op Shop, Morisset
  • Survivors R Us
  • Swansea Meals on Wheels Inc

Lake Mac Young Citizen Award 
foroutstanding demonstration of leadership, skills and community contribution

  • Tiarnah Bartley
  • Sophie Berude
  • Jessica Dunn

Lake Mac Senior of the Year Award 
foroutstanding demonstration of leadership, skills and community contribution

  • Astrid Hocking
  • Gwen Gould
  • Stephanie Turner
  • Robert Starling

Lake Mac Community Event of the Year for an outstanding event in Lake Macquarie (new category)

  • Run for RUN DIPG
  • Community State Youth Community Football Championships
  • Caves Beach Connect
  • Opera Hunter
  • Music in the Podium
  • Lago Di Mac – Lap of the Lake


Lake Mac Young Sports Star for outstanding performance in junior sports

  • Erika Enderby, orienteering, athletics, cross country
  • Seth Charter-Smith, softball
  • Melissa Valentina Baez, karate
  • Ruby Jeffries, rugby league
  • Anika McCarthy, multisport
  • Noah Joyce, BMX

Lake Mac Sports Star 
for outstanding performance in sports

  • Blake Carr, athletics
  • Max Bristow, powerlifting
  • Alyssa Charter-Smith softball
  • Jesse Southwell, rugby league/rugby 7s
  • Jessica Noble, distance running
  • Caitlan Johnston, rugby league
  • Jenny Enderby, orienteering, triathlon, duathlon
  • Shaun Swadling, trampolining

Lake Mac Sports Leader Award
 for outstanding contribution to sporting life in Lake Macquarie City

  • Garry Dore, Newcastle Northstars Ice Hockey Club
  • Garden Suburb Football Club, football
  • Matt Abbott, tennis
  • Keenan Marsden, water polo
  • Russell Grundy, skateboarding


Lake Mac Artist and Creator Award for demonstrating excellence in the field of arts and creative production

  • Edward Clarkson
  • Jess Day
  • Forbidden Fruit Photography
  • Sean Thomas Bell
  • Mandy Bourke

Lake Mac Arts Leader Award 
for outstanding contribution to the arts (group or individual)

  • Dennis Blanch


Lake Mac Environmental Leader Award for outstanding contribution to the Lake Macquarie environment (group or individual)

  • Christine Mastello
  • George Lopes
  • OzHarvest
  • Wendy Davidson
  • Robyn Charlton

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