Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists

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Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists

In the first year of the Westfield Local Heroes program, we have received an overwhelming response and many heart-warming stories after asking the Belconnen community to nominate individuals who they believe promote social wellbeing and harmony in their communities.

We congratulate every one of our nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.

The community has now cast its vote, the outcome of which will determine the three successful 2018 Westfield Local Heroes for Westfield Belconnen. Each of their affiliated organisations will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work, program or activities.

The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 13 August.

Your six finalists for Westfield Belconnen are:

Ruth Boddy: Ozharvest


Passionate. Professional. Caring.
Ozhavest is a food rescue organization that collects quality, surplus food from donors and delivers it free of charge to people in need. Ruth leads the community cooking session at Canberra College where they have partnered with CC cares to prepare, cook, pack, and deliver highly nutritious meals to local charities including Ronald McDonald House and John James Village. If successful, the $10,000 grant will go towards specialized cooking equipment. With the remaining funds creating over 15,000 meals for vulnerable people in Belconnen and Woden.

Amy Kelly: Belconnen Community Service


Optimistic. Empowering. Respectful.
Amy is responsible for the youth employment pathways hub, offering one-on-one tailored employment support to vulnerable young people aged 17-25 years, who live and work in Belconnen. The program utilizes a strengths-based approach to partner with a young person in developing a participant led plan that empowers them to overcome barriers to change. The focus is to help them gain meaningful employment and assistance in receiving appropriate engagement with education. If successful, the $10,000 grant will enable this program to continue.

Karen Keunen: Make-A-Wish Australia


Caring. Positive. Empathetic.
Karen has worked tirelessly to grant wishes to seriously ill children with life threatening illnesses in the Belconnen area. Wishes have significant impact on the kids physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. She is involved during all stages of a child’s wish journey, including meeting with the child and family to get to know them so that wishes can be specifically tailored to each child. If successful, the $10,000 grant will be applied to achieving 14 wishes in the Canberra region.

Nathalie Maconachie: Cerebral Palsy Alliance


Compassionate. Enthusiastic. Devoted.
Nathalie works as the Fundraising Manager at Cerebral Palsy Alliance, ACT working closely with CPA families to help support them and, to identify areas in which CPA can raise awareness in the community. She is personally responsible for identifying, developing solutions and sourcing all funding for initiatives that fill gaps in current funded disability programs. If successful, the $10,000 grant would allow the charity to implement and evaluate a trial program called ‘Just like you’. This is an educational program seeking to improve community attitude and acceptance towards disability by educating upper primary school aged children.

James Martin: YMCA


Positive. Principled. Generous.
James is the driving force behind YMCA Canberra’s work experience program for students with intellectual disability. At the YMCA group accommodation facilities that he manages, James provides confidence and capacity building work experiences, which create pathways to paid employment and inclusion. This work is in addition to his primary role: successfully managing two large group accommodation facilities, which provide more than 30000 “bed-nights” each year. If successful, the $10,000 grant would allow James and YMCA Canberra to provide two more Australian School Based Apprenticeships to students who have completed the work experience program. In addition to being part of a supportive team, learning new skills and getting paid, the apprentices are awarded a nationally recognised qualification, improving their employability long term.

Emma Sckrabei: Riverview Projects (ACT)


Visionary. Dilligent. Committed.
Emma works for Ginninderry a commercial business who ensure that in all their contracts there is a clause that obligates contractors to provide work experience and/or paid positions for Belconnen residents for the duration of the project. Emma works to help engage, train and provide employment programs aimed at key disadvantaged groups. If successful, the $10,000 grant would provide training and childcare services through a collaboration with SPARK community service partners. The impact this will have on 15% of those registering to undertake training and education will be significant.

Recognising all our 2018 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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