Presenting your 2019 Westfield Local Heroes

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Presenting your 2019 Westfield Local Heroes

We are excited to announce your three 2019 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Westfield Bondi Junction.

These inspiring local leaders were nominated and voted for by the community and will now be awarded a $10,000 grant for each of their affiliated organisations to help their important work to grow.

Westfield Local Heroes is a community recognition and grants program, connecting and enriching local communities. Launched in 2018, the program spans our 40 trade areas across Australia and New Zealand. In 2019, we are awarding $1.2 million to 120 local organisations.

In February 2020, we will open nominations for the 2020 Westfield Local Heroes program, so start thinking about those people in your communities who make a difference.

Your three Bondi Junction Westfield Local Heroes are:

George Freund

COA Sydney
Compassionate . Inclusive . Powerhouse

When George Freund’s father passed away a few years ago, George stepped in to continue his legacy as an enthusiastic volunteer at COA’s popular drop-in centre in Woollahra and making deliveries for the Kosher Meals on Wheels program. George, a Holocaust survivor who arrived in Australia at the age of 12, had an immediate impact, taking on a leadership role, recruiting additional volunteers and starting new programs and services. Now in his 80s, George is still actively involved in managing the organisation, which helps Jewish seniors and others to live independently.

Find out more >


Jose Bello

Next Step Foundation
Dedicated . Generous . Inclusive

As an early childhood educator, Jose Bello knows that having a child with special needs can cause families to disengage from their community. As a former professional footballer, he knows sport brings people together and improves wellbeing. He formed Next Step Foundation seven years ago to give children with special needs an opportunity to improve their physical, emotional and cognitive development in a fun and safe environment. He says the main objectives of the Next Step Program are to integrate participants into mainstream Next Step programs and local soccer clubs and help children transition to school.

Find out more >


Rikki Stern

Cancer Chicks Australia & Pink Hope
Brave . Strong . Resilient

When Rikki Stern was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 20, she craved contact with others in her position but could not find community support for women her age. That’s what inspired her to launch Cancer Chicks, an Australian social media support group based on a similar concept in the UK. Thanks to Rikki’s initiative, more than 130 young women share the highs and lows of their journey with each other. “These women benefit from group rehabilitation. They have a network that provides comfort and support through shared experience,” says Rikki.

Find out more >


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

We congratulate all of our finalists and nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.
View all of the finalists, nominees and their organisations

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