From 29 April 2022, Compass Housing Services became Home In Place.

Compass Housing’s Events and Community Relations Manager, Michelle Faithfull, has been recognised for her personal passion for community fundraising.

At the City of Newcastle Citizenship Ceremony on Australia Day Michelle was named Newcastle’s 2020 Citizen of the Year. She received the accolade in front of dignitaries, 240 new Australians and her proud mum and dad.

Over the past decade, she has raised more than $180,000 for charities close to her heart, including more than $90,000 for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, almost $65,000 for the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation and $20,000 for the new Ronald McDonald House Family Room at John Hunter Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Much of that money has been raised through an annual Divas on the Green golf day which is also about creating a space for women to network and have fun on the golf course. She also volunteers to organise fundraising treks.

Her Hunter community work started 16 years ago when she moved to the region and started to volunteer with charities such as Camp Quality, Canteen, The Starlight Foundation and Ronald McDonald House.

For me it's all about creating something positive from something negative

Events and Community Relations Manager Michelle Faithfull

Michelle said that after the loss of her first child in 1987, she had an understanding of the importance of community.

“It’s an absolute honour and a privilege to receive this award, particularly in a community that I really love,” she told the Newcastle Herald.

“Volunteering in itself is something that really makes my heart sing.”

“For me it’s all about creating something positive from something negative,” she said.

The City’s Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Michelle’s commitment to improving the lives of others had earned her the top honour.

“Until today, Michelle was one of Newcastle’s unsung heroes, so the City of Newcastle is thrilled to recognise her tireless efforts to assist those in our community who are doing it tough,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Michelle embodies everything that is good about the human spirit.”

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