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Presenting your 2020 Westfield Local Heroes

We are excited to announce your three 2020 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Sydney.

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.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.


Your three Westfield Sydney Local Heroes are:

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.

Find out more >


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.

Find out more >


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.

Find out more >


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


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

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