Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

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Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

We congratulate all of our finalists and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community. The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 27 October.

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 2020 nominees for every Westfield centre. Each of the affiliated organisations of the successful heroes will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive. Westfield will award 126 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.26 million.


Your finalists for Westfield Kotara are:

Aimee Blacker

Surfing the Spectrum
Inspiring. Selfless. Enthusiastic

Aimee Blacker is determined to make a difference in the lives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Aware that they are often excluded from recreational activities, she co-founded Surfing the Spectrum to introduce the children to the fun of surfing. Aimee and trained volunteers have already brought joy to 350 families.

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 Aimee is successful, Surfing the Spectrum will use its grant to expand the reach to more surf schools of an autism-informed program that Aimee is currently writing.


Clarice Hamling

Respectus Limited
Selfless. Enthusiastic. Committed

Clarice Hamling stepped up to the plate to make sure vulnerable women and children have safe accommodation. Driven to address homelessness in her community, Clarice was one of the people to help establish Respectus Limited, a charity that provides safe housing. Her energy helped drive a two-year renovation of a large old home into a haven for women and children. Now Clarice has turned her attention to safe housing and mentoring for teenage mums trying to complete their high school education. "We are helping them break a cycle that they or their family are at risk of falling into after having a child at such a young age," she says.

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 Clarice is successful, Respectus Limited will use its grant to conduct research to ensure its plans meet the needs of young mums.


Jennifer (Jenn) O’Sullivan

Path 2 Change
Determined. Strong. Realist

Jennifer O’Sullivan offers homeless young people a hand up. She is the CEO of Path 2 Change, an organisation that helps young people access education, training and employment. Jennifer has developed many innovative programs, including a voucher system with local businesses. This means the young people can access goods and services with dignity. “Ensuring that young people who are homeless are connected and supported with education, training and employment opportunities builds a better community overall,” Jennifer says.

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 Jennifer is successful, Path 2 Change will use its grant to help provide young people with clothing for job interviews or school, the cost of school or training courses and driving lessons.


Lyndsay Walker

Lifeline Direct Ltd
Vivacious. Courageous. Determined

Lyndsay Walker is on a mission to make more people aware of the free crisis support and suicide prevention help available at Lifeline. After conducting several media interviews that have spread the word to thousands more people, Lyndsay continues to find new and inspiring ways to spread his message that mental health matters.

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 Lyndsay is successful, Lifeline will use its grant to fund more than 141 face-to-face counselling sessions.

If you need support, please phone:
Lifeline: 13 11 14


Monica Halliday

Fight for Connar
Selfless. Driven. Compassionate

Monica Halliday founded not-for-profit Fight for Connar to raise funds for a little boy with brain cancer. Thanks to her efforts, Connar Gibson was able to make wonderful memories with his family before he passed away aged nine. Monica is now continuing his legacy by raising funds and helping other families.

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 Monica is successful, Fight for Connar will buy a mascot and other fund-raising merchandise and fund the cost of registering as a charity.


Rowan Cox

Atwea College
Compassionate. Brave. Dynamic

Atwea College Executive Director Rowan Cox is committed to helping people become work-ready despite the barriers or disadvantages they might be facing. Atwea college is achieving an outstanding success rate for the nationally recognised training courses it offers and works hard to connect students with potential employers. Rowan is known as an advocate for those who need support and has increased the quality of life of many people. "We try to put the needs of students and the community at the centre of decision-making," Rowan says.

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 Rowan is successful, Atwea College will use its grant to provide scholarships to 50 disadvantaged students.


If you need support, please phone Lifeline: 13 11 14

Recognising all our 2020 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisations

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Please note, due to COVID-19 certain centre services are currently unavailable