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A year in review: March 2020


In March, the world seemingly came to a stop with the spread of coronavirus. Restrictions were imposed and the pandemic began.

Throughout the year, Newcastle Weekly has brought you good news stories while keeping you up to date with what is going on. Here are a few of our top stories from March.

Mosquito mayhem leaves the Hunter itching

While rains were a blessing for drought-ravaged farmers in March, for city-dwellers, it meant an onslaught of backyard mosquitoes.

The unwanted creatures were humming across the Hunter in vast numbers, with many repellent suppliers struggling to keep up with customer demand.

Despite the lack of any confirmed increase in numbers at the time, Hunter New England Public Health physician Dr Tony Merritt said the sheer volume of the pesky parasite was not unprecedented.

For the full story, click here.

The facts on coronavirus

While the mosquitos left us itching, a lot of us were also scratching our heads in an attempt to understand what COVID-19 was and how it impacted our region.

So, Newcastle Weekly journalist Elizabeth Syminton sat down with leading Hunter doctor Lee Fong to discuss the coronavirus and share some facts with our readers.

You can find the full Q&A here.

Knights’ season on hold as NRL suspends 2020 competition

COVID-19 put a stop to thousands of events across the Hunter, including the National Rugby League (NRL) matches.

The NRL made the decision to suspend its 2020 season in a bid to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The season was put on pause for about six weeks, leaving many wondering when, or if, it would return.

For the full story, click here.

Surf therapy program makes a splash

We caught up with the founders of surf therapy charity Surfing the Spectrum.

The local charity has been changing the lives of children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder since its inception.

Aimee Blacker and Tahlia Anderson started the organisation because they had seen the benefits of surf therapy for kids in a therapeutic sense and how much they were getting out of it compared to other “traditional approaches”.

To read more about the charity, click here.

surf therapy
Surfing the Spectrum founders Aimee Blacker and Tahlia Anderson at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Peter Stoop

Community service drives on through pandemic

Meals on Wheels Newcastle remained dedicated to feeding people “no matter what” as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the country.

The organisation’s General Manager, Damien Isaacs, said its branches helped so many vulnerable people in the local community during the trying time.

While volunteers focused on delivering food, they also developed a program to promote social connection.

For more, click here.

Meals on Wheels Newcastle volunteers Mick Day, Wayne Hohol and Carmel Prest at the Booragul branch. Photo: Peter Stoop

Green thumb growing city’s plant community

Green Thumb Social is Jessica William’s passion project.

The plant lover started the event in 2019 as a way of bringing people who love nature together. During each event, social people gather, swap plants and produce and connect.

To read the full story, click here.

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