Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

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Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

We congratulate all of our finalists and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community. The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 27 October.

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 2020 nominees for every Westfield centre. Each of the affiliated organisations of the successful heroes will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive. Westfield will award 126 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.26 million.


Your finalists for Westfield Sydney are:

Alison Covington

Good360 Australia
Compassionate. Driven. Dedicated

Social entrepreneur Alison Covington is a donation enabler on a grand scale. She founded Good360 to provide an online platform to connect the brand new surplus goods donated by businesses to charities and disadvantaged schools to help their communities in need. So far, Good360 has sourced more than $145 million of goods. That’s over 14.3 million items matched to more than 2000 member charities and eligible schools. “If Australians have the need, our partners have the goods and Good360 has the ability to efficiently connect them,” Alison 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 Alison is successful, Good360 will use its grant for warehousing, technology and fundraising..


Anna Jane (AJ) Linke

Seaside Scavenge
Inspiring. Courageous. One-of-a-Kind

Environmentalist Anna Jane (AJ) Linke has captured people’s imagination with her novel approach to cleaning up plastic and textile waste. The charity she started, Seaside Scavenge, organises fun clean-up events. There’s live music, and local businesses give participants ice-cream, coffee and beer in exchange for trash tokens. So far, 7546 Scavengers have participated in 75 waste education events. A point of pride is that eight out of ten had never previously participated in a clean-up. “This means more people in the community are aware of the plastic problem and are then equipped with the skills to reduce their waste,” says AJ.

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 AJ is successful, Seaside Scavenge will use its grant to fund an event coordinator to support more Scavenge events across Australia and to rent an office space for Seaside Scavenge staff, volunteers and equipment.


Ashley Scott

Rainbow Families
Dedicated. Determined. Caring

Devoted dad Ashley Scott has been an active and dedicated member of Rainbow Families since helping to start the organisation in 2015. Ashley works hard to help Rainbow Families fulfil its purpose of providing support and resources to members of the LGBTIQA+ community so they and their families can live their best lives. He keeps the website up to date, organises events and raises funds. But Ashley is most proud of his role in setting up antenatal classes for LGBTIQA+ parents. They feel safe to ask questions they would not be able to ask in a traditional class, says Ashley.

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 Ashley is successful, Rainbow Families will lobby for parenting law reforms and produce a guide for partners who are separating.


Azita Abdollahian

Shining Light Foundation
Courageous. Inspiring. Compassionate

When Azita Abdollahian arrived in Australia as a refugee, her husband became extremely controlling and would not let her integrate. Azita’s biggest fear was becoming homeless, so she stayed in her marriage for many years. After she managed to leave, she launched the Shining Light Foundation to support women on the streets of Sydney. “Once I learned that my wounds are my superpower, I found it easy to connect to the most vulnerable people,” says Azita, a qualified hairdresser. Azita has worked with homeless people for more than five years, providing them with support, company, conversation, donated goods and haircuts.

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 Azita is successful, the Shining Light Foundation will buy a van to set up for haircuts and to deliver donated items.


Max Burt

The WheelEasy Foundation
Generous. Determined. Innovative

Max Burt was in a horrific car crash and needs a carer to help him with many activities of daily living and uses a powered wheelchair to get around. Max is deeply concerned about the impact of social isolation on people with mobility issues and the lack of readily available accessibility information in Sydney. “Not being fully integrated into everyday life is something which happens, in varying degrees, to people with mobility impairments,” Max says. So he decided to do something about it and in 2018 founded a charity, WheelEasy, which produces a web app to promote mobility using shared information.

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 Max is successful, the WheelEasy Foundation will use its grant to expand the Mapping March program that was postponed by COVID-19.


Shazia Mia

Settlement Services International's Welcome2Sydney program
Dedicated. Dynamic. Caring

Shazia Mia knows firsthand why migrants can live in Australia for many years and still speak limited English or lack knowledge about the local community. She is doing whatever she can to help newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers assimilate into their new world. As an enthusiastic volunteer ambassador for Settlement Services International's Welcome2Sydney program, Shazia continues to surprise and delight her colleagues with her dedication. She has worked with more than 100 newcomers, boosting their confidence and practising English. "Through the good work at SSI, I'm determined to play my part in uniting people and communities," Shazia 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 Shazia is successful, Settlement Services International will use its grant to pay for activities that support local infrastructure and businesses and keep people connected and engaged, during this period of COVID 19 social distancing.


If you need support, please phone Lifeline: 13 11 14

Recognising all our 2020 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisations