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 North Lakes. 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 North Lakes are:

Ben Taylor

HeartKids
Selfless . Humble . Dedicated

Ben Taylor’s middle child has a congenital heart defect and has needed open heart surgery four times. He started the national Heartkids Dads group because he noticed big gaps in support for fathers like him, who often feel isolated because they have to work or look after the other children and can't be as involved as mothers. Members of the group visit newly diagnosed families in hospital, provide practical and emotional support and go out of their way to be there for others. He says the purpose is simply: "Dads helping dads help their families."

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 Ben is successful, Heartkids Dads will increase its outreach activities and improve its support for bereaved dads.


Cody Skinner

Aruma
Resilient . Driven . Inspiring

Cody Skinner builds positive relationships to promote a community where everyone feels valued. He puts this into action as a Peer Mentor at Aruma, which has been supporting people with disability for more than 50 years. He is a tireless advocate for closing the gap and has made invaluable input to the Aruma Reconciliation Action Plan to ensure the organisation acknowledges Aboriginal culture. “I am deaf, and Auslan is my first language. I identify part Aboriginal and I am gay. I advocate in human rights for people with disability,” he 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 Cody is successful, Aruma will put the money towards hosting its annual Human Rights Conference in south-east Queensland.


Glenn Willmann OAM

Legacy
Dedicated . Honourable . Committed

Glenn Willmann served in the Australian Army for 32 years. However, he wants to give back and has been an active member of Legacy since 2005. He has organised ANZAC Day parades, fundraising concerts, guest speaking roles at civic functions and radio and newspaper interviews to publicise the needs of veterans. One of Glenn’s responsibilities is to look after the interests of 250 widows and families in the Morayfield/Caboolture area. He contacts each one regularly to ensure they are directed to the appropriate financial and other assistance that is available to them.

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 Glenn is successful, Legacy Queensland will fund outings organised by the social inclusion program.


Janine Sigley

Story Dogs
Compassionate . Purposeful . Tireless

Janine Sigley has devoted almost 10 years to ensuring that children are not left behind in literacy. She does this through the Story Dogs charity she co-founded, which uses 445 trained dogs and volunteer handlers to encourage 2200 primary school children a week to read. The charity works closely with teachers, who select children with low self-esteem and low reading levels to read to the dogs in a private session in a quiet area of the school. The children have fun interacting with a friendly, non-judgmental dog, which boosts their confidence and improves their reading.

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 Janine is successful, Story Dogs will train more than 20 new dog teams for the Brisbane and Brisbane north area helping over 100 disadvantaged children learn to read.


Melissa Redsell

A Brave Life
Passionate . Inspiring . Brave

Judgmental people criticised Melissa Redsell when she became pregnant at high school and accused her of ruining her life. But she proved them wrong and went on to complete a nursing degree and qualify as a midwife. Melissa knows that the best way for teen and young mothers to succeed is to finish high school, and she started A Brave Life charity to share her own story as inspiration for local girls at Deception Bay High. “My aim is to see that teenage and young mothers have the support they need,” 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 Melissa is successful, A Brave Life will fund two mentors to provide weekly sessions at Deception Bay High, cover the costs of morning teas and buy items for 100 baby bundles.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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