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Hunter Wetlands Centre gets $20,000 business upgrade

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Hunter Wetlands Centre has welcomed a new-look conference space, thanks to a $20,000 joint funding donation from Glencore Coal and Port Waratah Coal Services.  

The freshly-completed area includes new wiring, upgraded equipment and an 85-inch presentation system. 

Finished in a contemporary style, the space means the Shortland-based facility can now welcome conference and meeting bookings for local community groups, corporate businesses and government organisations. 

conference facility
Hunter Wetlands Centre conference space has been upgraded thanks to a $20,000 donation.

Coincidently, the unveiling of the conference space falls in the centre’s 40th year of operation. 

From swampland and rubbish dump to the marshy Marist Rugby grounds and now an internationally-recognised area, the Hunter Wetlands Centre marks four decades of dedication to conservation, education, and community engagement.  

Hunter Wetlands Centre general manager James Wilson said he was excited to reveal the renovations and invite the corporate and community groups of Newcastle to make use of the space.  

“The new-look space will have a truly positive impact across all aspects of the centre,” he explained.  

“Not only will the renovated space provide our volunteers with a professional training space, but also greatly improve the meeting facilities for our community partners. 

“By providing a modern, well-equipped space we can expand our offerings to corporate and government organisations.  

“The financial sustainability this provides our centre will help us keep entry costs low and support the conservation and restoration of the wetlands. 

“Funding donations for projects such as this, help us strengthen our connection with our community, and increase the number of people that can engage with, learn about, and enjoy our beautiful wetlands.” 

The Hunter Wetlands Centre expects that with the completion of the renovation works, upwards of 22,000 people will enjoy the benefits of the upgraded conference space annually. 

Bookings of the new conference space are now open and can be done via the Hunter Wetlands Centre website. 

HWC is a community run not-for-profit organisation helping to restore and protect the wetlands environment around Newcastle. 

History of the Hunter Wetlands Centre:

Dr Max Maddock, Professor of Education at the University of Newcastle, leased part of the wetlands site for grazing horses. While on the site, Dr Maddock noticed four species of Egrets had established a breeding colony in trees in what is now known as Malaleuca Swamp. From this seemingly minor interaction, Dr Maddock developed a remarkable vision to restore the site from a rugby field to a Wetlands Education Centre.

In 1983, the local council announced plans to fill the remnant wetlands to make way for Lorna St dump and to build State highway 23 across the wetlands. Through his renowned passion, Max with his newly established Wetlands Group was able to lobby the government to put a halt to both these plans, and the site was declared a wildlife sanctuary.

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