Meet the candidates for Ward 3

Six groups of candidates appear likely to nominate for the election of three councillors to represent Newcastle’s Ward 3. 

The Local invited the lead candidate from each group to tell readers something about themselves and their vision for the local community and the City of Newcastle if elected.

Candidate photos and responses appear here in alphabetical order. 

The Returning Officer for Newcastle will hold a draw on Thursday 4 November to determine the position each group will have on the ballot paper.

Election Day is 8am to 6pm on Saturday 4 December.

Prepoll voting is available 9am to 5pm from Monday 22 November daily until Friday 3 December (except Sunday 28 November).

Darren Brollo

Animal Justice Party

Proudly representing the Animal Justice Party in his home town of Newcastle is Darren Brollo. Following his passion for animal rights, Darren is a strong advocate for urgent change to the inherently cruel practices of modern intensive factory farming.

Adopting a plant based diet over 30 years ago as part of a compassionate lifestyle, he promotes the many benefits of veganism including personal health and environmental sustainability. As a proponent of equality for all species, Darren believes that animals should not be viewed as property or used as food, clothing, research subjects, entertainment or sport.

In line with the Animal Justice Parties Four Core Values of Kindness, Equality, Rationality and Non-Violence, Darren stands for social justice, representing the animals, the environment and the most vulnerable in our society.

“Which for me aligns with a belief system, an ideology that everything is interconnected, – “one health”, the direct connection and interdependence between human health, animal health and ecosystem/environmental health.”

Highly regarded for his drumming ability, music has alway been a platform for Darren to share the message of animal rights and encourage others to consider ethical and humane choices. A founding member of the highly successful Australian band Lo-tel, Darren achieved ARIA nominations and a National No.1 single with ‘Teenager of the Year’. He combines his love of music and education as Principal of Hunter business, The dbmusic Drum Academy.

Darren is often found out and about with his 11 year old rescued Golden Retriever, Bella, and his more recent Dingo/Kelpie rescue, Indie. He has spent time caring for many rescued companion and farm animals over many years. His other interests include sustainable architecture, tiny houses and minimalism in a bid to reduce our footprint on the planet.

Darren is very happily married with two teenage children, and with the support of his family feels honoured to have been selected by the Animal Justice Party to be a voice for the animals, the environment and the most vulnerable in our society.

Mark Brooker


You may know me as the founder and publisher of The Local, which you’re reading right now.

But let me tell you a little more about myself.

I’m married to Katrina, who is my rock and I’m father to four gorgeous kids. I have lived in Newcastle and the Hunter for more than 30 years and in Ward 3, Lambton in particular, for the last 14 years.   When I’m not getting The Local to the printers then into your letterbox I’m a disability support worker with a local not-for-profit community services provider.

I love my two ‘jobs’. They are very different roles but they have both grown within me a strong sense of identity and community.

Before founding The Local in 2014 I had worked for more than 20 years in sales and general management for some of Australia’s  largest media companies. 

I’ve always been keenly interested in helping small local businesses succeed. Ward 3 is blessed with some great neighbourhood business centres with hard-working, innovative business owners.        

Locally-owned and operated small businesses add colour and character to a community. 

I believe there’s more that local government can do to support and encourage local business people.

Our community’s sustained growth and development is served best by local people representing local people. It’s as simple as that. 

I have met the costs of this election campaign personally and not sought donations from any person or business. It’s vital that  local councillors are free from influence by donors. 

This current term of council has been characterised by name calling and marred by petty political games and an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ or government versus opposition mindset that doesn’t belong in local government. Our city deserves better. The elected council should be the voice of the community not the mouthpieces of the big parties. 

If elected I pledge to play my part  in bringing respect, co-operation and constructive debate back to council.      

Good civic leadership can achieve so much more than the political games we’ve endured during this council term.

It’s important too that your elected representatives don’t view the position of councillor as a stepping stone to a bigger political stage. 

If you agree with me that our community deserves genuine, local representation with no big party ties, no head office and no behind the scenes donors please  vote Mark B for Ward 3!

Sinead Francis-Coan

The Greens

Sinead is a passionate Novocastrian with a background in tourism studies at the University of Newcastle and a passion for the performing and creative arts. 

She believes both are powerful and transformative elements of our society. Sinead is an active member in our community, advocating for our environment, Indigenous rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights and refugee rights across a wide range of different community groups. 

Having grown up in Jesmond, Sinead knows that Newcastle is far more than just what our CBD has to offer. 

Her extensive travel experience helps her appreciate the facilities in Newcastle but also see the potential of how public spaces have been used around the world. 

Sinead studied Japanese throughout secondary school and university then lived in Kanagawa prefecture for a year where she taught English. Sinead does some freelance writing and has been published in Global Hobo magazine and self-published via her blog, The Globetrotters Grind

Her postgraduate research focused on land use conflict in the Upper Hunter Valley which required her to engage with a range of stakeholders to understand their perspectives. 

