PORT Stephens Council had a special start to their regular meeting in their Raymond Terrace Council Chambers last week.
A number of awards were presented to Councillors, past and present, acknowledging their work in Port Stephens.
These awards recognised years of service on Council, and the broader contribution that the recipients have made to the community of Port Stephens.
Geoff Dingle, former Councillor for Port Stephens Council was presented with a number of awards on the evening.
He received the prestigious Freemans Award given out every Australia Day, as well as a Certificate of Service for 13 years from 2004-2017.
Geoff spoke to the audience in the chambers, many of whom attended to support the presentation of his awards, and gave a passionate speech.
Geoff told News Of The Area, “The past 13.5 years with Port Stephens Council has been a large part of my life and I don’t regret any of it.”
“I was elected on my inaugural independent ticket based on community commitment, encouraged to run by mentor and past Mayor and State member John Bartlett.”
“John demonstrated to me and our community that if you want things to change for the better in your community, you need to speak up and step up to the plate,” he said.
Geoff was an integral part of many committees and associated endeavours related to Medowie’s growth, and has left an impressive list of achievements.
He continues on with many of these committee, past his retirement from Council representative duties.
Geoff said, “Post Council I’m satisfied with my contribution, I’m personally fit and happy living in our new home, still in Medowie, and my blood pressure is perfect.”
“Libby and I continue with a diverse range of community work and activity, our plan is to live long and happy healthy life styles and continue supporting our wonderful community and family for as long as we live.”
There were a number of other celebrated award winners during the presentation event.
Former Mayor Bruce MacKenzie, who was unable to attend on the night, received an Outstanding Service Award for 25 years or more on Council, from 1968-1999 and 2008-2017.
He also received an Emiterus Mayor pin for his time as President, Deputy President and Mayor for 15 years.
Cr Ken Jordan was awarded a Certificate of Service for 13 years from 2004-2017, and Deputy Mayor in 2011.
Cr Steve Tucker received a Certificate of Service for 13 years from 2004-2017, and Deputy Mayor in 2006 and 2014.
Cr Sally Dover was awarded her Certificate of Service for 13 years from 2004-2017 and Deputy Mayor in 2007, 2010 and 2012.
Cr Dover was also awarded a Freemans Award, but received her award on Australia Day.
Cr Peter Kafer received a Certificate of Service for nine years from 2008-2017.
Cr John Nell rounded out the awards presentation with an impressive Certificate of Service for 30 years’ service from 1984-1988 and 1991-2017, during which he also as Mayor from 2002-2004.
Cr Nell also received an Outstanding Service Award at the Local Government NSW Annual Conference in Sydney in December 2017.
By Rachael VAUGHAN