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Presenting your 2020 Westfield Local Heroes

We are excited to announce your three 2020 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Eastgardens.

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.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.

Your three Westfield Eastgardens Local Heroes are:

Bailey Fitzgerald

Maroubra Movement
Driven. Inspirational. Generous

Bailey Fitzgerald had been vice-captain of his high school, had captained representative footy teams and he had a supportive family and friends. But he was also battling severe anxiety and depression. Now, aged just 21, he is giving back and has launched the Maroubra Movement to help others improve their mental health.

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

__Find out more > __

Margaret Skagias

CaringKids Inc
Passionate. Dedicated. Caring

While working as a social worker, Margaret Skagias recognised the unique contribution of Australian children who care for their parents or siblings. These often unsung heroes may take on housework, shopping, cooking, personal hygiene care, liaising with health professionals and financial matters. In 2014, Margaret founded volunteer-run CaringKids. She and her team make up toy boxes for young carers so they can feel their contribution and role is honoured and recognised. "There are thousands of special needs siblings and young carers in Australia. They are hidden, unsupported and experience social isolation," says Margaret, who is determined to recognise their efforts.

__Find out more > __

Richard Habelrih

Autism MATES
Courageous. Positive. Determined

Richard Habelrih has severe autism, and doctors told his parents he would never speak. But he has proved them wrong and is a popular speaker at schools and conferences. One of the highlights at schools is his Best MATES puppet show. "I play Tommy the Turtle because he is a bit like me. He didn't fit in, so some of the animals don't like him to join their party. It's important to teach kids about being nice," Richard says. He also reminds doctors and teachers that he understands them, so they should speak to him as well as his mum.

__Find out more > __

We congratulate all of our finalists and nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.

View all of the finalists, nominees and their organisations

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

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We acknowledge the Bidjigal people as the Traditional Owners of the land we gather on today and pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and their Elders past and present.

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