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 Geelong 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 Geelong. 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 Geelong are:
Kris Angelovski: Barwon Valley Special Developmental School
Committed. Passionate. Respectful.
Kris is an integral part of Barwon Valley Special Developmental School’s Teamworx program, which aims to provide students with special needs an opportunity to develop personal and work skills, preparing them for life and work after school. Kris has a strong devotion to working with students with disabilities and his commitment to the Teamworx program allows it to thrive and prosper further, helping more and more students grow their confidence and a positive work-life attitude. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would allow the Teamworx program to expand further, offering the service to more students, as well as the wider community, through the purchase of additional materials and equipment.
Chris Evans: Encompass Community Services
Dedicated. Compassionate. Visionary.
Chris Evans started as a casual Program Staff member for Encompass Community Services in 2004 without much experience in the disability field. In his role as Program Staff, he shows an extraordinary commitment to assist staff and clients, as well as a total commitment to increase accessibility and raise the standard of the Encompass Farm in Leopold. Encompass runs a life skills program, Farming It, where a work crew comprising of clients and support staff complete gardening and maintenance tasks at our property in Leopold. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would go to expanding the nursery at The Paddock in order to provide further access and inclusion to more people.
Cormach Evans: Strong Brother Strong Sister
Passionate. Dedicated. Strong.
Cormach is a strong advocate for Aboriginal Youth and the founder of the Strong Brother Strong Sister initiative, which works closely with Aboriginal youth to create only the greatest of outcomes with a strong focus on out of home care, youth justice, and suffering mental health in the Geelong community. Cormach has created a number of culturally safe and appropriate spaces for Aboriginal youth to access and thrive within. Cormach trains and employs Aboriginal young people from the Geelong community to create sustainable and attainable leaders, role models and mentors to create a sustainable platform of Aboriginal excellence. If Cormach is selected, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would ensure Strong Brother Strong Sister continues to support all programs for the Aboriginal Youth of Geelong, those being The Koorie Youth Group, 1:1 mentoring for youth at risk, leadership training, supporting Aboriginal youth with employment, training and returning/staying in school and education and creating culturally safe spaces.
Lisa Hamling: Treehouse Autism Family Support Group
Caring. Compassionate. Committed.
Lisa is a dedicated member of the Treehouse Autism Family Support Group, which is a volunteer program developed to support people on the autism spectrum and their families, through providing them with social opportunities, information and encouragement. Lisa and her husband Mark have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which has driven her passion to support others affected by the disorder. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would enable the Treehouse Autism Family Support Group to fund social outings, entertainment and activities, providing opportunities for social inclusion, friendship and peer support among the children and families involved in the program.
Phoebe Lovell: Southern Cross Kids' Camps
Dedicated. Caring. Inspiring.
Phoebe is a devoted volunteer for Southern Cross Kids’ Camp (SCKC) Geelong, working tirelessly to coordinate camp facilities to support children who have suffered abuse, domestic violence and family breakdowns. The camps offer an early-intervention respite service, where 1:1 mentoring helps create a safe space for struggling children and empowers them to build their self-esteem and resilience. In addition to her role as Camp Director, Phoebe’s commitment to the organisation extends into fundraising and community partnership building, helping to ensure that the camps can continue to run, year after year. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would enable SCKC Geelong to take on at-risk children in a specialised early-intervention care program, through the acquisition of campsite accommodation and catering facilities.
Guy Mitchell: Wombat’s Wish
Passionate. Selfless. Hard-working.
Guy is a passionate Camp Coordinator at Wombat’s Wish, a twice-yearly camp which provides bereaved children with support to deal with the grief of losing parents. A Nurse by trade, Guy has a passion for helping others and as the Camp Coordinator at Wombat’s Wish, he is a driving force behind the operational aspects of the camp, along with offering direct support of attendees and other volunteers. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would ensure that Wombat’s Wish can continue to offer two camps per year, providing services to bereaved children free of charge.