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 Chatswood 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 Chatswood. 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 Chatswood are:
Sarah Ashton: KYDS Youth Development Service Incorporated
Selfless. Remarkable. Inspiring.
Sarah is a Youth Ambassador and volunteer for KYDS, an organisation that provides easy access to mental health and wellbeing support to young people, within the community. Sarah uses her own experiences to benefit others, encouraging other young people to seek help, reduce stigma amongst the broader community as well as raise awareness and funds for the organisation. The Westfield Local Heroes grant would help Sarah to fund free, confidential and professional counselling for the young people she engages with – funding the wages of a counsellor or psychologist for up to one year.
Marion Chaffe: Make-A-Wish Australia
Quiet Achiever. Selfless. Committed.
Marion is a volunteer for Make-A-Wish and has worked tirelessly to grant over 368 wishes to seriously ill children with life threatening illnesses in the North Sydney region over the past 11 years. The wishes have helped the children and their families find happiness and hope during a difficult time as well as strength to keep fighting. With 13 wishes currently in the North Sydney area, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would contribute greatly to ensuring these wishes are fulfilled.
Dina Koncepolski: Cremorne Synagogue
Strong. Caring. Inspirational.
Dina is an important catalyst for social inclusion, working with disadvantaged families to promote positive engagement, behaviour and connection within the community. From improving education and positive behaviour in young people, working with the elderly to reduce isolation to supporting new mothers helping them learn new skills, Dina works tirelessly to create a sense of belonging within the community through relevant social and cultural activities. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would help Dina to continue preparing food for new mothers, enhance her child educational program held every Sunday as well as pay for upcoming cultural celebrations and events.
Carmen Platt: The Generous and the Grateful
Kind. Determined. Connector.
Carmen is the Founder of The Generous and the Grateful Inc (GG), an organisation that collates and delivers high quality and essential furniture and white goods to those starting over, after tragedy or trauma. Through her work, Carmen has created a community for those who no longer have access to theirs and is dedicated to providing provisional aid to people in need. If successful, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would cover delivery costs for five months or delivery, insurance and rent for three months.
Pam Timmins: Dance Chance Incorporated
Committed. Caring. Humble.
Recognising that anyone can find joy and creativity in dance, Pam started Dance Chance, a safe, inclusive and fun weekly dance group for people with disabilities. Now, ten years on, Pam accommodates over 35 dancers in her lessons, all with a diverse range of physical and intellectual disabilities – encouraging them to make new social connections, develop new skills and express themselves creatively. The Westfield Local Heroes grant would allow Pam to grow Dance Chance sustainably and with confidence – challenging perceptions about ability along the way.
Kaila Van Dam: Job Centre Australia
Hardworking. Committed. Innovative.
Kaila is the Manager of the Choice and Control Supports at the Job Centre Australia Chatswood and Dee Why offices, where she supports the 63 young people with disabilities registered within the area to achieve their employment goals. Each day, Kaila commutes from the Central Coast to support disabled youth, and works tirelessly within schools and the community to provide workshops and one-on-one tailored support, assistance and advice. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would allow Kaila to invest in much-needed resources to continue her great work, which would include purchasing IT equipment such as iPads to assist with job searching, funding community events and increasing staff training.