Knights Fans and Miners pack Hunter Stadium for ‘Voice for Mining Family Day’

March 28, 2015

Hunter Stadium was a sea of high-vis orange and yellow today as over 20,000  footy fans, local miners and mining supporters cheered on two great teams - the Newcastle Knights and NSW miners - at the third annual Voice for Mining Family Day.

Around 5,000 miners and their families, along with suppliers and supporters of the industry, joined Knights fans to make it another memorable and well supported Voice for Mining Family Day. 

Alongside the Knights cheerleaders, an honour-guard of miners lined the player’s tunnel to welcome the Knights players on to the ground. Again this year the team took to the field in a special high-vis replica ‘miners’ jersey in support of the region’s miners and to celebrate all that mining brings to the Hunter region and state.

As part of this year’s Voice for Mining Family Day, two of the Hunter’s hard working community volunteers were honoured.  Joe and Margaret Matthews have been tireless supporters of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, raising more than $1.5 million over the past 15 years through the Black Coal Cup Golf Day and the Black Coal Ball in Muswellbrook.

To recognise their ongoing hard work, Joe and Margaret delivered the match ball into Hunter Stadium via the Westpac Rescue Helicopter at half time during the NYC game.

Pictured: Joe Matthews and his wife Margaret with NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee after they were choppered into Hunter Stadium

Also raising funds were three coal miners, including premiership winning Newcastle Knights player and now proud Hunter Valley coal miner Bill Peden. Pictured here with Shane from Cowal Gold in West Wyalong and Mitch from Centennial Coal in Lake Macquarie, Bill and the boys raised another $1,000 for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service kicking goals in our half time 'Chopper Kick'.

Newcastle Knights CEO, Matt Gidley, said today’s Voice for Mining Family Day shows the connection between the Hunter’s coal miners and the Knights is as strong as ever.

“It was really important we show our support for Hunter miners and their families today. The mining industry is huge in our community and rugby league is also really important to the people of the Hunter, so I think it’s a great fit,” Gidley said.

Knights fans got right behind the Voice for Mining concept again this year making it one of the biggest events for the Hunter's mining community, with this man winning our 'Hi-vis Fan of the Day' competition with prizes including a trip to Sydney to see the Knights play in hi-vis against the Cronulla Sharks.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the significance of so many people standing up for our local miners has never been more important, with Voice for Mining Family Day on the same day as the NSW election.

“Mining and the Knights are both central to the Hunter, so it’s been great to see both celebrated today. It’s also a good way to send a message to those seeking election that a strong mining industry means a strong Hunter, and more jobs for local workers and their families,” he said.

“The game also represents the climax of the inaugural Hunter Coal festival - a community driven celebration of everything coal mining means to the region.”


The special Newcastle Knights high-vis replica miners jersey is on sale now at the Hunter Sports Superstore or at

Brad Emery | NSW Minerals Council | | 0450 620 254 | 02 9274 1400
Tara White | Newcastle Knights | | 0403 033 625

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