Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists


Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists

In the first year of the Westfield Local Heroes program, we have received an overwhelming response and many heart-warming stories after asking the Plenty Valley 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 Plenty Valley. 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 Plenty Valley are:

Karen Bryant: The Northern Hospital

Dedicated. Passionate. Genuine.
Karen’s primary role is working as the Aboriginal Liaison Officer at the Northern Hospital. Karen supports Aboriginal patients and their families during admissions, navigating the health system, creating a culturally inclusive health system and supporting patient’s health needs during discharge and after stay care. If Karen is successful, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would continue to enhance Northern Health Staff’s cultural competence and cultural safety.

Anthony Dionis: Mill Park Rebelz Basketball Club

Leader. Compassionate. Visionary.
Anthony is the president and coach of numerous teams of the Mill Park REBELZ club – roles he’s held for the past five years. Under Anthony’s leadership, the club has become a place where children not only learn sport skills, but belong to a place where they can relax, be themselves and not worry about other life pressures. Anthony is part of a team that recently established the Special Needs Academy and has made it possible for children of varying abilities and needs to feel included and supported. The Westfield Local Heroes grant would enable the purchase of training equipment to be used during training sessions and during the Special Needs Academy. It would also fund coach development, upskilling current coaches and attracting more candidates to the role.

Tim Forster: Mill Park Blue Light

Passionate. Dedicated. Strong.
Tim is a current serving member of Victoria Police and for the past 15 years has worked with the Blue Light organisation in Mill Park. Blue Light helps to bridge the gap between local police and young people, by providing safe and fun activities, such as; dance parties, camps, boxing programs and more. Mill Park Blue Light can no longer fund its partnership with the Tri-Tactics organisation, which delivers anger management programs at Thomastown West Primary School and has helped to positively engage youth and reduce violent and anti-social behaviour. Since commencement of this program, students have displayed positive progress in reducing their violent and anti-social behaviour. With the $10,00 Westfield Local Heroes grant, Tim and his team would be able to continue the program for another 12 months and in turn reduce the likelihood of future family violence.

Nishtha Goel: Kool Moon Events Inc.

Caring. Compassionate. Committed.
LNishtha volunteers her time and skills to support several community groups, such as: Kool Moon Events, Whittlesea Multicultural Community Council, Whittlesea United Women’s Group and more. If awarded the Westfield Local Heroes grant, Nishtha would direct funds to Kool Moon events to fund Whittlesea Colour Carnival (WCC). WCC is a large multicultural festival that celebrates the Indian Holi Festival in an international style. It will see thousands of people across 50 different nationalities come together to celebrate diversity in colour.

Samuel Johnson: Love Your Sister

Dedicated. Caring. Inspiring.
Samuel co-founded non-profit organisation ‘Love Your Sister’ with sister Connie following her terminal cancer diagnosis. As a young mum of two, Connie was determined to raise awareness of early detection and funds for cancer research. Sadly, Connie passed away last year, however Samuel is continuing what they started and is working tirelessly to fulfil his sister’s wishes. The Westfield Local Heroes grant would allow Love Your Sister to continue to support the Garvan Research Institute for cancer research, specifically the Breast Cancer Lab, headed by Connie Johnson Fellow, Professor Elgene Lim.

Prabhat Sangwan: Brothers and Sisters Foundation Inc.

Determined. Creative. Passionate.
Prabhat is a volunteer for the Brothers and Sisters Foundation, whose purpose is to spread mental health awareness within the local Indian community by providing a safe environment to gather, discuss and seek help and guidance through the mental health system. The $10,000 grant would assist with the planning and implementation of ‘Mental Health Day’ dedicated to the community. The event will consist of mindfulness sessions, entertainment and most importantly involve story-telling where people can share their stories and emphasize on early intervention, speaking up and accepting help.

Recognising all our 2018 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

Because of her we can: Deborah Cheetham
Because of her we can: Jarin Baigent


Because of her we can: Jarin Baigent

In celebration of NAIDOC Week, we talked to Senior Constable of the NSW Police Force and mentor for Clean Slate Without Prejudice, Jarin Baigent.

What's happening