Discover your Westfield Local Heroes
In the first year of the Westfield Local Heroes program, we have received an overwhelming response and many heart-warming stories after asking the Mt Druitt community to nominate individuals who they believe promote social wellbeing and harmony in their communities.
We congratulate every one of our nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.
The community has now cast its vote, the outcome of which will determine the three successful 2018 Westfield Local Heroes for Westfield Mt Druitt. Each of their affiliated organisations will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work, program or activities.
The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 13 August.
Your six finalists for Westfield Mt Druitt are:
Robert Bateup: Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA)
Generous. Helpful. Motivated.
Robert has worked tirelessly over 17 years as a volunteer and collector, creating awareness and raising funds for Spinal Cord Injuries Australia. Robert showcases a great amount of selflessness despite being visually impaired, choosing to spend most of his week raising funds to provide a society without barriers for people with Spinal Cord Injury and similar conditions. If awarded the Westfield Local Heroes Grant, this will be put towards programs, education, training and the upkeep of the organisation's hostels and initiatives.
Lance Chaloner: Police Citizens Youth Club NSW Ltd (PCYC Mt Druitt)
Resilient. Approachable. Committed.
Lance is the Club Manager at PCYC Mt Druitt, a community facility which provides no cost/low cost activities and programs to the community. His role is far reaching, contributing essential services to a high need community to improve youth development, family cohesion and community engagement. If awarded the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes Grant, PCYC Mt Druitt would direct this money into the Boxing for Life Changes early morning breakfast program to provide transportation costs, equipment, healthy breakfast and consumables, hygiene and personal development packs, training shirts, water fountain, medical and sports protection supplies and vocational training.
Maria Greenwood: Supportive and Palliative Care Unit, Mount Druitt Hospital
Generous. Compassionate. Kind-Hearted.
Maria is a Supportive and Palliative Care Volunteer at Mt Druitt Hospital. Maria's volunteer activities include interacting with patients, sitting by their bedside providing companionship and support, assisting with music therapy, gardening activities and liaising with family and carers. By providing this vital service, Maria offers relief, distraction and reassurance which complements and enhances patient medical care. If awarded the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes Grant, funding would be spent on recruiting and training new volunteers and upskilling and developing existing ones as well as implementing training programs including resilience, self-care, working with people at the end of the life and bereavement skills.
Monique Perusco: Jesuit Social ServicesINSERT IMAGE
Loving. Dedicated. Honorable.
Monique is the Manager for Jesuit Social Services in Mount Druitt and plays a lead role in the 'Together in Willmot' collective. Monique is a great role model in the community who has developed strong and meaningful relationships with her peers, colleagues and community members. She supports Family, Children and Youth Programs, Children's Holiday Hubs, Skate-4-Change Program, Parkour Program, Girl’s Empowerment Program, Film and Photography Programs, to name a few. If awarded the Westfield Local Heroes Grant, the funding will be spent on creating a new space in the Willmot Community Hub. The space will be a Cultural Garden in the area overseen by the local Aboriginal women.
Simone Shelby: AGFAABI
Creative. Sympathetic. Compassionate.
Simone volunteers crochet and knitted blankets to provide parents who suffer pregnancy loss with a beautifully crafted outfit for their angel's farewell. Sadly approximately 1 in 120 babies will die prematurely each year in Australia and 1 in 4 confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks. Commercially families are only able to find doll clothes that will fit their Angel. Simone's knitting/crocheting is such a precious gift to these parents in the form of an Angel gown pack consisting of a beautiful gown, beanie, booties, blanket and a special keepsake. If awarded the Westfield Local Heroes Grant, the funding will be spent on supplies, postage, stationary and printing.
Jesica Varela: Blacktown City Council
Determined. Creative. Passionate.
Jesica has worked within the Mt Druitt area all her working life. Jesica plays an important role in Blacktown City Council as Community Facilitator and Youth Development Officer, investing her resources and ideas to develop fun, engaging and worthwhile diversional activities for children and youth in the community. If granted the Westfield Local Heroes Grant, the funding would be put towards exploring a youth employment plan, providing funds to support events like The Burbs and further youth related programs.