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Upper Hunter Steel Magnolia Award

Lifeline - Upper Hunter Steel Magnolia Award

Most callers to Lifeline, even in their most desperate of times, can see the light at the end of the tunnel when given the opportunity to talk about their situation. The human spirit is a wonderful thing, and this is evident every day when people call Lifeline with inspirational stories of hope in the face of great adversity.

These stories of hope were the inspiration for the Upper Hunter Steel Magnolia Award. The Award recognises and honours a woman from the Greater Cessnock or Upper Hunter region for her strength in the face of adversity and commitment to the community.

2015 Upper Hunter Steel Magnolia Award

Our region is blessed with many natural resources but the Hunter's true beauty lies in its people. In 2004, Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter created the Steel Magnolia Award, an award that is given to a woman who has faced great adversity and made a significant contribution to the community.

The 2016 Upper Hunter Steel Magnolia Award High Tea Luncheon
Sacred Spaces Singleton
Friday the 11th of November 2016
12pm – 3pm.

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If you know a special woman who you think deserves recognition for her contribution to the community nominate for the 2016 award.

Nominations are open to residents of the Newcastle region and must address the following in 800 words or less.

  • The challenge faced by the nominee
  • How they overcame this challenge.
  • Nominee’s achievements and ongoing contribution to the community.

Nominations are now closed.

The 2015 Upper Hunter Steel Magnolia

Congratulations to Jill Aurisch, the 2015 Upper Hunter Steel Magnolia Award recipient.

Hard work has always been the norm for Mrs Aurisch. She started work straight after school, aged 16, for Kranzes Farmers Services and was employed there until 1972. She and her husband Neville took over the partnership of agricultural machinery and merchandise firm, Denman Dapkos where she is still an active member of the business. After Neville was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease she cared for him at home. When his condition required residential care she would take Neville on regular outings, which included dinner at home, until he passed away. Mrs Aurisch has endured her own health problems. In 2001 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and required a mastectomy and chemotherapy. She has required further chemotherapy as secondary cancer was detected in her liver and bones. Born in 1937, the mother of three has 11 grandchildren. Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter chairman Gary Webb said during all of the hurdles in her life Jill has continued to be there for her family, friends, her business and volunteer for Meals on Wheels, the hospital auxiliary, Rotary and other local organisations.

As well as recognising the nominees, the event was also a fundraiser to help support the services in the Upper Hunter community. Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter offer face-to-face, low/no cost financial and personal counselling services in Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook, and help to support the national 24/7 telephone crisis support line (13 11 14). They also run education and training programs, which can be booked locally by businesses and community groups, to further promote suicide awareness and prevention in the region.