New online directory makes it easier to find the right local community service

City of Newcastle has launched a new one-stop-shop for local community services, making it easier for residents to find the right service and access the latest information.

The digital channel, My Community Directory, features important up-to-date information on community organisations that provide services in the Newcastle local government area, and can be searched by location, services category or keyword.

City of Newcastle Community Development Facilitator Richelle Hedstrom, Councillor Carol Duncan, Partnership Manager at My Community Directory Rachel Smith and Business Development Manager at Hunter Multicultural Communities Jason Scriven.

Refreshed daily, the directory makes it easier for residents to carry out the previously complex and time-consuming task of finding the most appropriate service.

City of Newcastle has been working with local community services to list important service information, as well as any events or volunteering opportunities.

The directory includes 28 services categories including Crisis and Emergency Services to Community Clubs and Interest Groups, Ageing Services, Disability Services, Self Help and Education.

Another feature is a downloadable Newcastle Homelessness Directory, created by Hunter Homeless Connect with $10,000 support from City of Newcastle’s Boost Our City grant as part of its COVID-19 response package.

City of Newcastle officially launched My Community Directory today as part of the NSW Seniors Festival event hosted by Hunter Multicultural Communities.

Officer seriously injured when hit by trail bike – Maitland

A police officer has been injured when he was struck by a trail bike during a pursuit in the Hunter this evening.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District had initiated a pursuit of the trail bike rider shortly before 7pm (Wednesday 14 April 2021), on the New England Highway at Maitland.

The officer was on foot when he was struck by the trail bike and has suffered serious leg fractures, as well as suspected arm, head, pelvic and spinal injuries.

The male constable has been airlifted to John Hunter Hospital where his condition is reported to be serious but stable.

The trail bike rider – a man believed to be aged in his 20s – has been arrested and taken to John Hunter Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He remains there under police guard.

Officers attached to the Crash Investigation Unit (CIU) are now inquiring into circumstances surrounding this incident.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Man charged over grocery store armed robbery – Redhead

A man will appear in court tomorrow charged over an alleged armed robbery in the Lake Macquarie region last week.

Just after 7.30am on Wednesday 7 April 2021, a man entered a grocery store on Cowlishaw Street, Redhead, and approached the counter.

Police will allege the man threatened an employee with a knife, before stealing cigarettes and running away.

No one was physically injured during the incident.

Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District established a crime scene and commenced an investigation.

Following inquiries, police arrested an 18-year-old man at a home at Windale about 2pm today (Monday 12 April 2021).

He was taken to Belmont Police Station and charged with robbery armed with offensive weapon.

The Windale man was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court tomorrow (Tuesday 13 April 2021).

What’s ON website to help drive awareness of Newcastle’s event economy

A new website capturing everything happening across Newcastle has been launched by City of Newcastle to help locals and visitors make the most of the city’s entertainment options.

Inspired by popular ‘What’s On’ websites in Melbourne and Sydney, What’s ON Newcastle is now the official home of all events across the city, providing an easy to use one-stop-shop for locals and visitors with functionality to search for events according to category, date, accessibility, venue or geographic location.

(Front) Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen and Councillor Carol Duncan with (rear left) Live Music Grant recipients Monique Humphreys and Kodi Twiner (who are organising the Prickly Pear event at The Base Health), Beach Burrito Company - Newcastle Venue Manager Henry Smale, and (rear right) Newcastle Seafood Festival organiser Lynne Hopson with Newcastle Fisherman’s Co-op General Manager Rob Gauta.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the website is one of the priority initiatives under City of Newcastle’s Destination Management Plan to create a more vibrant city that supports the arts and cultural sectors.

“Newcastle is an events city, and whether it’s live music, theatre, sports or cinema, there’s always something to do, no matter your interests,” Cr Nelmes said.

“City of Newcastle’s Events Strategy has seen Newcastle continue to grow jobs and expand our visitor economy during the last six years.

“From 2015-2019, Newcastle’s visitor economy moved ahead in leaps and bounds, with a 62% increase in domestic day-trippers and a 16% increase in international travellers, while the value of the tourism economy expanded significantly to be worth $1.127 billion in the 12 months to March 2019.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Declan Clausen, who is the Chair of City of Newcastle’s Strategy and Innovation Advisory Committee, said the events economy is an important local job creator.