Sinead represented the Newcastle Greens as candidate for Wallsend in the 2019 NSW election.

Nuatali Nelmes

Labor Party

I was first elected as a ward 3 councillor in 2008 then again in 2012, and continued my local advocacy as lord mayor since 2014. I work closely with the current ward 3 Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz and deputy lord mayor Declan Clausen. 

At the upcoming election, I will be joined on the Ward 3 ticket by Cr Peta Winney-Baartz and Margaret  Wood.              

Peta Winney-Baartz is a proud mum of four, and is well known in the New Lambton community, working as an early childhood teacher.  Margaret Wood is a retired solicitor from New Lambton and a strong advocate for people with disabilities. 

The Newcastle Labor team has delivered significant upgrades to ward 3 infrastructure like our roads, footpaths, and drainage, as well as to our green open spaces and sporting facilities. 

Peta and I have delivered new playgrounds in New Lambton, Hamilton North, and at Blackbutt Reserve, as well as the North Lambton Dog Park.

Working with local sporting clubs, we have secured significant upgrades to our sporting facilities. Protecting and securing Novocastrian Park from ongoing vandalism has been a proud achievement, with Peta leading the advocacy at Council for this to occur. 

Our leadership has seen $42 million invested into sporting facilities over the last 4 years, delivering drainage improvements and facility upgrades across the City. Our words have been backed by actions. 

The upcoming rejuvenation of Blackbutt Village at Orchardtown Road will see improved amenity for the popular shopping precinct. As a disability advocate, Margaret has provided important feedback on accessibility that has been integrated into the design. 

Addressing family and domestic violence has always been a strong focus for our team. Peta and I have ensured that Council has supported charity partners Got Your Back Sista and Nova for Women and Children through significant fundraising and advocacy campaigns.

Katrina Wark

Liberal Party

Katrina Wark was selected by the Liberal Party to represent ward 3 in Newcastle City Council local election on December 4, 2021. Katrina works for Hunter New England Health as a registered nurse and is cardio-thoracic trained. Katrina has worked in all areas of nursing, ICU, medical and surgical, radiology, theatres in representative roles for GSK and Medlogic. From 2010 to 2012 Katrina worked in HMRI in medical research for respiratory conditions.

In the late 90s Katrina was involved with John Hunter Children’s Research Foundation working in a team to raise much needed funds for research for children’s medical health issues. 

In 2017, Katrina set up Newcastle Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, raising money to help support CF Australia, Pediatrics and Adults in the Hunter New England area. Katrina is married to Professor Peter Wark who is a Respiratory Specialist, and they have 7 children, a son in law, daughter in law and two grandchildren.

Katrina was born in Newcastle and is very passionate about her community, which needs someone who will give the suburbs of Ward 3 a voice and more control over what happens in this part of Newcastle.

Katrina believes that our community deserves better than the current lack of transparency in Newcastle City Council, with most of the money spent in other parts of the city. The community is tired of the infighting that has been the norm for the Council, they want to see local results from their hard earned rates. Council has been wasting money, with the new council chambers being a perfect example. The Newcastle community is being forced to needlessly pay millions of dollars for the new council premises, when that money could have gone to much needed local facilities.

Dave Wild


Dave is a father of five and a ward 3 local, having lived in Lambton almost his whole life. 

He is a keen sportsman and administrator, having been involved in various playing, volunteering and administrative roles over the years. 

Dave will fight for you and your fair share. Dave is committed to refurbishing Lambton Pool making it a year-round facility. 

He is also keen to improve sporting fields and amenities for men, women and people with disabilities. He has identified 82 streets in ward 3 without a footpath and is committed to fixing this, as well as increasing the number of cycleways.  

A former policeman and police prosecutor, Dave has served on various high profile Strike Forces investigating serious offences including armed robbery, sexual assault and murder. Dave also formerly led the Hunter and Newcastle Rugby League, the largest senior rugby league competition anywhere in the world. 

He’s a qualified rugby league referee and cricket umpire. He now is working with Cricket NSW and continues to run representative programs with New South Wales Rugby League. 

For more than 15 years, Dave has been involved with several sporting, community and charitable organisations and is heavily focused on contributing to community projects. 

Dave sees his candidacy as a chance to give back to the community in both a meaningful and positive way. 

He is running for Council to assist in the implementation of change to benefit the community that he has been a part of his whole life.  

He is prepared to work for you to get the results the ward 3 community deserves.


See for further information.
Failure to vote in the Local Government election may result in a fine being issued by the NSW Electoral Commission. Nominations close Wednesday 3 November. Information published here was correct at time of posting.

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