Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

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Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

We congratulate all of our finalists and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community. The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 12 October.

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 Westfield Local Heroes for every Westfield centre. Each of the affiliated organisations of the successful heroes will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive. Westfield will award 126 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.26 million.

Your finalists for Westfield Eastgardens are:

Anna-Jane Linke

Seaside Scavenge
Positive. Passionate. Inspiring

Anna Jane Linke has removed more than 15 tonnes of litter from waterways and educated more than 10,000 people about the value of waste as a resource. Not only that, but her unique ‘cash’-for-trash Seaside Scavenge events provide participants with a fun way to connect with their community and have given a second life to 11 tonnes of clothing. AJ was a Westfield Local Hero finalist in 2020 and appreciates being nominated for a second time.

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 Anna Jane is successful, Seaside Scavenge will fund events for ambassadors who graduate from the 12-week mentoring program.

Belinda Casselden

Hope Believe Shine Foundation
Brave. Dedicated. Determined

Belinda Casselden’s passion and drive to improve the lives of women and children affected by domestic violence has led to the launch of the Hope Believe Shine Foundation. As a domestic violence survivor, Belinda understands the devastating impacts of domestic violence and the importance of specialist domestic violence services. Belinda devotes her time to supporting these organisations so they can focus on what they do best – helping their clients.

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 Belinda is successful, the Hope Believe Shine Foundation will use it’s funding for marketing and to drive fundraising for frontline domestic violence services.

Ben Folino

Purple Hearts
Kind. Patient. Empathetic

Ben Folino started the Purple Hearts club 10 years ago to give children and adults with disabilities an opportunity to play football. But his commitment goes much further. Purple Hearts has developed into a community that helps parents understand they are not alone and prepares the players for employment.

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 Ben is successful, Purple Hearts will use its grant for the registration, gear and training of a mixed abilities team that will be entered into mainstream competitions.

Henry Teofilo

Beaches Outreach Project
Selfless. Caring. Dedicated

Henry Teofilo goes above the call of duty in his work with the Beaches Outreach Project and is committed to supporting local young people as they explore their freedom. He leads several projects, including the trusted minibus that patrols the beachfronts, parks, malls and other areas to offer first aid and additional help.

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 Henry is successful, the Beaches Outreach Project will invest in team training and educational materials about consent, alcohol, drugs, mental health and other topics.

Keith Donnelly

Keith's Closet
Genuine. Dynamic. Fearless

Mental health nurse Keith Donnelly is the founder of Keith’s Closet, an innovative free boutique that provides dignity-restoring clothing, shoes, toiletries and household items to men and women with mental illness.
So far, Keith’s Closet has supported 1600 people – both in-patients and those living in the community.

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 Keith is successful, Keith’s Closet has a shopping list of investments, including the purchase of new underwear and sanitary products or possibly a delivery vehicle. Ultimately, Keith has a vision to expand Keith’s Closet across NSW and Australia.

Rachael Smith

Pantry 4 The People
Caring. Tenacious. Innovative

Rachael Smith sprang into action at the start of COVID-19 to provide local families in need with essential groceries. She teamed up with Alt Saints to launch Pantry4ThePeople, where people can help themselves to donated items. Anyone is welcome to use the pantry and can discreetly take items at night if they wish.

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 Rachael is successful, Alt Saints will use the funds to buy pantry stock and support the community garden. A portion will also go towards an education program for children about how kindness can help others.


If you need support, please phone Lifeline: 13 11 14

Recognising all our 2021 nominees

View all of the Westfield Eastgardens nominees and their organisation

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