High-flying finalists announced for Lake Mac Awards

Matildas World Cup star Emily Van Egmond is in the running for Lake Mac Ambassador 1024x683 1

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 17: Emily van Egmond of the Jets kicks during the A-League Women round eight match between Newcastle Jets and Western United at No. 2 Sports Ground, on December 17, 2023, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

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.

Tickets are on sale now for finalists. For more information and to book tickets, visit lakemac.com.au/Lake-Mac-Awards.



2024 Lake Mac Awards finalists

Category Finalists
Lake Mac Ambassador

Outstanding contribution to the Lake Mac community

Bradley Dunn

Emily van Egmond

Matt Hall

Ann-Maria Martin

Anna Noon

Stephanie de Sousa

Bailey Seamer

Lake Mac Young Sports Star

Outstanding performance in junior sports


Sienna Eve

Eli Gorton

Max Middleby

Saffron Shiels

Zachary Tait

Jakob Thompson

Lake Mac Sports Star

Outstanding performance in sports


Blake Carr

Jennifer Enderby

Melanie Green

Shaun Swadling

Christine Tylee

Lake Mac Sports Leader

Outstanding contribution to sporting life
in Lake Macquarie City


Maxwell Jeffrey Bristow

Russell Grundy

Jarrad Hiles

Nathan Swadling

Valentine Football Club

Lake Mac Artist and Creator

Demonstrating excellence in the field of arts
and creative production

Scott Bevan

Wayde Clarke

Cybèle Coutet Craig

Outback Jess

Amy Vee

Lake Mac Creative and Performing Arts Leader

Outstanding demonstration of leadership
and contribution to the arts


Debbie Evans

Mathew Holland

Patricia O’Hearn

Stephanie de Sousa

Louise Wilkinson

Lake Mac Young Citizen Award

Outstanding demonstration of leadership, skills
and community contribution

Sophie Berude

Sienna Eve

Saffron Shiels

Zachary Tait

Emma Walsh

Lake Mac Senior of the Year Award

Outstanding demonstration of leadership, skills and
community contribution


Dawn Lambert

Annette McEwan

Lorraine McKenzie

Pam Wellham

Lake Mac Community Group of the Year

Outstanding community contribution

Car 2 Home Project

Country Women’s Association Belmont Branch

Cycling Without Age Hunter

Eastlakes U3A

Hunter Mountain Bike Association

Lake Mac parkrun Run Directors Team

Repair It Lake Mac

Wyee Community Hub Inc.

Lake Mac Community Event of the Year

Outstanding event in Lake Macquarie

Morisset Lake Macquarie Show

Tiny Forest Community Planting

Spicy Brain (Allambi Care)

Lake Macquarie & Newcastle Suicide Prevention Network

Caves Beach Connect

Lake Mac Volunteer of the Year

Outstanding community contribution

Barry Chapman

Vina Chubb

Amanda Jane Gibson

Helen Hobbs

Anna Noon

Justin Rumore

Pam Wellham

Lake Mac Environmental Leader

Outstanding contribution to the Lake Macquarie environment

Allan Brown

Anna Noon

Lois Simpson

Repair It Lake Mac

Lake Mac Outstanding Contributor with Disability

Outstanding achievement or contribution by a person
with disability, including physical, neurological or psychological barriers

Blake Carr

Susanne Jenkins

Jai Lonsdale

Nathan Parker

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