Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists
In the first year of the Westfield Local Heroes program, we have received an overwhelming response and many heart-warming stories after asking the community to nominate individuals who they believe promote social wellbeing and harmony in their communities.
We congratulate every one of our nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.
The community has now cast its vote, the outcome of which will determine the three successful 2018 Westfield Local Heroes for Westfield Garden City. Each of their affiliated organisations will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work, program or activities.
The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 13 August.
Your six finalists for Westfield Garden City are:
Lynn Atkinson: Giving Grannies
Passionate. Dedicated. Tireless
Lynn Atkinson runs the not-for-profit group Giving Grannies, from her home in Brisbane that she shares with her husband Neil. The main service is to provide Baby Welcome Kits to families who need a helping hand, and they also collect and distribute pre-loved baby and children’s goods including clothes, shoes, toys, books, prams and cots. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would help Giving Grannies supply more families with the essentials they need.
Sophie Cox: Woodridge North State School Community Hub
Engaging. Compassionate. Tireless.
Sophie’s work as the Community Hub leader at Woodridge North State School promotes social inclusion by breaking down barriers that migrant and refugee families face when settling in Australia, especially for women and their young children aged 0-5 years. The Hub was developed as a safe place for women and their children to engage in programs and connect with the local community. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would impact greatly on the support and service that Sophie can provide for the children and families including; extending opening hours for working families, programs to help children achieve developmental milestones and training that will help provide educational opportunities for migrant mums.
Grant Gamlen: Queensland Blue Light Association
Professional. Enthusiastic. Charismatic
Grant is responsible for the inception, creation and delivery of ‘Blue Edge’, a program that takes a proactive, hands on approach to showing young people that they can take control of their lives. Through focussing on education, nutrition and exercise. The Blue Edge program motivates young Australians, especially those who are disadvantaged, to achieve their highest potential by fostering a positive relationship with the police, their parents and the community. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would allow Grant to facilitate additional Blue Edge programs in the Upper Mount Gravatt and South Brisbane communities.
John Godwin: Fair Go Australia Foundation
Passionate. Tireless. Inspirational.
John is the chairman of the Fair Go Australia Foundation, which helps young and marginalised Australians develop the skills and confidence necessary to gain access to opportunities that are taken for granted by many. The programs educate and support individuals to help with personal and emotional development, goal setting initiatives and mentoring. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant is equivalent of 360 hours of voluntary mentoring time, and would cover recruitment, coordination, training and supporting mentors.
Jonathan O'Loan: Hep C Kombi Clinic
Altruistic. Innovative. Inspired.
Jonathon is a GP in Inala, where many of his patients encounter economic and social hardships, and suffer from the highest rate of Hepatitis C in Australia. John’s team has assisted to deliver life-saving treatment via their mobile clinic in a cream coloured Kombi van. Thanks to the Kombi Clinic, those who are most disadvantaged and disengaged from mainstream medical services are being given access to treatment that they would otherwise never receive. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would enable John to develop a pioneering strategy of mass screening to help diagnose and give early intervention treatment to the estimated 50, 000 Australians that live with Hepatitis C and are not aware of their illness.
Rami Saheb: Arabic Interpreting Services
Dedicated. Focused. Generous.
Rami is a registered Arabic-English interpreter and qualified social worker who has provided free interpreting services to migrants and refugees throughout Brisbane and Townsville since 2001. Rami also provides counselling, family therapy and mentoring to young adults, as well as sessions that focus on improving English and employment skills for Arabic migrants. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would allow Rami to offer training and mentoring on a wider scale, and contribute to costs of educational materials, technology equipment and transport.