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 Marion are:

Emmah Money

Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Inspirational. CF warrior. Catalyst

Emmah Money is a dynamo when it comes to advocating for people with cystic fibrosis, a life-limiting condition that she was born with. In her role as ambassador for the Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, she has helped raise $50,000 for research into a cure for the genetic disease. As it stands, people with cystic fibrosis (CF) are not expected to live past the age of 38. “I am hopeful that in my lifetime CF will stand for Cure Found and I will be able to see my children grow into adults,” Emmah 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 Emmah is successful, the Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will use its grant to raise awareness through the development of a cystic fibrosis education program in schools.


Leigh Aitken

Operation Flinders
Passionate. Committed. Enthusiastic

Leigh Aitken is dedicated to helping at-risk youth overcome challenging behaviours, digging deep to continue his volunteer work with Operation Flinders while dealing with serious illness. The charity takes young people aged 14 to 18 on a tough, outback trek to help boost their self-esteem. Leigh encourages them to make positive change. “It is my role to lead them safely during their journey, to help them cope with the challenges and to encourage self-reflection with a view to positive change,” says Leigh.

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 Leigh is successful, the funds will make a significant contribution to Operations Flinders’ operating costs.


Melanie Tate

Puddle Jumpers Inc.
Compassionate. Brave. Protector

Inspirational Melanie Tate helps at-risk kids through her charity Puddle Jumpers. Melanie and her volunteers help in many ways. Camps provide the children with an opportunity to make happy memories alongside positive role models. The weekly food nights provide vulnerable families with free hot meals, groceries and other necessities. “When parents are unable to pay for the basic necessities, their children are at much greater risk of being abandoned or removed from their homes,” Melanie says. “We aim to keep families together, while at the same time maintaining safe environments for children to thrive in.”

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 Melanie is successful Puddle Jumpers will be able to help hundreds more children with food, clothing and social activities.


Mish Simpson

Southern Koala and Echidna Rescue (SKER)
Dedicated. Committed. Passionate

Mish Simpson devotes much time, energy and money to rescuing and rehabilitating injured koalas and echidnas. She and her husband, Wade, founded the non-profit Southern Koala and Echidna Rescue (SKER). Despite both having full-time jobs, they are on 24/7 standby and often receive calls for help in the night. Through education and community engagement, SKER is promoting a harmonious relationship with our native wildlife and empowering the community to actively preserve and protect our unique biodiversity.

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 Mish is successful, SKER will use its grant to purchase materials to build more enclosures in preparation for the busy summer rescue season.


Peter (Pete) Biber

Grandparents For Grandchildren (GFGSA)
Professional. Passionate. Resilient

Peter Biber moved to Adelaide six years ago to retire and play golf, but it hasn't worked out that way. Peter has taken on a full-time volunteer role as CEO of Grandparents For Grandchildren. Peter and other volunteers help an ever-growing number of Grandparents and Kinship Carers keep their Grandchildren out of statutory care. “Children living other than in their parental homes are the primary beneficiaries of our services, and their extended families are the secondary beneficiaries.”

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 Peter is successful, GFGSA will use its grant to help fund children’s supplementary education and sporting costs.


Rebecca Aloisi

Supertee
Passionate. Caring. Loving

When Rebecca Aloisi's son Cameron was younger, he faced a four-year struggle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. Something that cheered him up during his hospital stay in Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital was a gifted Supertee, which is a special superhero outfit for sick children. Not only did it make him feel strong, it gave his family and the hospital team a lift as well. Cameron is now 13, and Rebecca has become the South Australia Supertee champion, raising funds to provide the medical garments to children in the state. They are MRI compatible, have a cape that transforms into a bib and openings for tubes.

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 Rebecca is successful, the grant money will be used to buy Supertee garments for young patients at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide.


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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