High-flying finalists announced for Lake Mac Awards

Lake Macquarie City Council

Matildas World Cup star Emily Van Egmond is in the running for Lake Mac Ambassador.jpg

A cast of top guns are in the running to become the face of the city following the announcement of the Lake Mac Awards finalists for 2024.

From a Newcastle Jet to a philanthropic ace pilot, indefatigable mental health advocates and eco-warriors, the shortlist for this year’s Lake Mac Ambassador title is chock full of champion locals.

Matildas World Cup Superstar Emily van Egmond is joined by Air Race world champion and former Royal Australian Air Force top gun fighter pilot Matt Hall as high-profile names in the running for the main award.

Bailey Seamer, who walked 5,500 kilometres across the east coast of Australia in the name of mental health awareness, Survivors R Us founder Ann-Maria Martin, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Suicide Prevention Network CEO Bradley Dunn, MasterChef Australia contestant Stephanie de Sousa and climate change activist Anna Noon round out an eclectic list of prospective ambassadors.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said each finalist was worthy to receive the baton from 2023 ambassador Matt Dun as the new representative of the city.

“The Lake Mac Ambassador embodies the very best of our city and I’m beyond excited by this year’s crop of nominees,” she said.

“I’d like to thank Matt Dun for his wonderful tenure as ambassador and congratulate him on his success in his ongoing work to combat childhood cancer.”

Incumbent Lake Mac Ambassador Prof. Dun said serving as the city’s standout citizen of 2023, after being recognised for his incredible charity work and research into Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), had been a great honour.

“The privilege of being Lake Mac Ambassador 2023 has provided me with a wonderful platform to meet, interact and welcome Lake Macquarie’s newest Australian citizens – a remarkable experience given the many wonderfully varied journeys made by each on their way to becoming Australian,” he said.

“The role has also facilitated new opportunities to speak with elected State and National officials about increased advocacy and support of children and their families’ fighting cancer.”

Prof. Dun’s advocacy contributed to a recent Federal Government announcement of $20 million over seven years for clinical trials to find treatments for childhood brain cancers.

A total of 70 finalists have been named across 13 categories including the inaugural ‘Lake Mac Outstanding Contributor with Disability’. Finalists will be celebrated and winners announced at a prestigious gala dinner ceremony on 22 March.

The 2024 Lake Mac Awards are proudly supported by Avondale University and Allambi Care.

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