Durrheim Awarded Freeman Of City

Lake Macquarie City Council

Mayor Kay Fraser pins the Freeman of the City medal onto Dr Durrheim's jacket.jpg

Public health crusader Dr David Durrheim has been made a Freeman of Lake Macquarie City for his outstanding contribution to public health and his unwavering dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser presented the honour at a formal ceremony on Monday night, with Dr Durrheim’s family, friends and colleagues watching on.

Dr Durrheim, who has served as the Director of Health Protection with Hunter New England Health since 2004, became a household name during the pandemic as the Public Health Controller for the district’s COVID-19 response.

“His ability to convey complex scientific and medical information in an understandable way kept residents well-informed and calm during an unprecedented time of fear and uncertainty,” Cr Fraser said.

“Lake Macquarie is fortunate to have such a capable and committed leader. We’re honoured to bestow the Freedom of the City upon Dr Durrheim – a worthy celebration and recognition of his immense and ongoing contributions to our community.”

The Freeman of the City honour recognises individuals for their outstanding achievements and dedicated services to the community over their lifetime.

Just nine other people have been handed the title in the past 40 years, with performing arts advocate Mercia Buck the most recent previous recipient, in 2021.

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