The City of Newcastle Ambassador Program

On 27 July 2017, a Lord Mayoral Minute was presented to the City of Newcastle Councillors regarding the establishment of a Newcastle Ambassador Program.

The purpose of the Ambassador Program is to highlight the efforts of Novocastrians, across all sectors, both residing in our City or other parts of Australia or the world, in promoting our City, as well as to give promotion to those in our community who work without recognition or acknowledgement.

The Program sits within the office of the Chief Executive Officer and is a more informal acknowledgment of excellence when compared with the formal acknowledgments of excellence in the community. These include Freeman of the City, Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the year and Community Group of the Year.
  1. Recent inductees into the program include Novocastrian, Jackie Gillies, a businesswoman, television personality, philanthropist and anti-domestic violence campaigner. She was recognised because of her regular promotion of Newcastle over a global television and social media audience.
  2. The Youth With a Mission (YWAM) medical vessel, The Ruach, whose home port is Newcastle, was the second recipient of the Newcastle Ambassador Program for their work in Papua New Guinea. The ship and her crew of medical professionals provide primary healthcare services in order to address appalling infant mortality rates, deaths during childbirths, as well as disease control and general medical care.
  3. The Program's third recipient is The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG. Justice Kirby was recognised due to his long time connection and commitment to the City through the University of Newcastle and family connections.
  4. Newcastle Eye Hospital Foundation for its tireless work restoring sight to disadvantaged people overseas. Established in 2013, the Foundation funds more than 2000 operations each year in Indian communities where locals have gone blind from cataracts and can't afford the simple surgical procedure.
  5. Breast Cancer Trials, formerly known as the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia and the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, has spent the past 40 years finding new and better treatments and prevention strategies for people affected by breast cancer.
  6. Outgoing University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen. Caroline has been instrumental in Newcastle's growing status as a smart, liveable and sustainable global cityand has been a formidable ally in our quest to transform Newcastle into a magnet city.
  7. Naval Officer Anita Sellick, a born-and-bred Novocastrian, was presented the keys to the City as tribute to her Newcastle roots and her formidable achievement, as a women, rising through the ranks of one of Australia's most respected, traditionally male-dominated institutions.


1. Jackie Gillies with husband Ben Gillies and family

2. YWAM - Youth with a Mission - David Stephenson

3. The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG 

4. Dr Peter Davies Newcastle Eye Hospital Foundation

5. Dr Soozy Smith, CEO, Professor John Forbes AM, Founder, Professor Bruce Mann, Chair - Breast Cancer Trials

6. Outgoing University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen

7. Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes honouring HMAS Newcastle Commander Anita Sellick with Federal Senator Arthur Sinodinis