“Ongoing investment in events and tourism is integral to building a thriving, diverse and robust economy, which is why we set out to develop a comprehensive Destination Management Plan, along with an updated Events Strategy,” Cr Clausen said.

“These strategic measures are designed to raise awareness of Newcastle and showcase the city’s unique strengths by attracting and developing signature events, as well as growing the business and conferencing events sector.”

City of Newcastle has also awarded the second round of the $20,000 Live Music Grants program, providing incentives of up to $500 per event to encourage 11 Newcastle venues to host live acts during April as part of a commitment to delivering the Live Music Strategy

Thirty live music events funded by the program are taking place between 9 and 20 April to coincide with other significant events across the city, including the World Surf League’s Rip Curl Newcastle Cup, Newcastle SailFest Regatta, Newcastle Seafood Festival, Women’s Rugby 7s, New Run and Newcastle Food Month.

Councillor Carol Duncan said live music events were being promoted on the What’s ON Newcastle website under the ‘Locally Made and Played’ banner, making it the perfect integration of the City’s initiatives to support Newcastle’s live music, events and cultural sectors.

Visit whatson.newcastle.nsw.gov.au to check it out for yourself. You can also subscribe to the regular What’s ON Newcastle newsletter to receive the best events and updates direct to your inbox.

Live Music grant recipients and gigs

The Rogue Scholar

LaHi, Sunday 11 April, 6-9pm

Daniel March, Saturday 17 April, 7-10pm

Max De Groot, Sunday 18 April, 6-9pm

Beach Burrito Company

Catch live music on Friday 9, Friday 16 and Saturday 17 of April

Wickham Park Hotel

Riff Raff, Saturday 10 April, 7.30pm

Rose Carleo Band, Saturday 17 April, 7.30pm

Flyod Vincent, Sunday 18 April, 6pm

The Duke of Wellington

Greg Bryce, Friday 9 April

Dean Kyrwood, Friday 16 April

Karen O’Shea, Saturday 17 April

The Mark Hotel

Nano, Saturday 10 April, 8-11pm

Daniel Arvidson, Friday 16 April, 8-11pm

The After Party, Sunday 18 April, 5-8pm

The Beaches Hotel

Komiti Levai, Friday 9 April, 6-9pm

Kylie Jane, Wednesday 14 April, 3-6pm

Pete McCredie, Sunday 18 April, 6.30-9.30pm

The Kent Hotel

Catch live music on Friday 9, Monday 12 and Monday 19 April

Racecourse Hotel Wallsend

Coral Lee, Friday 16 April, 6.30-9.30pm

Dave Javier, Saturday 17 April, 6.30-9.30pm

Chloe & Alexine, Sunday 18 April, 3-6pm

The Exchange Hotel

Sound About, Saturday 10 April

Mak Band, Friday 16 April

TBC, Saturday 17 April

Babylon

Half Nelson, Sunday 11 April

Cool Jazz Trio, Sunday 18 April

The Base Health

Thursday 15 April and Friday 16 April, 7pm

Prickly Pear is a multidisciplinary arts performance supporting women and gender diverse creatives of Newcastle. Featuring local and original artists such as Caitlin O’Reilly, RENYEN, Mia Sifflet, Brigitta Dance Projects, Jacinta Rose, Janette Hoppe, Monique Humphreys, Happy to be Here Ceramics, Kodivine, and H.H Art

Man charged with attempted murder – Newcastle

A man will face court today charged with attempted murder after a domestic-related stabbing in Newcastle yesterday.

About 6.30pm (Friday 9 April 2021), emergency services responded to a unit on William Street, Jesmond, after reports a 34-year-old woman had been stabbed by a man known to her.

Police were told the pair were arguing when the 38-year-old man allegedly stabbed the woman before she fled seeking assistance from neighbours.

The woman was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to John Hunter Hospital where she underwent surgery and remains in a critical condition.

Officers from Newcastle City Police District arrested the man at the scene.

He was taken to the Mater Hospital for treatment before being transferred to Newcastle Police Station where he was charged with cause wounding/grievous bodily harm to person with intent to murder (DV

The man was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court today (Saturday 10 April 2021).

