Presenting your 2020 Westfield Local Heroes


Presenting your 2020 Westfield Local Heroes

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

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 Geelong Local Heroes are:

Debi McKinnis

Heartfelt: Giving the Gift of Photographic Memories
Respectful. Thoughtful. Generous

Debi McKinnis gifts grieving parents precious photographic memories of their child. She is admired for her grace and commitment to helping families who have experienced a stillbirth or have a child with a terminal illness. “Being with families and creating gentle images of their child is a privilege,” Debi says.

__Find out more > __

Jake Janson

Ocean Mind
Inspiring. Energetic. Altruistic

Jake Janson left a career in construction to become a youth worker, knowing that the opportunity to make a difference, was an important one. He trained with Ocean Mind, which runs free surf therapy programs for young people experiencing mental health challenges, social isolation and disabilities. Jake is now the program coordinator for the not-for-profit, and his energy and contagious laughter mean the kids have the best day ever while learning to surf. “Ocean Mind has changed my life. I wake up every day and pinch myself about what I get to do for a living,” he says.

__Find out more > __

Peter Wheeler

Uniting Barwon
Dynamic. Empathic. Inclusive

Photo courtesy of: Hadeel Al Badran,

Peter Wheeler has created an op shop with a difference. The Norlane Op Shop is a welcoming place for people to socialise and seek help. Peter is proud that tons of goods have been saved from landfill, and all profit goes to an emergency fund for those in need.

__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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