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 Miranda are:

Amethyst (Ame) Barnbrook

Expanding Influences
Funny. Courageous. Charismatic

Amethyst (Ame) Barnbrook has co-founded the Expanding Influences disability service, where she leads a team of 17 staff in a quest to help others. Disability is something Ame knows about because she has a rare condition called phocomelia and was born with no arms and half of her left leg. "Having our own business has provided us with the opportunity to support clients and their families," Ame says. Despite her disability, Ame has sailed competitively since she was seven, plays the trumpet, has a degree in creative arts, a diploma in community services and an Australian Sports Medal.

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 Ame is successful, Expanding Influences will use its grant to set up a kitchen and café-style area to teach life skills.


Bronte Hendricks

Stellar Experiences
Altruistic. Loving. Compassionate

Bronte Hendricks is helping young adults with mild to moderate disabilities and mental health conditions gain access to the same opportunities as other young people their age. Bronte and her business partner, Luke, are achieving this through Stellar Experiences, which they launched last year to take people aged 16 to 35 on day trips, evenings out and weekends away. Their guests have all sorts of interests that they are unable to explore without support. "They are at a life stage now where they want to become independent," says Bronte, who has a degree in Inclusive Education and Disability Studies.

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 Bronte is successful Stellar Experiences will use its grant to subsidise costs for their experiences to make them accessible for all young people, such as those who don't qualify for the NDIS.


Geoff Vickers

Special Olympics Sydney South Club
Committed. Passionate. Professional

Generous Geoff Vickers dedicates a considerable amount of time and has done in the past 25 years, to driving the success of the Special Olympics Sydney South Club. As club chair, Geoff is devoted to helping children and adults with intellectual disabilities train and compete in a wide range of sports.
"People with an intellectual disability are often marginalised and dismissed as useless by the broader community. We use sport to provide the benefits of physical activity and social interaction," says Geoff, who has personal experience of disability in his family. "Sport allows people with an intellectual disability to interact with the broader community," Geoff 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 Geoff is successful, the Special Olympics Sydney South Club will use its grant to help cover the costs of venue hire, athlete uniforms and social functions and competition entries.


Jason Stanton

Skillz4me
Selfless. Leader. Committed

Jason Stanton is a fierce advocate for children with a disability. Many of these children are excluded from social and sporting activities, so he and his wife, Sarah, set up a program for children of all abilities to connect and learn together. Skillz4me combines fun with therapy, with volunteers and qualified therapists running the programs. Jason and Sarah personally fund the non-profit and work hard to ensure it remains free of charge. Over the past four years, the number of children attending has grown to over 80 children per week. "We don't exclude anyone. Our programs reduce isolation, develop children and positively impact families" Jason 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 Jason is successful, Skillz4me will use its grant to cover the cost of therapists and to buy new equipment.


Sarah Mross

Dandelion Support Network Inc
Hard-working. Caring. Generous

Sarah Mross has her own family to take care of, but still, she finds many hours a month to help others. Since 2012, Sarah has worked and volunteered for the Dandelion Support Network, which provides families with new and preloved cots, prams, car seats, clothes, toys and linen. Sarah, a board member, has had many roles, both day-to-day and strategic, including managing the operational side of the charity, raising funds and nurturing partnerships. Juggling family with Dandelion has been difficult at times, but my passion for making a difference has kept me focused on Dandelion's goal of making a difference."

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 Sarah is successful, Dandelion Support Network will use its grant to provide 55 families with essential items such as cots, prams, clothes, toys and linen.


Sarah-Jo Lobwein

Sustainable Organisations of the Sutherland Shire (SO Shire)
Selfless. Passionate. Informed

As a marine scientist and high school teacher, Sarah-Jo Lobwein believes education is the key to improving the way people interact with the ocean, which is why she co-founded Sustainable Organisations of the Sutherland Shire and Plastic Free Sutherland Shire. She tirelessly gives her time to help locals understand the need for sustainable choices.

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 Sarah-Jo is successful, Sustainable Organisations of the Sutherland Shire will use its grant to fund school programs and a local business and consumer expo.


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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