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Matt Hall named 2024 Lake Mac Ambassador

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Matt Hall has been named the 2024 Lake Mac Ambassador.

The former RAAF pilot and Red Bull Air Race World Champion was rewarded for his contributions as a Lake Mac businessman at an award ceremony held at Belmont 16s on 22nd March.

Hall, who featured as the Newcastle Weekly cover star in November 2023, takes the reins from last year’s winner and cancer researcher Professor Matt Dun.

Unable to attend the event due to Grand Prix commitments in Melbourne, Hall spoke of his bond with the region in a pre-recorded acceptance speech.

“I’m a Lake Macquarie guy through and through and I’m super-proud of our city,” he said.

“I bring international guests over all the time and I take them up in the plane or the helicopter and show them the lake and they just can’t believe it.”

Matt Hall has been named the 2024 Lake Mac Ambassador

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser commended the 52-year-old for competing in eight Red Bull Air Race championships, culminating in his win in the competition’s final year in 2019, and continuing to run Matt Hall Racing from Lake Macquarie Airport.

“Beyond that, Matt supports many charitable causes and tirelessly champions Lake Macquarie and what our city has to offer,” Cr Fraser said.

“He has served his country and his home city with distinction, and I know he will continue to fly our flag wherever he can in his new role as Lake Mac Ambassador.”

Sophie Berude – Lake Mac 2024 Young Citizen of the Year

Teenager Sophie Berude was named Young Citizen of the Year for the second year running for her continued work raising money for John Hunter Children’s Hospital.

The leukemia survivor has raised more than $40,000 over the past seven years and was recognised as ‘One to Watch’ at this year’s NSW Women of the Year Awards.

Hunter Mountain Bike Association took out the Community Group of the Year award for its work making the Awaba Mountain Bike Park one of Australia’s premier mountain-biking destinations.

The group played a key role in securing this month’s successful AusCycling MTB National Championships for Lake Macquarie.

ABC presenter and author Scott Bevan was named Lake Mac Artist and Creator for 2024.

Bevan’s enchanting book, The Lake, charts his journey around Lake Mac aboard a kayak, as well as its colourful history and characters.

“I’m a writer, and often I turn water into words, then in turn I turn words into an expression of my love of where I am, where I live,” Bevan said.

“And for me, the lake is very much at the centre of that – in a physical and geographical sense, but somewhere much deeper in my heart and my soul, and very much flowing through the words that I write.”

Cr Fraser congratulated all the night’s winners and finalists, selected from a record pool of nominees.

“These are people and organisations doing wonderful things for Lake Macquarie,” she said.

“The Lake Mac Awards are an opportunity to give them the recognition and appreciation they so richly deserve.”

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