Presenting your 2020 Westfield Local Heroes
We are excited to announce your three 2020 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Southland.
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 42 trade areas across Australia and New Zealand. In 2020, we are awarding $1.26 million to 126 local organisations.
In February 2021, we will open nominations for the 2021 Westfield Local Heroes program, so start thinking about those people in your communities who make a difference.
Your three Westfield Southland Local Heroes are:
Matthew (Matt) Donovan
The Food For Change Foundation
Role model. Big-hearted. Changemaker
Single dad Matthew Donovan has founded a local charity that grows and rescues food to feed hungry people. In the four years since its launch, Food for Change has grown and donated more than 135,000 meals and rescued more than 155,000 from going to waste. The charity piggybacks on existing infrastructure and food is distributed to locals via organisations including Sacred Heart Mission, Matts Place at Cheltenham and the Kingston City Church. "My work aims to help both community health and address food insecurity, as well as benefit the environment by removing edible food from the food waste stream," Matthew says.
TaskForce Community Agency
Driven. Encouraging. Compassionate
Robbie Hendry puts everything he's got into running a pilot project to support young people into employment after they have left school early or disengaged from the community. The TaskForce Community Agency project offers a 12-month traineeship as well as multiple layers of support to help with mental health, substance misuse, housing, antisocial behaviour and study. "The people I work with have faced a lot of struggles in life, which can be quite heartbreaking," Robbie says. "When I see what a difference I can make to a young person in need, how could I do any other job?" he asks.
Pets Of The Homeless Australia
Passionate. Optimistic. Changemaker
Yvonne Hong started Pets of the Homeless (POTH) as a self-funded passion project in 2015 to look after the much-loved pets of people facing homelessness. She started out packaging pet food at her kitchen table. But despite having no experience of running a charity, she has grown POTH into a formidable operation and has opened Victoria's first pet food bank. Each month, POTH helps more than 1000 people care for their beloved pets. Yvonne believes everyone is capable of making a difference and lives by her motto: "If not me, then who?"
We congratulate all of our finalists and nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.
If you need support, please phone Lifeline: 13 11 14
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