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 Helensvale 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 Helensvale. 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 five finalists for Westfield Helensvale are:
Felicity Dearlove: My Friend’s Place
Felicity is a full time volunteer support worker for My Friend's Place Qld. Felicity’s valued time, experience and input has assisted numerous woman and children who have escaped domestic and family violence. Her dedication, passion and selflessness has assisted these women and families to overcome their trauma, put their lives back together and move onto a safe self-managed life. Felicity would like to establish a group home for youth who have been affected by family violence and now find themselves homeless as a result. The Westfield Local Heroes $10,000 grant would be used to grow awareness of the program by speaking to local schools to assist with clients food, daily necessities and children’s schooling requirements as well as covering the immediate costs of opening more safe houses to assist more women and children.
Nicolle Edwards: RizeUp Australia
Nicolle is the Founder of RizeUp Australia, a community driven organisation that provides practical support for families affected by domestic violence. From establishing new homes for those who have fled a violent household, to creating programs to support and empower families to raising funds for families with nothing left and helping children in refuge rebuild self-esteem, Nicolle and the passionate team at RizeUp work hard to be the base-line security net for families in crisis. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would furnish 5 homes and help 25 children start their new school with new uniforms, new backpacks meaning they will stand out for all the right reasons.
Luke Harrison: Paradise Kids
Luke is a Young Ambassador for Paradise Kids, where he supports children and adolescents who have been directly affected by death or separation, or who are dealing with a terminal illness. His personal goal is to touch lives around the world through music, and his work with Paradise Kids allows him to positively impact children who need it most by challenging his peers to participate within the community by “paying it forward” to other children who need to be supported through these big changes happening in their lives. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would be used towards providing resources and equipment for group programs which includes items such as: Art & Craft Supplies Children's Workbooks, Children's Memory Box & Pack Parent's Workbooks, Buddy Training Costs and Training Manuals.
Terry Kelly: Volunteering Gold Coast
Terry was a volunteer driver for Volunteering Gold Coast for 10 years and has assisted thousands of disadvantaged Gold Coast residents to access a range of standard living services including shopping, medical and health appointments, as well as to social and recreational pursuits, importantly allowing them to maintain independence and connection to the community. Terry excelled in communicating, interacting with & taking a genuine interest in clients and ensuring their travel was pleasant. Without the transport services clients would be socially isolated and struggle to access necessary living services. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would go a long to leasing one of the community vans and allowing the service to continue.
Jade Mirabito: Headspace Southport
Jade works for Headspace Southport and has facilitated safe spaces for the community across several programs that enhance well-being and mental health outcomes through peer support, workshops, social engagement and access to appropriate resources. Jade actively engages with community to provide advocacy and visibility, through peer support and delivering workshops. Jade eases referrals for this community through education and ongoing support for services. Jade also runs the Gold Coast LGBTIQAP+ Mental Health Professionals network facilitating for the 3 years it's been running aiming to bring together services sharing ideas, networking, collaborating and improving skills for working with the local community. The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would support the continued work for the LGBTIQAP+ community, across Qspace, Qplus and tea time, increased interventions for at risk youth, training for volunteers, access to events that otherwise clients couldn't attend and youth support in the provision of gender affirming supplies.