Presenting your 2019 Westfield Local Heroes
We are excited to announce your three 2019 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Parramatta.
These inspiring local leaders were nominated and voted for by the community and will now be awarded a $10,000 grant for each of their affiliated organisations to help their important work to grow.
Westfield Local Heroes is a community recognition and grants program, connecting and enriching local communities. Launched in 2018, the program spans our 40 trade areas across Australia and New Zealand. In 2019, we are awarding $1.2 million to 120 local organisations.
In February 2020, we will open nominations for the 2020 Westfield Local Heroes program, so start thinking about those people in your communities who make a difference
Your three Westfield Parramatta Local Heroes are:
Autism Community Network
Inspirational . Dedicated . Caring
Belinda Tabbaa is a super volunteer for children with autism and their families, giving up countless hours of her time so others can thrive.As a volunteer coordinator with the Autism Community Network, Belinda oversees many of programs across western Sydney for children with autism and their parents.With a child on the autism spectrum of her own, she runs tailored cooking classes, bowling days for the kids and a regular support network for parents and carers. “Teaching life skills to kids with autism is wonderful,” Belinda says.
Enthusiastic . Devoted . Respected
Senior Constable Draz Brkljac has taken crime prevention to the next level by becoming a mentor to young people. Draz is an NSW Police officer who for the past seven years has worked directly with young people as a youth case manager at Parramatta’s Police Citizens Youth Club. In that role, he has helped countless young people to make positive choices with their lives, acting as a mentor to those who may otherwise lack positive role models. “The core focus is to empower young people to take control of their lives,” Draz says.
Toongabbie Legal Centre
Dedicated . Committed . Selfless
Solicitor Susai Benjamin believes everyone should be able to access a lawyer when they need one, no matter their financial circumstances. Susai is the founder of the Toongabbie Legal Centre, which provides free legal advice to culturally, socially and economically disadvantaged local people who would otherwise not have access to legal help. Under Susai’s direction, the centre helps about 600 clients a year and also advocates for reforming laws to protect vulnerable people in the community. “We have assisted over 6,000 people who needed legal assistance since 2007,” Susai says.
Recognising all our 2019 nominees
We congratulate all of our finalists and nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.
View all of the finalists, nominees and their organisations
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