Gavin Blue - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Gifting photographic memories
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 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. Over the past ten years, they have gifted precious photos to more than 11,000 families who have experienced a stillbirth or who have a seriously ill child.
The photographs capture the beauty, love and pain and enable children to be seen and remembered.
"No family should go home from hospital without a photographic memory of their child or baby," Gavin says.
Heartfelt receives 150 requests each month but stricter volunteer requirements in hospitals, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, have caused some families to miss out.
Always innovative, Gavin has come up with a strategy to recruit hospital staff as photographers.
"To be able to train hospital staff on how to use the equipment and take touching photographs would be of great value at this unprecedented moment in global history," Gavin 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. Heartfelt will use its grant to produce an online training program, including videos, for new volunteers and hospital staff.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here