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 Chermside. 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 Westfeld Chermside are:

Eileen Cooke

Preterm Infants' Parents' Association
Generous . Diligent . Committed

Eileen Cooke knows first-hand just how stressful the birth of a preterm baby can be, and she is committed to helping other families when it happens. About one in 12 babies in Australia are born more than three weeks early, and they often have severe and ongoing medical problems.But families in Brisbane can turn to Eileen and the other volunteers at the Preterm Infants’ Parents’ Association, who give them financial and emotional support.“We help parents navigate the rollercoaster of having and raising a preterm baby,” Eileen 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 Eileen is successful, Preterm Infants’ Parents’ Association will be able to extend its support to more families and provide breast pumps to those who can't afford them and help with transport costs for hospital visits.


Jane Hockey

Hope Centre Services
Generous . Enthusiastic . Dedicated

Jane Hockey believes there is no such thing as a bad child and that even the most complex behavioural problems can be overcome with perseverance and love. Jane is a volunteer with Mimi’s House, a mentoring and nurturing program based at Hope Centre Services, for local children who might be struggling at primary school due to their behaviour. Many of the young participants come from difficult family backgrounds, but Jane helps them build confidence, learn new skills and make friends.“I am an educator and an advocate for the vulnerable,” says Jane.

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 Jane is successful, Hope Centre Services will be able to pay the part-time salary of a family liaison officer until the end of next year.


Jay Larkins

Brisbane Paralympic Football Program
Selfless . Passionate . Committed

Jay Larkins set out to help his son play football, but he has ended up bringing the game to kids with disabilities all over Brisbane. He is the founder and head coach of the Brisbane Paralympic Football Program, which exists to ensure that anyone can play football – including his own son who has cerebral palsy. “It is not a privilege for a community member of any ability to be involved. It is their right,” says Jay, who has put countless hours and his own money into the program since creating it in 2006.

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 Jay is successful, Brisbane Paralympic Football Program will buy uniforms for all players and volunteers and expand the program to other areas of Queensland.


Phil Lilliebridge

Legacy
Dedicated . Empathetic . Compassionate

Phil Lilliebridge is there for military families in their time of need. Together with the other volunteers at Legacy Brisbane, Phil helps the loved ones of soldiers who have died or become incapacitated. A former commissioned officer and son of servicepeople himself, Phil lost his father when he was 21 and experienced the support Legacy provided to his mother. Now, he provides personal support to families going through the first stages of grief. “I am rewarded by knowing that I've made a difference in the lives of people who really need me,” Phil 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 Phil is successful, Legacy will put its grant towards the Family Assist Program for wounded survivors and towards training new Legatees.


Sue-Ann Dunning

Ronald McDonald House
Dedicated . Inspiring . Passionate

Sue-Ann Dunning helps families of very sick kids who need a place to stay while in Brisbane or the Gold Coast for treatment. As a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland, she makes the lodging as welcoming as possible. “We provide that home away from home for families who often need to spend months away from loved ones,” she says. The charity has three houses, which can accommodate up to 139 families. Sue-Ann ensures all families experience special occasions and is active on the Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas committees.

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 Sue-Ann is successful, the charity will use its grant to sponsor the upkeep of a room at the Ronald McDonald House Herston.


Tanya Allan

Bravery Box
Supportive . Dedicated . Enthusiastic

Bravery isn’t just a word for Tanya Allen; it’s something she sees every day in kids fighting cancer. Tanya is the founder of Bravery Box, a support program that helps children and teens find their inner strength in the toughest of circumstances. She started Bravery Box when her daughter Lara was receiving treatment for leukaemia and responded positively when she and her husband celebrated her choice to be brave. “She began to look forward to hospital visits. She focused on the connection, celebration and her friendships with the nursing staff.”

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 Tanya is successful, Bravery Box will buy gifts such as T-shirts, journals and bravery gym packs to help kids strengthen their “bravery muscles”.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

Support
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