Meet your local hero finalists

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Meet your local hero finalists

Read about our Westfield Local Hero finalists.

Westfield Local Heroes is a community recognition and grants program, connecting and enriching local communities.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the outcome of the public vote determining the three successful 2019 nominees for Westfield Hurstville. Each of the affiliated organisations for the successful three heroes will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive. In total, Westfield will be awarding 120 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.2 million.

Your Westfield Local Heroes will be announced here on 1 October

Your six finalists for Westfield Hurstville are:

Craig Scott

2nd Mortdale Group
Committed . Inspiring . Resourceful

Not only is Craig Scott a widowed dad raising two sons while working full-time for Sydney Trains. He is also a Scout leader for his group of girls and boys and a regional Special Needs Advisor, helping to make Scouts inclusive for as many people as possible.One of his roles is to provide group leaders with strategies to cater for Scouts with special needs. “My aim is to provide opportunities for each Scout to challenge themselves physically and intellectually, develop leadership skills and feel a sense of belonging and community,” says Craig.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Craig is successful, The Scout Association of NSW will provide mental health first aid training, train leaders to help people with special needs and develop a sensory needs kit for camp activities.


Iveta Kohutova

PCYC St George
Generous . Hard-worker . Positive

International student Iveta Kohutova arrived in Australia from Slovakia only seven years ago and is making a significant difference in people’s lives as a youth worker and volunteer mentor.Iveta, who has degrees in law and social work, believes individuals can make a positive contribution in the community and is committed to halting the cycle of juvenile crime. She is an enthusiastic activities officer in three programs at the St George Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC). These are Fit For Life, Fit For Change the Traffic Offenders Intervention Program.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Iveta is successful, PCYC will replace the worn and obsolete equipment used for the Fit for Life program as well as provide meals for participants.


Jenny Bombardieri

Recreation Sports & Aquatics Club
Selfless . Compassionate . Tireless

Thirty-two years ago, Jenny Bombardieri responded to a request from parents of children with disabilities and started a Friday night swimming class at Roselands Pool. That class, which is still running, was the catalyst for Jenny to start the non-profit Recreation Sports and Aquatics Club (RSAC), which has become a way of life for hundreds of people with disabilities in south-west Sydney. It operates from several venues and has 10 staff and 80 volunteers and provides dozens of sports programs as well as dance, drama, cooking classes, social clubs, camps holidays and family outings.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Jenny is successful, RSAC will invest in professional set design, costumes and a professional video recording for the 50 young dance and drama participants in the club’s public performance to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability 2019.


Kiro Pasovski

Macedonian Australian Welfare Association
Committed . Self-sacrificing . Devoted

Like many Macedonian immigrants, Kiro Pasovski arrived in Australia in the 1960s with only a suitcase. He worked in factories and built a life for himself and his family, rising to a senior position at the Rockdale City Council where he was in charge of 40 parks. He also immersed himself in the Macedonian community and has been a volunteer for eight charities. Now in his eighties, he is proud to have been a founding member of the Macedonian Australian Welfare Association (MAWA) more than 30 years ago and is still on the board.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Kiro is successful, MAWA will hire a project worker and extend and develop the seniors nursing home visiting program.


Meni Pefkos

Diversity Kids
Passionate . Innovative . Inclusive

Meni Pefkos lives and breathes diversity and inclusion. This passion led to the launch of her social enterprise, Diversity Kids, which provides bilingual and Indigenous support teams to schools and children's services. They help educators to include children who are facing barriers to participation because of language, culture or disability. "We all know that feeling included and having a sense of belonging contribute to our wellbeing,” says Meni. “Children from diverse backgrounds and with diverse abilities may require additional support and a voice to enable their full inclusion and authentic participation.”

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Meni is successful, Diversity Kids will run a series of supported playgroups for culturally and linguistically diverse children with speech and communication delays. It will also host a local forum on the seven secrets to inclusion and engagement for children’s services providers.


Nicole Scobie

2Connect Youth & Community
Effervescent . Professional . Integrity

Nicole Scobie has dedicated her 35-year working life to supporting young people. About 28 years ago, she was a founding member of 2Connect Youth & Community, a non-profit organisation that runs social inclusion and anti-racism programs for people aged 10 to 25.She is as inspired as ever to promote social wellbeing and harmony, with many of the people she works with needing a helping hand to re-engage with school, work or the community. “I contribute by being a consistent and reliable source of support,” says Nicole, who provides practical assistance, advocacy and appropriate referrals.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Nicole is successful, 2Connect Youth & Community will develop a social enterprise program to help at risk and unemployed young people create small business and entrepreneurship opportunities.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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