A year in review: September 2020


September marked the beginning of spring in the Hunter and, unfortunately, the start of the swooping season.

In the latest entry to the Newcastle Weekly’s year in review, we’re looking at the best stories from the month of September.

Musician urges community to check in on their mates

In September, Newcastle Weekly featured the story of Jacob Ridgeway, a man who believes one simple question could help save a life.

The Newcastle-based musician and R U OK? ambassador urged the community to check in on their mates during their annual event on Thursday 10 September.

“R U OK? Day is important because asking that question might be the last time we get to ask that to someone,” he said.

“It has the potential to save a life, especially in the times that we are in now.”

To read more about R U OK?, visit our website

Newcastle musician and R U OK? ambassador Jacob Ridgeway at King Edward Park ahead of the annual event. Photo: Peter Stoop

Dads encouraged to share their journey

A miscarriage is a devastating loss.

For Lake Macquarie-based dad Nathan Andrews, it was one of the hardest times of his life.

“My partner and I were trying to fall pregnant for about 18 months, and it just wasn’t happening,” he said.

“[When] we finally fell pregnant, we lost the baby within 12 weeks, so we were devastated.”

For more on Nathan’s journey, read on

Mum’s book a unique way to share memories

Newcastle mum Kate Worrall has published a book entitled ‘Little Reminders’ to help children deal with grief.

When Kate Worrall’s eldest son turned five, she felt it was time to introduce him to “Ma Debbie”.

Debbie was her mother-in-law. She’d lost her battle with cancer in 2009, years before she had the opportunity to meet either of Kate’s young sons.

Wanting to share the memory of Debbie with her boys, the Novocastrian created a new children’s book entitled Little Reminders.

“The boys had a sense of why there were not two grandmas in their family,” Kate said.

To read on, visit our website

Former tennis coach charged over alleged indecent assaults

Todd Woods, a former tennis coach, faced court in September after being charged following an investigation into alleged child indecent assault offences in the Hunter Region.

In June 2017, detectives from Hunter Valley Police District commenced an investigation into alleged indecent assault offences committed against a teenage girl in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

For the full story, visit our website

Chris Hemsworth in the Hunter

In September, Aussie heartthrob Chris Hemsworth was spotted in the Hunter. 

Two Muswellbrook residents were lucky enough to meet the star in Gundy, near Scone.

Hemsworth was at the Linga Longa Inn for lunch.

Newcastle Weekly previously broke the news of Hemsworth landing at Scone Airport.

For more, visit our website.

Prime Minister visits Hunter to reveal energy plan

In September, Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the Hunter to discuss the Federal Government’s energy plan. 

Whilst in our region, the PM visited WestRac Tomago and gave an address to the Hunter Business Chamber. 

He said a taskforce had assessed the potential impacts of Liddell’s closure in 2023 and found wholesale prices could jump by 30%, or $20 per megawatt (MW) hour, if the station’s capacity was not replaced before it shuts down.  

“We estimate that some 1,000 MW of new dispatchable generation is needed to keep prices down, and we intend to do something about it,” he said.

For the full story, visit our website

Couple’s dedication to helping children

For Maitland’s Sharron Thomas, becoming a foster carer was a chance to give children a safe place to call home.

“It’s not easy but it is very rewarding,” she says.

“I suppose knowing that you’re offering a home to children whose parents can’t care for them is the best part.

“These kids deserve to feel loved and safe.”

The mother of four aims to make every child that passes through her door feel like part of the family.

To see Sharron’s story in full, visit our website

Foster care
Sharron Thomas with her husband Matthew at their home in Bolwarra. Photo: Peter Stoop

Morpeth residents concerned over development plans

In September, Newcastle Weekly featured the battle of Morpeth residents to halt the development of a housing complex in the historic town. 

Local developer Hilton Grugeon was behind plans for 130 dwellings as part of an affordable housing development called ‘Morpeth Mews.’

The Morpeth Resident Action Group says the plans don’t comply with the heritage nature of the town, and has launched letter box drops and posted signs out the front of their homes in protest.

“The concern most residents have is that Morpeth’s footprint hasn’t changed since 1840 and this will significantly change it,” Morpeth Resident Action Group founder Sarah-Jane Dunford said. 

To read the story, click here.  

Residents of Morpeth are up in arms over plans for 130 dwellings to be built in the town. Photo: Peter Stoop