Meet your local hero finalists

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Meet your local hero finalists

Read about your 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 Liverpool. 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 Liverpool are:

Anges Barnard

The Dream Project
Cheerful . Motivational . Inspiring

Despite working in a demanding full-time executive role, Agnes Barnard managed to set up the Dream Project four years ago to help school students from refugee backgrounds integrate into the Australian community. The charity’s volunteers are university students and young professionals who provide practical study support as well as motivational support in programs run at several schools. “Our refugee students easily relate to our volunteers because of their warmth, empathy and closeness in age. Students become more engaged in school and are more open-minded about what they can become,” says Agnes.

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 Agnes is successful, the Dream Project will review, develop, standardise and document its current systems and procedures for both its mentoring program and its volunteer training program.


Christine Rickert

Macarthur Diversity Services Initiative
Passionate . Caring . Selfless

Playgroup facilitator Christine Rickert knows from experience what it’s like to feel isolated after the birth of a child. That’s why she is passionate about creating and running socially diverse playgroups at which parents can connect. Christine has been with the Macarthur Diversity Services Initiative (MDSI) since 2009 and has set up groups at Minto, Claymore, Rosemeadow and Narellan, where 200 families from various backgrounds, including new immigrants, support each other and build relationships. “Listening to parents while demonstrating unconditional acceptance and showing genuine interest in their family is vital to the role,” 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 Christine is successful, MDSI will fund future playgroup growth and provide activities and excursions during school holidays. It will also buy new equipment and toys.


Jannike Seiuli

South West Multicultural & Community Centre
Motivated . Passionate . Committed

Jannike Seiuli helped her community-worker parents from a young age and developed a passion for giving to others. Her other big passions are her Maori Samoan community and culture, as well as singing, dancing and event management. Eight years ago, Jannike pulled it all together and staged her first Pacific Runway fashion show to provide a platform for designers with a Pacific heritage.It started slowly, but the annual non-profit show now attracts international attention and features 23 designers and 95 models from around Australia, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.

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 Jannike is successful, South West Multicultural and Community Centre will provide workshops and multimedia support for Pacific Runway participants.


Josiane Reubens

Open Support
Caring . Compassionate . Bubbly

When Josiane Reubens became isolated as the sole carer of her mother, the highlight of her days was a visit from an Open Support volunteer.Since her mother passed away, Josiane has joined the charity and has three clients whom she visits and takes to community events. Josiane loves talking to her clients and enjoys hearing their stories. This helps the clients to feel less isolated and improves their wellbeing, potentially enabling them to live independently for longer if they choose to. “The short visit gives them something to look forward to,” says Josiane.

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 Josiane is successful, Open Support will use the funds to extend the visitor program to more people.


Kate Heffernan

Bright Sparks Learning Club
Dedicated . Compassionate . Inspiring

Every week of every term, Kate Heffernan shows up to help newly arrived refugee and asylum-seeker children settle into their school.As a Bright Sparks Learning Club volunteer, she creates a fun and safe learning space where the primary-aged children are helped to build confidence and develop friendships. Kate has completed more than 350 hours at Bright Sparks and improves English skills by engaging the children in conversation. She also helps with homework and social skills.“We aim to make sure these kids and their families have the support and care they need,” says Kate.

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 Kate is successful, Bright Sparks will invest in a library of resources to give children at different schools in the Liverpool area build resilience, social connections and confidence.


Siarn White

Youth Off The Streets
Passionate . Dedicated . Engaged

Siarn White was a head chef at a busy restaurant and particularly enjoyed training the apprentices.She then studied and became a high school teacher for eight years, developing a passion for helping troubled teens. Next came a move into youth work. That’s how Siarn arrived at Youth Off the Streets, first as a volunteer and now as a teacher at Eden College, where she has introduced creative classes to give young people a second chance at education and fulfilment. One innovation is a hospitality qualification, which will increase her students’ chances of finding employment.

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 Siarn is successful, Youth Off the Streets will fund 15 participants in Eden Colleges Opportunities and Options program, including vocational training in hospitality and supplying appropriate attire for work experience.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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