Presenting your 2019 Westfield Local Heroes
We are excited to announce your three 2019 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Westfield Chatswood.
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 Westfield Chatswood Local Heroes are
The Banksia Project
Passionate . Selfless . Dedicated
Business executive Bryan Coleman knows through experience that many men suffer through mental illness in silence, not knowing how to speak about their anguish and unable to seek help. That’s why he and other volunteers set up the Banksia project, which provides a free, safe and supportive peer environment in which men can speak about their stress, anxiety and depression before they hit a crisis point, thus preventing suicide. “We aim to educate and provide skills that will empower an individual to manage their mental health on a general day to day basis,” says Bryan.
Devoted . Open-hearted . Energised
At 24 years old, Eliza Wilson has already devoted much of her life to helping others. The caseworker on Streetwork’s Kickstart program has up to 15 vulnerable young women under her wing at any time. Some are as young as 11, and the oldest are 18. Eliza works one-on-one with each to achieve the goals they have chosen for themselves. This could be to improve their mental health, improve school attendance or performance, overcome substance abuse, reduce their risk of homelessness or increase their engagement in social activities.
Life's Little Treasures Foundation
Passionate . Empathetic . Tireless
Driven by a deep sense of caring, she identified a need for some community compassion and support for families with sick or premature babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). These families can spend many months in hospital with their babies, with only bread and a vending machine available to them within the unit. She created a donation-led breakfast and snack food table (The Brekkie Bar) to provide easily accessible nutritious and treat foods for families to help themselves. She is delighted that her Brekkie Bar has also become a comforting gathering place and facilitates peer support for exhausted and overwhelmed families. “Parents share their experiences, celebrate milestones and lend an ear,” says Michelle.
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
If you need support, please phone Lifeline 13 11 14
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