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Chairman's Medal and recipient

Damian was acknowledged for his ‘can do’ attitude and constantly looking for ways he and his connections can further support Camp Quality.

Chairman’s Medal

In December 2017 the Charitable Foundation Chair, Phil Neat announced the creation of the Chairman’s Medal to recognise the achievements and contribution of an outstanding individual volunteer. 

The Medal was created in honour of past Chairman, the late Michael Slater, who was Chairman of both Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and Newcastle Permanent Building Society. For many decades Michael voluntarily gave his time to numerous community groups and organisations. In recognition of Michael’s contribution to his community, the Charitable Foundation Board created the Chairman’s Medal to recognise the impact a volunteer can make on their community. 

The Medal will be presented annually, during National Volunteer Week in May, to a volunteer from a charity that has previously received funding from the Charitable Foundation, and recognises the individual volunteer’s service in addressing disadvantage or marginalisation within their local community, consistent with the mission and values of the Charitable Foundation. 

The recipient of the Chairman’s Medal receives a medal and the Charitable Foundation provides a $3,000 cash grant to the volunteer’s charitable organisation to be used for volunteer development.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation annual review 2017/18
(L-R) Jeff Eather, Chair of Newcastle Permanent Building Society, Neryl Slater, Damian Charleson, Chairman’s Medal recipient, and Phil Neat, Chair of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation

2018 Chairman’s Medal Recipient

The inaugural Chairman’s Medal recipient, Damian Charleson, is a local volunteer described by his peers as thoughtful and generous. 

Damian, a volunteer for Camp Quality and proprietor of Jayco Newcastle and Hunter Valley Homes, was presented with the Medal in recognition of his considerable fundraising and volunteering efforts. 

Credited with raising more than $100,000 for children impacted by cancer, he has been involved in the development of new fundraising events for Camp Quality, including an annual corporate golf day and the Motorcyc events. 

Damian was selected from almost 25 nominees and impressed the selection panel with his passion, commitment, and enthusiasm for his voluntary role with Camp Quality. 

In receiving the Medal, Damian was acknowledged for his ‘can do’ attitude and constantly looking for ways he and his connections can further support Camp Quality. The generosity of Damian, in giving of his time and tirelessly supporting Camp Quality, has made a meaningful difference to the lives of many children and families impacted by cancer.

2018 Chairman’s Medal Recipient
Damian Charleson, Chairman’s Medal recipient and Phil Neat, Chair of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
2018 Chairman’s Medal recipient Damian Charleson


We started looking at how we could recognise Mike Slater's service to the Newcastle Permanent and the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, where he was Chairman for 10 years.

We thought about it long and hard and we negotiated with Mike and we came to a compromise in the sense of saying it was the Chairman's Medal not the Michael Slater Medal. And then we had the hardest choice out trying to select the best person because every volunteer should be acknowledged.

It's Damian Charleson who does work for Camp Quality and he's a great nominee and winner of the Chairman's Medal.


Over the time – the 8 years – that Damian has been with us, he's personally raised over $100,000.

Damian is without a doubt one of a kind.

He embodies everything that our organisation is all about.

He's always looking at the bright side of life, the element of fun that comes with it, the culture, the sensitivity around our families.

We couldn't be without him. 


I've been involved with Camp Quality for 8 years now.

My father died from cancer at a very young age and I saw what that did to him and I guess it tore at my heartstrings in relation to, you know, how all the kids go through that. 

So Motocyc has been a three-day event, or a four-day event, over the last couple of years and generally the riding is 40 or 50 riders riding from anywhere from Queensland back to Newcastle.

I was lost for words when you know the girls from Camp Quality called me up and there was a lot of yelling and screaming on the phone but you know, Camp Quality is such a fun and fantastic organisation, and the people within that, but you know I feel very humbled getting this award.

I think as a business person I have a lot of resources and it's really just a matter of getting up and actually doing something about it.

For me it's just about giving something back.