Mercia Buck nominated for Freeman of the City honours

Published on 23 July 2021

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser_Mercia Buck_Lake Macquarie Freeman of the City.jpg

Local performance and arts advocate Ms Mercia Buck OAM has been nominated for Lake Macquarie Freeman of the City for her lifetime of dedication and service to performing arts.

Ms Buck has been nominated to be recognised as Freeman of the City as part of a Mayoral Minute proposed for Council’s Ordinary Meeting on Monday 26 July 2021.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Fraser said that the Award of Freeman of the City recognises people who have given an immense amount of energy and exceptional service to our community.

“We are so fortunate to have such a passionate and committed community where people give so much to the benefit of our City and lifestyle. Mercia Buck OAM is one of these people – a passionate and tireless advocate for people in Lake Macquarie, particularly in her support of performing arts,” Cr Fraser said.

“I am proud to nominate Mercia Buck OAM to receive the Award of Freeman of the City of Lake Macquarie, in recognition of her outstanding services to the performing arts and community of Lake Macquarie.”

Ms Buck has dedicated herself to a lifetime of performance, teaching, lecturing and arts administration, founding the Lake Macquarie Music Society, Opera Hunter and the Lake Macquarie Eisteddfod. Established in 1980, Lake Macquarie Music Society has been led by Mercia ever since. Similarly, Mercia played a leading role in the formation of Opera Hunter in 1986, overseeing its growth and success as president.

Mercia was a Lake Macquarie City Councillor between 1991 and 2008. She worked on several Council committees, spearheading development of the City’s art industry, notably the establishment of the Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre.

Mercia Buck was very humbled to be nominated and grateful the award could also recognise the performing arts industry in Lake Macquarie City.

“It’s overwhelming and a huge honour to receive this nomination, especially when I see the distinguished people who have been awarded Freeman of the City in the past,” Ms Buck said.

“It’s also an honour for the arts community and I’m very grateful it can be recognised as such an important industry for the City. The arts add to our already high quality of life we enjoy in Lake Macquarie.”

Ms Buck will join eight eminent people since 1985 who have been recognised in receiving this award, including Ellen Kilpatrick who was the Mayoress of the City for 11 years and Newcastle Knights legend and ex-captain Paul ‘Chief’ Harragon.

Historically, the honour of Freeman of the City is awarded to individuals who have provided the highest level of service to Lake Macquarie, Australia or humanity. 

To view previous recipients of the Lake Macquarie Freeman of the City Award, visit