Presenting your 2020 Westfield Local Heroes
We are excited to announce your three 2020 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Doncaster.
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.
In February 2021, we will open nominations for the 2021 Westfield Local Heroes program, so start thinking about those people in your communities who make a difference.
Your three Westfield Doncaster Local Heroes are:
Giant Steps Melbourne (GSM)
Compassionate. Selfless. Encouraging
Music therapist Catherine Haining is an innovator when it comes to educating children with autism, combining songs and traditional learning to great effect. She played a crucial role in establishing Giant Steps Melbourne (GSM), a school for children with moderate to severe autism and intellectual disabilities. Catherine is Head of Therapy Services at the school and uses music to help the students to understand and retain numeracy and literacy skills. And music helps them share how they feel when they can't find the words. "In some instances, students who do not speak will sing," Catherine says.
Generous. Compassionate. Of service
Professional photographer Gavin Blue is always willing to donate his skills for a good cause, but he goes above and beyond for grieving parents. After losing his own daughter Alexandra to stillbirth in 2006, Gavin founded Heartfelt as her legacy, to provide free photographic memories for families to treasure. It's been a labour of love, and he has inspired 340 photographers across Australia and New Zealand to volunteer their time. Collectively, they have gifted precious photos to more than 11,000 families. "No family should go home from hospital without a photographic memory of their child or baby," Gavin says.
Pat Cronin Foundation
Tireless, Humble, Astonishing
Matt Cronin is courageously campaigning against senseless violence in memory of his youngest son, Pat, who passed away after a single coward punch in 2016. The loving father has risen above community outrage to be a voice of calm and encourage others to think about their actions. Pat, a physiotherapy student, was 19 when he was hit from behind in a senseless act of violence while enjoying a quiet night out. Matt and his wife, Robyn, started the Pat Cronin Foundation to end the coward punch. "We are determined that no other family should suffer as we have," Matt says.
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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