The City of Newcastle Council’s 2021 Citizen of the Year Award recipients have led the inaugural flag-raising ceremony at Council’s new administration centre.
The flagpoles were installed with specialist lighting as part of the fit-out of the new administration centre, allowing the flags to fly permanently day and night.
It follows the raising of all six flags at Newcastle City Hall in May – including, for the first time, the Torres Strait Island flag – following a five-year project to restore the City Hall façade.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and City of Newcastle CEO, Jeremy Bath were joined by Citizen of the Year Professor Kelvin Kong and his four-year-old daughter, Ellery; Senior Citizen of the Year, Jaci Lappin; 2019 Young Citizen of the Year, Dr Bhavi Ravindran; and Community Group of the Year representatives, Janice Musumeci and Evan Reid from Hamilton Business Association Inc, in raising the Australian, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island, United Nations, NSW and City of Newcastle flags for the first time at the City’s new headquarters.
Lord Mayor Nelmes said it was a proud and historic moment to see all six flags flying at both of the City’s civic buildings.
“Newcastle’s City Hall was the first civic building in the country to fly the Aboriginal flag when the then Lord Mayor Joy Cummings raised the flag in 1977, and earlier this year the Torres Strait Islander flag was raised atop City Hall for the first time,” Lord Mayor Nelmes said.
“I am proud of our city’s legacy, and to be able to share this moment today with our Citizens of the Year, who are each creating their own legacies for Newcastle.”
The flag-raising ceremony completes the City Administration Centre’s move to Newcastle West to deliver a new era of services in one central location, including office space for 450 administrative staff and award-winning Community and Civic Hub, with the co-located Digital Library, Council Chamber and Customer Service Centre winning first place in their respective categories at the recent New South Wales Local Government Awards.
It also features a purpose-built Local Emergency Operations Centre, providing a dedicated space where City of Newcastle can work with emergency services including Police, SES, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance and others to deliver a coordinated response to natural disasters and other incidents.
Mayor Nelmes said co-locating a range of facilities at the new City Administration Centre would result in more efficiencies and better customer service, as well as access to one of the most digitally advanced libraries in NSW.