Earlier today marked the presentation of their annual awards by local speaker organisation, Newcastle Business Club.
Since 1975 the Club has been recognising organisations and individuals that make a significant contribution to the commonweal of Newcastle and the Hunter.
This year, local firm Harris Wheeler Lawyers were awarded the organisational award in recognition of their 120 year connection with the local community.
Club President Alison Perrott said that Harris Wheeler Lawyers has reached into the community through sponsorship and donation programs that are as diverse as medical research and support schemes to youth programs and cultural events.
“Leadership by partners has encouraged active involvement by employees in an equally wide range of activities including children's causes, community activities and medical support programs,” Alison said.
The recently retired Dr WEJ Paradice was honoured with the individual award for contributions during his leadership of the Hunter Valley Research Foundation, whereby he facilitated the integration of the Foundation into the fabric of business and the community in the Hunter.
“This included ensuring an awareness on current thinking in a broad range of regional research issues, not-for-profit management and governance, philanthropy and sponsorship development,” Alison said.
“As Chief Executive Dr Paradice led the development of otherwise untapped resources and knowledge to help position the region for growth and for change. And as only the second leader of this important regional organisation, Dr Paradice guided its mission and vision for more than 30 years.”
For the second year, the Club also awarded the Youth award, this time to Dr Rohan Walker, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle, who is challenging conventional thinking about the neurochemical causes of depression.
“It was a great honour to learn about the different ways businesses and indivduals within our local community are making a positive impact,” Alison said.
“Once again the Newcastle Business Club was pleased to be able to provide some well-deserved recognition and celebrate the achievements of locals.
The award winners were presented with a framed certificate, as well as a print of The Summerhouse, by Hilda Rix Nicholas (pictured). In 1975, when the awards were created, the Club purchased the work of art to form part of the award, later donating the artwork itself to the Newcastle Art Gallery. It remains at the regional art gallery as one of the community's valued art pieces.