Struggling students benefit from breakfast

“Seek the welfare of the city … and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:7

Established a decade ago with the purpose of acknowledging God, the power of prayer and to invite the blessing of God over the City of Newcastle and its people, the Lord Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast has now become one of the city’s largest annual civic events.  

Rick Prosser, one of the founding group of Newcastle ministers in 2009, describes the breakfast as being a powerful time that elevates common values benefiting our community.

“The commitment of so many to gather together reflects the willing ability of civic, church, business and community leadership to journey together in a God-honouring way that shapes the future of generations to come,” Mr Prosser said.

Each year, the lord mayor chooses a charitable organisation as the beneficiary of a collaborative donation made possible by long-term supporters of the annual breakfast event.

Cr Nuatali Nelmes this year chose the Mentor Support Network (MSN) because of its ability to provide students with access to scholarships and support that furthers their education endeavours. The MSN was announced as the recipient in front of a crowd of more than 400 people representing more than 100 organisations including the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

MSN chairman Jon Chin acknowledged the support of the lord mayor and the other sponsors. “It is a valuable contribution that will assist the continued work of the network, and importantly, young people in our region,” Mr Chin said. 

The MSN provides scholarships to young people committed to achieving their educational goals, but who lack the financial means necessary to obtain basic resources. An MSN Educational Scholarship allows recipients to pay for items such as computers, course materials, uniforms, reading glasses and excursion fees. MSN has also orchestrated the Refugee Student Education Program, a pilot scheme with the aim of allowing refugee students to flourish within their school setting no matter their background.

In its 11-year history the Lord Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast has shared more than $92,000, and former beneficiaries include Zara’s House, DALE Young Parents School, Girl Friday, Hunter Women’s Centre, Grainery Care, CityServe, Christians Against Poverty, World Vision, Soul Café and Food 4 Life (Baptist Care).


Pastor Rick Prosser, MSN chairman Jon Chin and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at the prayer breakfast.


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Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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