Westfield Local Heroes 2019

Story

Westfield Local Heroes 2019

Westfield Local Heroes is a recognition and awards program that connects and enriches communities in Australia and New Zealand. The program discovers and celebrates individuals who make a positive impact to their local community and/or environment.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.

Bassam Maaliki

Settlement Services International
Determined . Thoughtful . Caring

Year-11 student Bassam Maaliki has been dedicated to helping refugees and other migrants feel welcome in Australia since he was 13 years old. As a second-generation Lebanese Muslim, his difficulties with racism and bigotry inspired him to campaign for change in his community and at school. His first project was an innovative #uBelong badge and key that people wear in solidarity with refugees, migrants, those that feel alone, those that feel unheard and those that feel helpless. Bassam also organised a #uBelong flashmob choir in Sydney, which was an emotional event attended by 800 people.

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Bev Lange

Stepping Out Program
Committed . Dedicated . Confident

When it was time for Bev Lange to move on from her position as General Manager of the Stepping Out Program (SOP), she was so committed to the charity that she took on a board position on a volunteer basis. Stepping Out supports women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, and Bev chairs the fund-raising committee, oversees marketing and has been instrumental in coordinating and promoting a social inclusion group. “The program focuses on supporting the process of recovery and empowering survivors to achieve independence within their community,” says Bev.

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Paula Nicolas

St Merkorious Charity
Passionate . Caring . Visionary

When Paula Nicolas started cooking meals in her kitchen for six families, she had no idea her initiative would grow into a major local charity distributing thousands of meals a week. Paula founded St Merkorious in 2013 and provides cooked meals to the disabled, elderly and homeless, and food hampers to people who can cook for themselves but are unable to afford essential items. Her charity embraces each client on a personal level. “We chat and, most importantly, we listen. We know the stories of each and every client,” says Paula.

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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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If you need support, please phone Lifeline 13 11 14

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