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 Liverpool are:

Carla Filipakis

Decorati
Superstar. Educator. Role-model

Early childhood teacher Carla Filipakis is doing her bit to tackle childhood obesity and put children on the path to healthy eating. Carla runs a specialised children’s events business, Decorati, and uses her educational skills to advocate for healthy childhood nutrition. She offers healthy cooking classes to children in collaboration with early educational centres, primary schools and the wider community. “I want to make a change,” Carla says. “To give back is so rewarding and means the world to me,” 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 Carla is successful, Decorati will use its grant to run healthy eating programs for children.


Elizabeth Wicks

The Smith Family
Selfless. Positive. Compassionate

Elizabeth Wicks has worked for The Smith Family for many years and goes above and beyond to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed at school.
Elizabeth helps more than 400 local students through the Learning for Life program, which has three long-term pillars: attendance at school, completion of Year 12 and post-school work, study or training. Elizabeth embraces the cultural diversity of the area. "Working with families from such culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds requires constant training on my part so I can ensure the programs I am offering are relevant and take into consideration their unique circumstances," 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 Elizabeth is successful, The Smith Family will use its grant to establish an after-school program.


Malaemie (Mal) Fruean

South West Multicultural and Community Centre Inc
Passionate. Selfless. Committed

Malaemie (Mal) Fruean thrives on being a community connector and has helped many people during a volunteering and professional career that spans more than 20 years. Mal is CEO of the South West Multicultural and Community Centre, where she takes a personal interest in everyone who walks through the door. Mal listens to what people want and guides them into the centre's many programs. If needed, she connects them with her extensive network of trusted service providers. "It is a blessing to do this work, and the reward is being able to open up a pathway for people," Mal 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 Mal is successful, the community centre will use its grant to help cover the costs of trainers, facilitators and ongoing expenses.


Myrna Dominguez

Autism Advisory & Support Service
Passionate. Dedicated. Gutsy

During her working day and after hours, special education teacher Myrna Dominguez tries to improve the quality of life of families living with autism. Myrna has been working in the disability field for over 20 years and has been with the Autism Advisory & Support Service for 4.5 years. Myrna delivers behavioural support and social skills programs to primary and high school students. She also works with teachers to develop specific learning plans for students with autism and provides mentoring and training to carers, educators and disability staff. Out of work hours, she supports overwhelmed parents, making phone calls to arrange access to much-needed funding and services.

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 Myrna is successful, the Autism & Advisory Support Service will create a sensory room to provide a calm, relaxing space for children and adults with autism.


Stephanie Wait

Core Community Services
Giving. Advocate. Selfless

Residential youth worker Stephanie Wait goes the extra mile for at-risk youth, including making sure every homeless young person she supports has a gift at Christmas. Stephanie is a Residential Youth Worker at a crisis refuge run by Core Community Services. It’s not uncommon for young people to lash out because they are afraid, and many have been refuge-hopping for a long time because there is not enough accommodation. Having experienced homelessness herself, Stephanie says: “I won’t give up on a young person, even if they have given up on themselves.”

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 Stephanie is successful, Core Community Services will be able to give the refuges a much-needed spruce up.


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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