Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

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Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

We congratulate all of our finalists and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community. The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 27 October.

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 2020 nominees for every Westfield centre. Each of the affiliated organisations of the successful heroes will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive. Westfield will award 126 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.26 million.


Your finalists for Westfield Chermside are:

Alison Cox

Wesley Mission Queensland's The ORCA Project
Positive. Inspiring. Innovative

When Alison Cox's daughter Jasmin was nearing the end of her schooling, there were no opportunities for young adults with different abilities. Alison has experience in community work and took matters into her own hands. She approached Wesley Mission Queensland and started the successful ORCA project to help people like Jasmin become work-ready and enjoy a purposeful and independent future. "We work hard with families and the participants to help them to not just recognise work as an option, but to dream about the kind of work they really want to do," says Alison.

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, ORCA will use its grant to expand their micro enterprises to provide more opportunities for the young people.


Carmel Gamble

St Vincent's Private Hospital Northside
Caring. Compassionate. Dedicated

Breast care nurse Carmel Gamble has 40 years of experience and knows women with breast cancer need empathy and knowledgeable support from diagnosis until after their treatment is complete. She ensures she is with every patient every step of the way. Carmel's phone is always on and she is available to answer questions or tap into her extensive network to help her patients. Often women receive conflicting advice from many different sources, which adds to their anguish. "I can explain treatments; why, how and when things will happen. I give the information they need at the time they need it."

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 Carmel is successful, St Vincent's Private Hospital Northside will use its grant to set up a community program on survivorship and thrivorship for anybody affected by cancer.


Eileen Cooke

Preterm Infants Parents' Association Inc (PIPA)
Passionate. Committed. Friendly

For more than 20 years, Eileen Cooke has been providing much-needed support to the families of premature babies. She knows exactly what they are going through, as her eldest son was born 11 weeks early in 1996. Eileen is now the pivotal volunteer, administrator and parent support person with the Preterm Infants Parents' Association (PIPA), a parent-to-parent support group and charity. "PIPA bases its activities on friendship. Only a premmie parent can really understand what another prem parent is going through," Eileen says. "This friendship also helps after discharge with the challenges of raising a child born too soon."

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 Eileen is successful, PIPA will use its grant to fund its annual family support picnic, buy breast pumps and pay transport costs for regional families.


Jack Pool

Stafford Meals on Wheels
Selfless. Kind. Funny

Jack Pool is older than most people he helps. The committee president of Stafford Meals on Wheels is in his late eighties but is always the first to put his hand up to help. Jack delivers nutritious and healthy meals to people who can't cook or shop for themselves. He loves to share a joke with his clients and other volunteers and is always happy to help with an odd job.
"As our logo says, 'we are more than just a meal'," Jack says. He started delivering meals as a volunteer in 1998 and was elected committee president in 2002.

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 Jack is successful, Queensland Meals on Wheels will use the funds for groceries, equipment and running costs.


Tilly (Norma) Brasch

Hummingbird House
Committed. Compassionate. Conscientious

Tilly (Norma) Brasch dedicates herself to children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Every Tuesday for the past two years, the 77-year-old has volunteered at Hummingbird House, Queensland's only hospice for children. Around 400 children and their families come to the house each year for short breaks, support or end-of-life care. Tilly is often seen nursing babies, playing dress-ups and games with siblings or providing care alongside nursing staff. Having lost her only son, Tilly has the most profound empathy for the families. "I do for them what I would do for my own family," 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 Tilly is successful, Hummingbird House will be able to support more Queensland children with life-limiting conditions.


Zoe Rehbein

Children's Tumour Foundation of Australia
Strong. Resilient. Determined

Zoe Rehbein is making life less stressful for parents whose children have been diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF), a condition that causes benign and malignant tumours to form throughout the central nervous system. Zoe has personally experienced how difficult the hospital system can be to navigate. Her daughter Emme, was diagnosed at just 9 weeks of age and has needed constant monitoring and treatment for a life-threatening tumour on her brain stem. Through her volunteer work with the Children's Tumour Foundation of Australia, Zoe has been a strong and empathetic advocate for families needing specialised support at the Queensland Children's Hospital. Due to the unpredictable and complex nature of NF, families consult multiple specialists, and Zoe's efforts have helped nurture a sense of belonging and inclusion within the QLD NF community, while also helping to improve access to community services. Zoe also founded a fundraising team that has collected close to $100,000 for the Children’s Tumour Foundation.

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 Zoe is successful, the Children's Tumour Foundation will create a new patient registry to help identify both adults and children who would benefit from clinical and support services, as well as future research initiatives.


If you need support, please phone Lifeline: 13 11 14

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