Meet your local hero finalists

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Meet your local hero finalists

Read about your Westfield Local Hero finalists

Westfield Local Heroes is a community recognition and grants program, connecting and enriching local communities.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the outcome of the public vote determining the three successful 2019 nominees for Westfield Carindale. Each of the affiliated organisations for the successful three heroes will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive. In total, Westfield will be awarding 120 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.2 million.

Your Westfield Local Heroes will be announced here on 1 October.

Your six finalists for Westfield Carindale are:

Alison Layton

Caring for Carers Australia
Passionate . Compassionate . Generous

Alison Layton launched Caring for Carers Australia because she knows firsthand how relentless it can be when a loved one needs 24-hour support. Now the charity has started an innovative One Day Off campaign, which gives people an opportunity to sponsor a short break for the almost half a million unpaid carers in Queensland and many more throughout Australia. “A carer’s job is both rewarding and demanding,” says Alison. “One Day Off acknowledges and honours unpaid carers by giving them a choice of either eight hours of respite, domestic cleaning or yard maintenance.”

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Alison is successful, Caring for Carers Australia will fund one day off for 14 local unpaid carers.


Carolyn Robinson

Beyond DV
Humble . Passionate . Persistent

Carolyn Robinson started Beyond DV to help domestic violence survivors through the vulnerable early days after leaving a shelter. Her registered charity has two programs; Bright Start and Time Out. Bright Start is run by teachers who work with families, the Education Department and schools to smooth the way for children who relocate after domestic violence. Time Out offers quarterly personal development workshops to help women rebuild lost self-worth, regenerate hope and develop critical support networks with other survivors. “We support survivors at the recovery stage when there are limited services available,” says Carolyn.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Carolyn is successful, Beyond DV will use its grant to fund an intensive five-day camp to help children aged seven to seventeen heal from the trauma of domestic violence.


Craig Tobin

Special Olympics Redlands
Caring . Dedicated . Understanding

Craig Tobin has been involved with swimming for forty years, volunteered for many causes and touched the lives of thousands of people along the way. For the past ten years, the much-loved former state breaststroke champion has coached squads of Special Olympic and Down syndrome swimmers, making the lessons both fun and meaningful. He is an internationally respected coach, but his influence goes beyond the swimming pool. “Swimming helps build self-esteem and promotes great lifelong friendships. We also improve family support networks and build relationships between like-minded families,” says Craig.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Craig is successful, Special Olympics Redlands will market itself to give more people an opportunity to swim and would cover costs of gear and pool entry for those who cannot afford it.


Jenny Walsh

HeartKids
Humble . Dedicated . Kind

The HeartKids team in Queensland can rely on Jenny Walsh. For six years since she retired, she has spent Mondays and Tuesdays volunteering at their office, keeping people with congenital heart disease connected with the care they need. Jenny’s passion is tween children, those aged eight to twelve who are becoming too old for paediatric care. “It is important we maintain contact with these kids and their families as they transition into the adult health system. The systems are vastly different and one third of this group are lost to follow-up,” she says.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Jenny is successful, HeartKids will sponsor thirty children to attend Tween Camp, which is an important part of the transition program and reduces isolation for those unable to attend mainstream camps.


Katherine Hoyle

Making a Difference Brisbane
Inspiring . Passionate . Bold

Katherine Hoyle and her mother, Denise, started Making a Difference – Brisbane after the 2011 floods. Better known as The MaD Team, they and their group of volunteers have become an integral part of the local support network for homeless people and children in need. Their main role is to distribute backpacks and essential items to vulnerable people. “I have been influenced by my mother since I was a child to pay it forward. Whether it was a school fete, local charity or church group, mum would encourage me to help and volunteer,” says Katherine.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Katherine is successful, Making a Difference – Brisbane will be able to buy and distribute more than 8,000 backpacks.


Lauren Cahill

Children's Tumour Foundation
Empathetic . Generous . Trailblazer

Lauren Cahill had never heard of the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis (NF) until a brave girl with a tumour on her brain stem came into her shoe store. Young Emme touched Lauren and she wanted to do something practical to help. She decided to design a girl’s shoe and name it after Emme, with all profits going to the Children´s Tumour Foundation of Australia. Now, girls all over Brisbane are wearing the sparkly glitter shoes, not only raising much needed funds, but also raising awareness and compassion about NF, which can be both debilitating and disfiguring.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Lauren is successful, Children´s Tumour Foundation of Australia will put the grant towards improving access to paediatricians at Queensland Children's Hospital for children with NF.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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