Redeem your Dine & Discover NSW vouchers in Newcastle during the school holidays

The NSW Government’s Dine & Discover NSW vouchers can now be redeemed at over 70 hospitality, entertainment and recreation venues across the city.

Two $25 Dine NSW vouchers can be redeemed at restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs seven days a week, along with two $25 Discover NSW vouchers for entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, and arts venues.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said she expects participating businesses will see a positive impact from the program, especially during the school holidays

“This is a great initiative of the NSW Government and I encourage residents to download their vouchers and venture out to enjoy our city during the school holidays to support local businesses,” Cr Nelmes said.

“It’s encouraging to see that over 70 local businesses have already registered to participate in the Dine & Discover NSW voucher program, and we hope to see more businesses sign up.

“The vouchers will provide a welcome relief to cash-strapped households looking to entertain children over the school holiday period.

“With JobKeeper drawing to an end, the Dine & Discover NSW vouchers provide an economic boost for the city’s hard-hit tourism and hospitality sectors still recovering from COVID-19 disruptions.”

City of Newcastle’s signature attractions have developed a range of offers including:

Newcastle Museum

One $25 Discover NSW voucher will admit a family of four into Newcastle Museum’s blockbuster Questacon Colour exhibition. Colour explores the science of colour and perception through more than 20 different interactive activities. It’s a great way to experience Questacon without travelling interstate to Canberra and is in its final weeks, so don’t miss out. Reserve your Newcastle Museum experience online and present the voucher at the venue upon entry.

Blackbutt Reserve

For a family-fun-day-out, head to Blackbutt Reserve to get up close to a range of animals. Discover NSW vouchers can be redeemed towards a Critter Encounter, Reptile Encounter, or a Ranger Guided Tour. Bookings are required, phone 4904 3344, and present your voucher to be scanned upon entry. Go online to find out more about Blackbutt Reserve’s animal encounters.

Civic Theatre

After a fun day exploring Newcastle with the family these school holidays, hire a babysitter and head to the Civic Theatre to catch a live performance. Vouchers can be redeemed towards your next night out. Or take the family to a classic Civic Cinema experience to see ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ during a matinee showing (rated PG). Purchases can be made for any show at the Ticket Office on Hunter Street, by phoning 4929 1977 or visiting Civic Theatre online, provided payment is made by the voucher expiry date of 30 June 2021.

Civic Digest Café, Civic Theatre

Use your Dine NSW voucher toward a meal at any time or before or after a show at the Civic Digest Café within the Civic Theatre building; try the special $25 meal deal including pizza, garlic bread and drink. The voucher can be redeemed every day the Café is open and excludes alcoholic beverage purchases. To find out more, visit Civic Digest online.

Visit Service NSW to apply for the vouchers and a full list of participating Newcastle businesses. The program is administered via the Service NSW app. Terms and conditions apply, and subject to Service NSW guidelines.

Visit City of Newcastle’s new What’s ON website to discover what else is happening across Newcastle during the Easter school holidays.

Man arrested after alleged stabbing – Newcastle

A man has been arrested following an alleged domestic-related stabbing in Newcastle yesterday.

About 6.30pm (Friday 9 April 2021), emergency services responded to reports of a stabbing at a unit on William Street, Jesmond.

Upon arrival, officers attached to Newcastle City Police District located a 34-year-old woman with a serious stab wound to her neck.

NSW Ambulance paramedics treated the woman at the scene, before she was taken to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition.

Detectives established a crime scene and commenced inquiries into the incident.

A short time later, a 38-year-old man – who is known to the woman – was arrested at the scene.

He was taken to Newcastle Police Station, where he is assisting police with their investigations.

Inquiries are continuing.

Fatal crash near Cessnock

Inquiries are underway into a single-vehicle crash near Cessnock overnight.

About 11.15pm (Thursday 8 April 2021), emergency services were called to a private road at Pelaw Main and found a Subaru Forrester had hit a barrier.

A 17-year-old youth suffered critical injuries after he was thrown from the front passenger seat and died at the scene.

The 17-year-old driver of the vehicle was taken to John Hunter Hospital with minor injuries; he’s also undergone mandatory testing.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District established a crime scene and have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

Plenty of laughs on offer at Newcastle’s home of comedy

With some of Australia’s funniest comedians on the line-up across four hilarious shows, Civic Theatre is set to become Newcastle’s new home of comedy.

