Presenting your 2020 Westfield Local Heroes
We are excited to announce your three 2020 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Coomera.
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 42 trade areas across Australia and New Zealand. In 2020, we are awarding $1.26 million to 126 local organisations.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.
Your three Westfield Coomera Local Heroes are:
Alexandra (Alex) Wells
Gold Coast Inclusive Sports Program
Caring. Passionate. Dedicated
Alex Wells was just 14 when she founded a program to help children with disabilities participate in sport. With her school principal’s help, the Gold Coast Inclusive Sports Program came to life in 2016. Hundreds of children with disabilities can play sports, modified for their ability, for fun and fitness. The program is encouraging other young people to volunteer to support the athletes, which is breaking down stereotypes and creating a culture of inclusiveness. “The main focus and goal of the program is to educate the community that people with additional needs are not different to able-bodied people,” Alex says.
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Inspiring. Passionate. Determined
Nicolle Edwards decided to take action after hearing about a family in need of help as they fled domestic violence. Her solution was to create RizeUp, a Gold Coast not-for-profit that has provided life-changing, practical support to more than 1070 families across Queensland. RizeUp now has over 520 volunteers who help to support between five and eight families per week. The organisation sets up and furnishes homes, where families can focus on rebuilding their lives, and supports children as they start at a new school. "RizeUp's programs reduce the likelihood that the families will return to the perpetrator due to financial hardship or lack of resources," says Nicolle.
__Find out more > __
At The Ark Inc
Warrior. Mentor. Friend
Xenia Schembri believes people should not accept bad behaviour from anyone and co-founded At The Ark to support victims of abuse and domestic violence. The charity helps more than 100 families in several ways, including by providing food parcels, help with emergency accommodation and counselling. "I walk with the families towards healing from the pain they have suffered," says Xenia, who is a qualified counsellor. "I want families and individuals to know their worth." Xenia aims to help men and women change, to respect the people they live with and to build each other up instead of pulling them down.
We congratulate all of our finalists and nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.
If you need support, please phone Lifeline: 13 11 14
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