NOMINATIONS OPEN: Lake Mac Awards to honour local Heroes

From artists and athletes to environmentalists and community champions, Lake Macquarie is on the lookout for its unsung heroes for the 2024 Lake Mac Awards.

The annual event seeks to honour those individuals who quietly make a positive impact on the city through their everyday actions.

Previous year’s winners have continued to excel in their respective fields. Ambassador Matt Dun has made further strides in childhood cancer research, Sports Star Jesse Southwell secured a second consecutive NRLW premiership, and Senior of the Year Astrid Hocking has remained an advocate for child protection awareness through Umbrella Hearts.

Astrid was a 2023 NSW Senior Australian of the Year nominee. She will join the selection committee for the 2024 Lake Mac Awards.

“Since being named Lake Mac Senior of the Year, I’ve been even more focused to raise awareness around the importance of child protection; I feel more responsibility that comes with that award as well,” Astrid said.

“I’d really like to see Lake Macquarie be known as a council and city renowned for their passion for child protection.

“I was humbled to be nominated let alone win the award, and I was equally humbled to be asked to join the awards committee to see and understand more about all the wonderful things that are happening in our community.”

The 2024 event will also see a new category enter the awards. The ‘Outstanding Contributor with Disability,’ award will recognise the valuable contributions made by individuals of all abilities within the community.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser emphasised the importance of acknowledging these contributions, regardless of the field in which they occur, and celebrated the diversity and inclusivity of the community.

“Our city is full of wonderful individuals making Lake Macquarie an ideal place to live through their selfless and community minded efforts, including many who do so while facing personal barriers,” she said.

“It’s important we recognise these outstanding contributions, irrespective of the field in which they are made, and celebrate the work of our diverse and inclusive community.”

Residents of Lake Mac are encouraged to seize the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the local heroes whose actions enrich the community.

Whether it’s in the arts, sports, environmental activism, or community service, these heroes play a vital role in making Lake Macquarie an exceptional place to live.

Award nominations are now open and can be submitted online at until 17 November. The award ceremony is scheduled for 22 March 2024. For more information on the categories, criteria and nomination process, visit