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 Tea Tree Plaza are:

Jane Brister

Adelaide Koala Rescue
Inspirational. Selfless. Visionary

Jane Brister and her dedicated team of volunteers rescued hundreds of koalas during the recent bushfires. She established Adelaide Koala Rescue to fill a critical need for koala rescue in the Adelaide Hills and metro areas. The preservation of the environment and native wildlife is Jane’s priority. “Through providing volunteering opportunities and wildlife education programs, we engage people in meaningful activities and instil a sense of care, responsibility and respect for wildlife and the environment,” she says. Jane is now looking for a permanent home for her operation and wants to set up a sanctuary for koalas who have no home to go back to.

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 Jane is successful, Adelaide Koala Rescue will use its grant to buy new safety and communications gear and technology such as thermal imaging.


Jodie Turpin

Lobethal Bushfire Recovery Centre
Selfless. Kind. Hardworking

Jodie Turpin was among the many standout volunteers in the Cudlee Creek Fires emergency disaster. She took on the challenging role of logistics manager at the Lobethal Bushfire Recovery Centre. Jodie was there to help set up the centre within 12 hours of the disaster, and she volunteered for more than 80 days after that. What touched many people, was that she always found time to give a hug and lend a listening ear. "I have always loved my community and to be able to help was a very rewarding experience that I will hold close to my heart," Jodie 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 Jodies successful, Lobethal Bushfire Recovery Centre will use its grant to help fund fencing repairs and other recovery operations.


Kerry Gibbins-Norris

Walk With Wings
Dedicated. Supporter. Strong

Kerry Gibbins-Norris couldn't save her own son, but she has saved many other parents the heartache of losing a baby. Her infant son Harrison was born prematurely and died in his sleep, suddenly and without explanation, at just eight weeks of age. After many sleepless nights, she realised she could help other parents of premature babies, who are at increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), by purchasing and loaning out sound and movement monitors. "The monitors have saved the lives of many infants who neurologically or obstructively could not breathe in their sleep," Kerry 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 Kerry is successful, Walk with Wings will use its grant to buy more AngelCare monitors and a 3D printer to make hand and foot impressions.


Samuel (Sam) Weavers

Childhood Cancer Association
Dedicated. Altruistic. Inspiring

Sam Weavers is only 12 years old, but he is inspiring other children to pitch in and raise funds for kids with cancer. In 2018 he established a fundraising program called Kids4Kids. Although initially nervous about public speaking, Sam gives talks to schools, encouraging other students to help sell his fundraising popcorn pails, with the profits going to the Childhood Cancer Association. So far, Kids4Kids has donated nearly $10,000 to the association.

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 Sam is successful, the Childhood Cancer Association will use its grant to provide counselling to sick kids and their families via Skype.


Sarah Bisbal

With Love Formal Wear
Resilient. Empowered. Uplifting

Sarah Bisbal was in Year 12 when her mum passed away and her aunt Joss Adele took her in. Ten years later, Sarah and her aunt have co-founded a charity that provides teenagers with free outfits for their Year 7 Graduation and Year 12 Formal. Their charity is called With Love Formal Wear. It brings joy and recognition to people in foster or kinship care, but any vulnerable student is welcome. "Our aim is to give young people a moment in time where they feel their best and get to be part of something big," Sarah 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 Sarah is successful, With Love Formal Wear will use its grant to cover storage costs.


Shane Cook

Street Dreamz
Selfless. Passionate. Informed

Respected Indigenous aerosol artist Shane Mankitya Cook developed his talent when he was 12 and recovering from third-degree burns. Shane did not have an easy childhood and grew up without a strong connection to his culture. His mother battled kidney disease and Shane became her carer and disengaged from school. But Shane took charge of his life.A proud Wulli Wulli and Guwa descendant, Shane is contributing to society through Street Dreamz, his community arts and mentoring service that uses street art and First Nations Australian art to connect with school students and people in the youth justice system.

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 Shane is successful, Street Dreamz will use its grant to engage a personal mentor and to buy art materials.


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

Recognising all our 2020 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisations