Nominations now open for Port Stephens Annual Awards

Port Stephens Medal winner David Sams with Australia Day Ambassador, Liesl Tesch.
Port Stephens Medal winner David Sams with Australia Day Ambassador, Liesl Tesch.


NOMINATIONS are now open for the Port Stephens Annual Awards, which celebrate the people who have made an outstanding contribution to our local community.

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Held on Australia Day, the awards are an opportunity to formally recognise community members who make Port Stephens a great place to live, work and play.

Elizabeth Akerman, Council’s Acting Community Development and Engagement Coordinator, said this year sees the addition of a new category.

“We’re really excited about the introduction of the ‘Cultural Endeavour’ category, which will be awarded to someone who has added to our cultural experience, whether that be through art, music, language, education or events, to name a few,” Ms Akerman said.

“As always, we’re also seeking nominations for Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Freeman of Port Stephens, the Port Stephens Medal and Sportsperson of the Year,” she added.

David Sams received the Port Stephens Medal last year for his tireless community work, including his part in founding the Port Stephens Suicide Prevention Network. He said the Port Stephens Annual Awards are a way to give back to those who give so much.

“There are people in our community who are true doers, who who sacrifice their time and energy to build meaningful connections and get things done,” Mr Sams said.

“I know that those who do extraordinary things for our community are often the most humble, and this awards program is the perfect opportunity to give thanks to them for their tireless efforts,” he added.

The 2016 Sportsperson of the Year, Tony Gillespie, says being recognised was a truly humbling and inspirational experience.

“I do not do what I do for myself, so when I received this incredible acknowledgement from those closest to me, I was quite literally speechless,” he said.

Mr Gillespie said that while people rarely volunteer for the accolades, the Port Stephens Awards are the perfect way to let someone know they are appreciated.

“If someone has enriched your life and the lives of others of their own free will, then nominating them will enable their invaluable hard work get acknowledged,” he said.

For more information and to nominate, visit

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