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 Doncaster. 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 Westfield Doncaster are:

Alice Dell

Children's Tumour Foundation
Strong . Compassionate . Selfless

When Alice Dell’s son, Barney, was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF), her family struggled to access information and support about the potentially devastating genetic disease that can cause tumours to form on the nerves. The primary school teacher wants others to have a better experience and has become a stalwart supporter of the Children's Tumour Foundation.She has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, her parents have set up a research fellowship, she organises community events, and she is always ready to share her story with other parents to help them navigate the uncertainty of a diagnosis.

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 Alice is successful, the Children's Tumour Foundation will engage a paediatrician for fortnightly clinics for up to to 100 children a year, with the ultimate aim of proving there is enough demand to sustain a service through Medicare billing.


Caroline Eshak-Liuzzi

The Art Cabriolet
Creative . Nurturing . Inspirational

Caroline Eshak-Liuzzi has been waging a brave campaign to use art as an alternative therapy since 2009 when she started helping children who were traumatised by the Black Saturday bush fires. She founded The Art Cabriolet (AC) and ran it at Marysville Primary School for three years, where she helped children heal and thrive while she developed the organisation’s ethos, ethics and methodologies. Caroline says the therapy helps address adverse childhood experiences such as substance abuse, autism, bullying, divorce, domestic violence, eating disorders, incarceration, learning disabilities and grief.

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 Caroline is successful, The Art Cabriolet will use its grant to fund its ART-i-ficial Limb Projekt, which supports children with artificial limbs.


Luke David

Victorian Electric Wheelchair Sports Association
Proactive . Responsive . Resilient

Luke David has a disabling condition called Nemaline Myopathy and relies on an electric wheelchair. Despite his challenges, he is committed to helping others and spends most of his time volunteering for organisations that support people with disabilities. His main passion is sport, particularly electric wheel chair sports, which he took up when he was thirteen.He’s experienced the personal benefit and represented Australia at an international level. “Growing up with a physical disability, I never thought I’d be able to play sport. I want to spread awareness around what our athletes achieve,” he 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 Luke is successful, the association will be in a position to buy much-needed equipment and also hire courts to run activities such as a junior program or social league.


Todd MacDougall

Nexus
Selfless. Motivated. Dedicated.

Todd MacDougall is a military veteran with nearly forty years of service to the Australian Defence Force. With the help of local RSL sub-branches, he has formed a group called Nexus to help veterans connect with their community and overcome post-traumatic stress disorder. Apart from get-togethers, outings and free tickets to sports matches, three Nexus volunteers also offer veterans a 24-hour number they can call to speak to someone or request welfare support. “The idea is to provide the veterans and their families with a soft landing point to reconnect with the community,” says Todd.

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 Todd is successful, Nexus will be in a position to provide interventions such as equine therapy sessions, as well as engage veterans in family orientated outings such as kayaking and bush walking.


Trevor Eddy

Clota Cottage Neighbourhood House
Tenacious. Energetic. Selfless.

Clota Cottage Neighbourhood House is a much-valued sanctuary wherein elderly, disabled and lonely people can socialise and learn new skills. It makes a special effort to embrace people who don’t speak English as a first language, and also provides subsidised child care for young families. However, a major commercial development next door was keeping people away and threatening Clota’s viability. That’s where volunteer treasurer Trevor Eddy came in.He led a concerted media and face-to-face campaign that secured compensation, returned Clota to a firm financial footing and brought the community back together.

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 Trevor is successful, Clota Cottage will replace the ageing computers it uses for adult education and repair the floor in the child-care centre.


Trish Karedis

Giant Steps
Dedicated. Inspiring. Passionate

Trish Karedis took a leap of faith when she left her friends and family in Sydney to start Giant Steps Melbourne, an independent school for students with autism. She and a small team registered the school, raised funds, developed the curriculum, employed the staff, defined the culture and enrolled the students.That was in 2016, and Trish hasn’t looked back.As principal, Trish leads 100 staff. “Helping children and adolescents living with autism has changed my life,” she says.And the students are thriving in the specialist environment that combines education and therapy.

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 Trish is successful, Giant Steps Melbourne will be in a position to introduce a skills development program for its educators.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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