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Paralympian Lauren Parker urges residents to nominate a local hero


Paralympian Lauren Parker is encouraging residents to nominate for City of Newcastle’s 2023 Citizen of the Year Awards.

The local Commonwealth Games and World Championships para-triathlete collected this year’s crown from an impressive array of candidates.

“It’s an honour to carry,” she said.

“I was proud to be crowned Citizen of the Year and to represent Newcastle on the world stage.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes with Paralympian and 2022 Newcastle Citizen of the Year Lauren Parker.

“I love competing and to do so with the full support and recognition of my hometown means so much to me, especially when facing obstacles and challenges along the way.

“I’m so happy that I can show to the people of Newcastle that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.

“I hope that my sporting success has brought hope to many people of the community.”

Categories include Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year and Community Group of the Year within the Newcastle LGA.

The 2023 winners, who’ll be selected by a panel and announced at a ceremony in January, will join an esteemed list of past recipients, including Parker, fellow Paralympian Kurt Fearnley OAM and Australia’s first recognised Indigenous surgeon Professor Kelvin Kong, who is a finalist in the 2023 NSW Australian of the Year Awards. 

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the annual event was a great opportunity to reflect on the achievements of Novocastrians over the past year. 

“It’s been another challenging 12 months as we emerge from a global pandemic that has left an indelible mark on our community,” she explained.

“Consider who among you has made a difference – it could be a friend, neighbour, colleague or local community group – and nominate them for City of Newcastle’s 2023 Citizen of the Year Awards. 

“This is your chance to tell us whose efforts deserve formal recognition.

“It’s quick and easy and nominations can be submitted online.” 

Nominations are now open online at until 5pm on Friday 25 November.

Nominees will be judged by the City of Newcastle Award Panel consisting of the Lord Mayor, CEO, councillors, The Grainery Church Pastor Sue Irwin and the current Citizen of the Year Award holders.  

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