Top Novocastrians of 2017, by Brooke / by Brooke Tunbridge

I've narrowed this down into a small list, but I want you to know that there are so many others I could have included. Almost everyday I am reminded of people in Newcastle going above and beyond in their field, people who have bet on themselves. From nice neighbours and friendly familiar faces to entrepreneurs, there are some wonderful people in Newcastle, this list is just a fraction of the amazing community we have here. 


Jess Koncz
Crave Newcastle

Last year I contacted Mirage with a written profile I had on entrepreneur Jessica Koncz, a year on and I’m more involved with the wonderful free zine and have had the opportunity to speak to some amazing Novocastrians in that time. If you’re not aware of what Jess does, I’m positive you will know when I mention Crave. What started as an Instagram page, Jess used her passion and smart ideas to build what is now a social media marketing agency, with an office and eight employees, in addition to 48k Instagram followers, and of course now with the ‘tinder for food’ app. Seeing early prototypes of the app and now seeing the final product, it is inspiring to see how hard Jess has worked to make this dream become a reality. Congratulations to Jess and the Crave team on the release of the app this year, and good luck for the future, which thanks to her innovating and entrepreneurial nature, looks bright!


Chris Dunn
The Edwards Shop

For making everyone feel welcome, even when he’s on lengthy holds with phone and internet providers, or having to deal with a late delivery. I remember the first time I met Chris, my friend took me to his shop when it was next to Suspension Café, and my friend asked about a few records. If Chris had the record, he’d take you to it, tell you five other bands that sounded like that artist, and tell you an interesting story on the artist or the specific release. My memory isn’t great, and this was a few years ago, but I was so impressed by his music knowledge that the memory stuck. Now, with a home at The Edwards Shop, his record store has grown, from music books and magazines, to local zines, to hard to find releases and in-store performances. It’s a place to hang out, talk to like-minded people, and check in with Chris or Spencer on any desired new releases. My mum laughed when I was greeted by Chris when showing her the store, clearly disapproving of the amount of time and money it was assumed that I spend there. Sorry mum, but it’s one of my favourite places in Newcastle and yes, where I splurge.


Kian West
Newcastle Mirage

You know when people compare how they spend their time with someone like Beyonce? “We all have the same amount of time in our day as Beyonce…” Well I think it’s fair to say that Beyonce in this context is interchangeable with Kian. From Newcastle Mirage, to a Hunter Young Professional Director, a DJ, and a marketing strategist at Oasis Social Media, alongside a role for the Measured Marketer, Kian is killing it. It seems every second of the day is used productively and that to me is incredibly inspiring as it’s something that many of us strive for but can never quite achieve. He’s so passionate about supporting local businesses and providing a platform to showcase local talent, which is great to see. I think I can speak on behalf of every Novocastrian who has met Kian by saying that he is an awesome person and his dedication to bettering himself and the community is admirable. Keep being the legend that you are!


Abby Butler
Sisterhood of Soul Podcast

This list wouldn’t be complete without Abby, a self-confessed podcast addict, Youth Premier of New South Wales in Youth Parliament, and allround legend. Not being satisfied with the options available for podcasts targeting young girls, Abby began the Sisterhood of Soul Podcast, a podcast for and by young women. The podcast oozes passion and a genuine concern for young women and the issues they face, sharing their voices, giving them a platform and in turn, entertainment. Abby is as authentic as she seems, which is a refreshing characteristic. I’m happy our paths crossed- however that happened (Instagram I think?). Take a look at the Sisterhood of Soul Facebook to keep up to date with new epsiodes!

Newcastle Mirage Readers

Thank you. Thank you for supporting Kian and Ryan’s wonderful publication! They support Newcastle and local businesses and people so much that it is amazing to see that returned by people picking up a copy of NM at their local café, or wherever it is you may find it. I love the community of Newcastle in that we all support each others creative endeavours, it’s a beautiful thing.