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 Eastgardens. 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 Eastgardens are:

Craig Jarvis

Wheelchair Sports NSW
Dedicated . Committed . Generous

Many people who have tried wheelchair sports in the eastern suburbs have been encouraged by Craig Jarvis.By day, he helps patients at the Prince of Wales Hospital learn how to use a wheelchair. After work, he often introduces newly disabled people to wheelchair sports and has been a volunteer for Wheelchair Sports NSW for thirty-nine years. Every Wednesday night, he runs a wheelchair basketball scrimmage at Daceyville PCYC. “My aim is to give people with physical disabilities opportunities to engage in various wheelchair sports for all the things that sport can provide,” says Craig.

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 Craig is successful, Wheelchair Sports NSW will be able to buy two basketball wheelchairs for new players to try the sport.


Emma Levett

Make-A-Wish
Fun-Loving . Compassionate . Encouraging

Make-A-Wish Australia touches a chord on many levels for Emma Levett, who is President of the charity’s central Sydney branch. One of her many roles is to visit families in their homes to capture children’s wishes and make them come true. During these visits, she is often reminded how small amounts of kindness, love, compassion and fun can help the whole a family. On a personal level, Emma grew up with a sister who had a life-threatening illness. “It gives me an insight into how many of the families who I meet are struggling,” she 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 Emma is successful, Make-A-Wish Australia will put the grant towards the thirteen active wishes in the central Sydney region.


Kate Williams

Malabar Midwives
Compassionate . Committed . Experienced

As a Wiradjuri woman, midwife Kate Williams has cultural insight that makes the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick more welcoming to Indigenous mothers. Kate provides culturally sensitive care at Malabar Midwives and has helped triple the number of Indigenous women giving birth at the hospital over the past twelve years. This leads to healthier babies and mothers, many of whom breastfeed and make healthy lifestyle choices. “Unfortunately, Aboriginal women still face prejudice within the mainstream health system. If they do not feel comfortable with the service, they will not use it,” says Kate.

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 Kate is successful, Malabar Midwives will be able to improve the equipment at its three clinics and provide more support to women, such as cab vouchers to attend appointments.


Kirsty Levin

The Parents Village
Passionate . Empathetic . Committed

When psychologist Kirsty Levin suffered early parent shock and postnatal depression in 2012, she was surprised by the lack of preparation programs available for early parenthood. This fuelled her desire to help expectant and new parents prepare for their lifelong job, and she co-founded The Parents Village to fill the gap she had experienced. “I am driven to support our clients to find their voice and their feet at home and work, to feel connected to their children, their family and the community, and to thrive instead of just survive through parenthood,” says Kirsty.

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 Kirsty is successful, The Parents Village will be in a position to offer pro bono services to parents in need and to reach more parents by developing an online learning platform.


Peter Hennessy

Dunbar Rovers FC
Zealous . Determined . Driven

Peter Hennessy has been an active and dedicated volunteer at Dunbar Rovers FC for twety-one years.As a director, he plays an integral part in helping to keep the club fee-free, which is special, because most premier league clubs charge players more than $1500 a season. It’s an important ethical issue for the club leadership because they don’t believe youth players should subsidise senior football.However, it puts extra fundraising pressure on Peter and the leadership.“I put thirty to forty hours a week into running the club,” 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 Peter is successful, Dunbar Rovers FC will use its grant to set up a disability football program for children.


Samantha Heron

Youth off the Streets
Dedicated . Community Minded . Energetic

Samantha Heron has created heart-warming experiences by bringing disconnected school students and their elders together in a pilot mental health program. The two generations built a strong rapport, telling their stories during weekly visits over an eight-week period. The students from The Bowen College Maroubra’s Youth Off the Streets program delighted their teachers by showing how patient and caring they could be, and some have gone on to complete work experience at aged-care facilities. “My vision is, at its heart, to reduce social isolation and promote inclusion and harmony for our local community,” says Samantha.

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 Samantha is successful, The Bowen College would be able to fund the STEP program in 2020.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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