It's been a year of emotions - from the distress of a young man's premature death to the sheer joy of the women's World Cup and the feelings stirred during the offshore wind debate in the Illawarra.
Mercury photographer Adam McLean has been there for it all.
Scroll down and enjoy just a small selection of his work from 2023. Click any of the links to see even more ...
In most sports hitting the bottom is hardly ever a good thing. The exception to this rule is in underwater hockey, where participants are actually encouraged to get to the bottom as quickly as possible. Read it all here.
The University of Wollongong grounds were a sea of blue on Monday, as emergency service workers came together to celebrate the life of their colleague Steven Tougher.
Dozens of marked vehicles filled the campus car parks and hundreds of uniformed workers through the grounds towards the hall where his service was held, some stopping to hug or shake hands on the way. Read the full story
Keeping the antipodean connections going at the For The Love Festival was London-based DJ and record producer Duke Dumont, whose club-style set continued the heat into the evening even after the sun had gone down. After a few summers to forget, this year's was one to remember. Read the full story
It's always all about the weather. And yes, we had it all in 2023 - just not quite as much rain as the previous 12 months, though.
Current evidence suggests both El Nino and La Nina could change significantly over the next 70 years, which will have consequences for how they impact us. Read the full story
Thirroul's Illawarra Rugby League fairytale is complete, with the Butchers overhauling a halftime deficit to outlast Collegians 24-18 and claim their first premiership since 2014. Read the full story
Illawarra has sacked coach Jacob Jackomas with immediate effect, with assistant coach Justin Tatum to take over in an interim capacity. The Hawks confirmed the move on Tuesday ahead of Sunday's road clash with the Breakers on the back of a disappointing defeat to a drastically undermanned Cairns outfit. Read the full story
Caitlin Foord was one of the stars on show as the Matildas won the hearts of the nation whhen the FIFA Women's World Cup came to town.
After positive performances in the early games, Foord finally got her reward with her first goal of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup as Australia beat Denmark 2-0 in Sydney early August. Read the full story
Just like that, the dream ended. England knocked Australia out of the FIFA Women's World Cup at the semi-final stage after a 3-1 win at Stadium Australia. The English progressed to the final against Spain. Read the full story
England took the lead just before half time putting the Matildas on the back foot before Sam Kerr justified her selection by scoring one of the best World Cup goals of all time to level the game midway through the second half.
However it was England's game in the end with a goal to Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo after Kerr's belter seeing them home 3-1. Read the full story
Wollongong has strengthened its reputation as being a perfect location for mountain bike riders after hosting a mammoth Illawarra MTB School Competition in August. Read the full story
Close to 300 high schools students from across the Illawarra and further abroad flocked to Cringila MTB Park for the competition, run by Rocky Trail Academy, which provided plenty of huge jumps and twists for competitors. Read the full story
After trailing 18-12 at the break, second half tries to Jye Patterson and Monty Raper put the Butchers ahead 24-18 with 19 minutes to play. It proved enough, with Jarrod Costello's side good enough to hold on and secure the Illawarra Rugby League title. Read the full story
The SES recorded over recorded over 350 incidents in the Illawarra - mostly storm damage - as well as 21 rescues from floodwater. These included rescues from both vehicles trapped in floodwaters, as well as retrievals from buildings. All involved were safe and well. Read the fiull story
Thousands of people gathered to commemorate the fallen at Anzac Day services across the Illawarra on April 25. Check out dozens of photos from across the Illawarra
If you wander up to Clifton's School of Arts in February, you may find a familiar set of ice blue eyes staring back from the wall. Not ones you knew personally - or perhaps you did from a youth spent kicking around Berkeley in the 70s - but eyes that graced Australian screens for the better part of forty years - those of actor Geoff Morrell. Read the full story
Coniston has capped their fairytale finish to the 2023 season after claiming a 1-0 win over rivals Cringila in the 2023 Premier League grand final. In a tense affair, Matt Floro's superb strike early in the second half proved the difference at WIN Stadium as Cono ended a 22-year IPL grand final drought. Read the full story
St George Illawarra sacked coach Anthony Griffin in mid-May. He had been under a mountain of pressure since the club informed him in March that he would need to reapply for his job and that it will be considering other candidates. Read the full story
A group of protesters rallying against a Rainbow Storytime reading in Thirroul were significantly outnumbered out by a loud, colourful group who welcomed the event to the area in June. Read the full story
As the Voice to Parliament referendum fails across the nation, a majority of voters in the Cunningham electorate backed the Yes campaign as the day came to a close. It was a different story in the southern parts of the Illawarra, where voters in Whitlam and Gilmore electorates sided with No. Read the full story