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FLYING HIGH: Matt Hall Soars as Lake Mac Ambassador for 2024

Red Bull Air Race World Champion, Matt Hall, has ascended to the zenith of Lake Mac’s civic realm.

Hall was anointed as the newest custodian of the esteemed title of Lake Mac Ambassador at a ceremony at Belmont 16s over the weekend, succeeding the erudite Professor Matt Dun, a luminary in cancer research.

While Hall’s presence was regrettably absent from the ceremony due to prior commitments at the Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne, his spirit reverberated through a taped acceptance speech.

“I’m a Lake Macquarie guy through and through and I’m super-proud of our city,” Hall said during a prerecorded acceptance speech.

“I bring international guests over all the time and I take them up in the plane or the helicopter and show them the lake and they just can’t believe it.”

During the speech Hall also reminisced about his formative years, recounting youthful days spent frolicking at Morisset Park, navigating its waters on skis and paddleboards during the vibrant tapestry of the ’80s.

He served in the ranks of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with commendable valor, serving both on home soil and across distant horizons. His aerial prowess reached new heights in the electrifying arena of the Red Bull Air Race, where he clinched victory in the competition’s final crescendo in 2019. Undeterred by accolades, he continues to commandeer the skies from the vantage point of the Lake Macquarie Airport under the banner of Matt Hall Racing.

“He has served his country and his home city with distinction, and I know he will continue to fly our flag wherever he can in his new role as Lake Mac Ambassador,” Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said.

Our very own Louise Wilkinson picked up the award for Lake Mac Creative and Performing Arts Leader for her enduring leadership and contribution to the local arts community.

Other individuals who were honoured on the night include teen prodigy Sophie Berude, a beacon of resilience and altruism, who was hailed as the Young Citizen of the Year for her unyielding efforts in fundraising for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. Her steadfast commitment has amassed over $40,000 over seven years, a testament to her unwavering spirit.

Hunter Mountain Bike Association stood tall as the Community Group of the Year, lauded for their instrumental role in elevating the Awaba Mountain Bike Park into the annals of Australian mountain-biking lore. Their efforts bore fruit with the successful hosting of the AusCycling MTB National Championships, marking Lake Macquarie as a premier destination for enthusiasts of the sport.

Scott Bevan was crowned as the Lake Mac Artist and Creator for 2024. His enchanting odyssey chronicled in “The Lake” weaves a narrative tapestry around the resplendent waters of Lake Mac, beckoning readers into a world brimming with history and intrigue.

To see the full list of winners visit lakemac.com.au.