Former mayor named as Australia Day ambassador
A four-term Gosford mayor and former chief executive of Coast Shelter, Mr Laurie Maher, has been named the 2019 Central Coast Australia Day Ambassador by Central Coast Council.
In this role, he will officiate at Woy Woy's waterfront celebrations on Australia Day.
Mr Maher was chosen as the 2019 Ambassador for his tireless work providing for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness across the Central Coast.
During his time at Coast Shelter, Mr Maher was an integral part of the establishment of 10 different programs that tackled homelessness across the Coast including the establishment of the Woy Woy Youth Cottage.
Central Coast mayor Cr Jane Smith said Mr Maher's community advocacy and national pride made him the perfect choice for the role of Australia Day ambassador.
"Laurie's leadership at Coast Shelter has helped provide accommodation to over 150 men, women, families and youth every night, as well as the provision of over 1000 free meals every week through the Coast Community Centre." Cr Smith said.
"As a former Mayor of Gosford City Council, and award recipient for services to the Aboriginal Community, Laurie has demonstrated his commitment to community service on the Coast.
"This service and commitment saw him honoured with the Order of Australia Medal in 2010 and we are pleased to bestow Australia Day Ambassador honours on him," she said.
"Laurie is an outstanding ambassador for the Central Coast and I am delighted that he will join me to help present the Australia Day Awards on January 25 and will also help officiate at our community event at Woy Woy."
Mr Maher described the ambassadorship as "a great honour and a buzz for my family".
Now retired, Mr Maher is recovering from knee-reconstruction surgery.
Media release, 9 Jan 2019
Jane Smith, Central Coast Council
Interview, 10 Dec 2019
Laurie Maher, Australia Day Ambassador
Reporter: Bernie Leo