Dr David Durrheim named Lake Mac Ambassador for 2022

Published on 01 May 2022

Mayor Kay Fraser with Dr David Durrheim.jpg

Public health physician Dr David Durrheim has been named Lake Mac Ambassador for 2022 for his outstanding efforts keeping the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Durrheim took out top honours at a gala Lake Mac Awards ceremony at Belmont 16s on Saturday night, held to recognise the city’s high achievers in sport, volunteering and the community.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said Dr Durrheim was a more-than-worthy winner of this year’s Lake Mac Ambassador award.

“Dr Durrheim’s presence throughout the pandemic – his level-headed advice, his consistent messaging and his heartfelt pleas for people to take precautions – undoubtedly helped minimise the impact of COVID over the past two years,” she said.

“More generally, he has been a leading light in promoting public health both in Australia and internationally for many years, driving towards a world with more equitable and accessible public health services for everyone.”

“He’s a true pillar of our community, an inspiration for us all, and will be a wonderful ambassador for our city.”

Dr Durrheim, who described himself as “a rusted-on Lake Mac local”, said he was humbled and honoured to take the night’s top prize.

“As a community we’ve tackled this colossal challenge of COVID together,” he said.

“Sometimes my focus has been very health-focused but to actually see how people across the spectrum have muscled in and made their contribution is really inspiring – it’s something that has got my heart very warm.”

The announcement capped a stellar night in which winners were announced across 13 categories.

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series five-time World Champion Rhiannan Iffland was named Sports Star of the Year, and former World Champion trampoline gymnast Brett Austine took out the Lake Mac Sports Leader category for his decades of dedication to the sport.

Swimmer Victoria Robinson was named the Lake Mac Sports Star With Disability after qualifying in nationals for the past two years.

Whitebridge 11-year-old Xavier Neil became one of the city’s youngest ever Young Citizen of the Year for his incredible work raising more than $70,000 for local cancer charities.

Xavier’s ‘Good X Karma’ products are stocked in more than 25 local businesses, with all profits going to support cancer patients.

Lake Mac charity Hope in a Suitcase was named Community Group of the Year for its work providing suitcases full of necessities for children in the foster care system.

Mexico-born street artist Goya Torres, whose works adorn walls across the globe, was named Lake Mac Artist and Creator for 2022. Torres, who now lives in Macquarie Hills, has painted murals in various locations across Lake Macquarie and has exhibited her works in Toronto.

OzHarvest volunteer June Butler took out the Volunteer of the Year category for her work teaching life skills to at-risk young people, and helping prepare thousands of food hampers and hot meals for distribution across the Hunter Region.

Cr Fraser congratulated this year’s 90-plus nominees, finalists and winners.

“Each year I’m struck by the diversity of people and organisations doing amazing things in our city,” she said.

To all of our nominees, category finalists and winners, I want to say thank you on behalf of all of Lake Macquarie. You help make our city what it is today.”


Lake Mac Awards 2022 Winners

Category Name
Lake Mac Young Sports Star
Tom March
Lake Mac Artist and Creator
Goya Torres
Lake Mac Sports Star
Rhiannan Iffland
Lake Mac Senior of the Year
Janice McKay
Lake Mac Arts Leader
Ulanda and Caroli de Villiers - Kwas Studio
Lake Mac Sports Star with Disability
Victoria Robinson
Lake Mac Community Group of the Year
 Hope in a Suitcase
Lake Mac Sports Leader
Brett Austine
Lake Mac Young Citizen of the Year
Xavier Neil
Lake Mac COVID-19 Hero
Gateway Care
Lake Mac Environmental Leader
Swansea Community Cottage Inc
Lake Mac Volunteer of the Year
June Butler - OzHarvest
Lake Mac Ambassador
Dr David Durrheim