The Civic will deliver plenty of laughs in coming months including two of the country’s favourite comedy convoys – Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow (11-12 June), and the Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase (1 October) – which bring some of the hottest acts from their respective festivals to regional locations across Australia.

Regular Triple J guest and The Project correspondent Sam Taunton is on the bill for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow at Civic Theatre.Taree comedian and The Block favourite Andy Saunders will saunter into town for the Melbourne Roadshow alongside regular Triple J guest and The Project correspondent Sam Taunton, with more top-class comedians still to be added to the bill.

The Civic Comedy Club (25 June and 23 July) will provide another outlet for home-grown humour in the style of New York’s famed Comedy Cellar, where you never know just who will turn up for an unexpected night of hilarity.

Moving to its new permanent location in the Banquet Room City Hall, the Civic Comedy Club still gives you cabaret-style dining, drinks brought to your table and the intimate type of entertainment that makes for a perfect night out. This local initiative re-opened the Civic Theatre immediately following COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, and then returned for a one-off show as part of the New Annual festival, and has proved hugely popular.

The Civic Comedy Club is presented in conjunction with Big Dog Comedy, wrapping up a busy couple of months for the local comedy show organisers after the return of their Newcastle Comedy Festival Gala to Civic Theatre on May 28.

City of Newcastle has provided support for the Newcastle Comedy Festival through its Event Sponsorship Program.

Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said attracting and delivering live performances in local venues was essential for creating an activated city centre with a vibrant night-time economy.

“The Civic Comedy Club was one of the first shows on stage when the Civic Theatre was able to re-open its doors to the public last year following months of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions,” Cr Clausen said.

“Through the popularity of the Newcastle Comedy Festival, the Civic Comedy Club and a wide range of regular touring acts to the Civic Theatre and surrounding venues, City of Newcastle is fast becoming an iconic stop on the national comedy touring circuit.

“By enabling gigs at iconic local venues like City Hall, and sponsoring comedy events through our grants and sponsorship programs, City of Newcastle is proud to be strongly supporting our local comedy scene, which adds another dimension to our diverse Newcastle after dark economy.”

Civic Theatre Manager Leonie Wallace said moving our own Civic Comedy Club to a permanent home is designed to deliver a perfect blend of food and entertainment within the Civic precinct.

“The Civic Comedy Club at City Hall rounds out our annual program of first-class comedy offerings on the Civic Theatre main stage, sitting nicely alongside our subscription season comedy blockbusters, the Melbourne and Sydney Comedy Festival showcases, the Newcastle Comedy Festival, and national comedy treasures such as Carl Barron. This means that if you love comedy, we really do have something for everyone!” Ms Wallace said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing these shows bring another of the Civic precinct’s landmark buildings to life with the move to the more intimate space of the Banquet Room. With access via a rear laneway off Wheeler Place, and the room staged to take on the vibe of Manhattan’s popular Comedy Cellar, the Civic Comedy Club will give Novocastrians the chance to experience the ambience and unpredictability of the stand-up clubs you find in New York, Los Angeles or Melbourne.”

Visit civictheatrenewcastle.com.au to book tickets and keep up-to-date with the latest line-up announcements for the upcoming comedy shows. Bookings for the subscription season shows are already open, while tickets for the Civic Comedy Club will go on sale to the general public on 13 April.

Woman charged over hit and run crash – Wallsend

A woman has been charged following an alleged hit and run crash at Newcastle last week.

About 5.45am (Thursday 1 April 2021), emergency services were called to Douglas Street, Wallsend, after reports a motorcyclist had been knocked from his bike by a black SUV.

The rider – aged 18 – was assessed by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to John Hunter Hospital suffering a fractured pelvis and femur.

Officers from the Hunter Crash Investigation Unit attended and commenced an investigation.

Following inquiries, a 28-year-old woman attended Waratah Police Station yesterday (Wednesday 7 April 2021), where she was arrested.

She was charged with six offences including negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and fail to stop and render assistance.

She was granted conditional bail to appear at Belmont Local Court on Wednesday 5 May 2021.