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.


Bobby Redman

Central Coast Dementia Alliance
Brave. Bright. Inspiring

Thanks to Bobby Redman people with dementia on the Central Coast have more support. After receiving a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia five years ago, she quickly realised there was a gap in education, support and services for people with dementia on the Central Coast. Bobby reached out to local organisations and individuals for help, leading to the establishment of the Central Coast Dementia Alliance in 2017. There are now dementia-friendly cafés and greater awareness in the community and among businesses. “I am encouraging them to find ways to improve the lives of people living with dementia,” she 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 Bobby is successful, the Central Coast Dementia Alliance will fund additional education programs and offer more support to people living with dementia and their carers.


Gina Lynn Lemke

Lifeline Central Coast
Dedicated. Caring. Passionate

Gina Lemke has volunteered a day a week at Lifeline Central Coast for 10 years, first as a telephone crisis counsellor and now as a face-to-face counsellor in Wyoming. Gina knows from personal experience how hard life can be and that recovery is achievable. Gina completed a degree and has been a foster mum to seven children. "I've had tough times, but I am very grateful for my journey," Gina says.

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

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 Gina is successful, Lifeline Central Coast will use its grant to cover the cost of training two counsellors


Les Smith

Berkeley Vale Rural Fire Brigade
Selfless. Community-minded. Passionate

Volunteer fire fighter Les Smith has been saving lives and property for over 40 years. He is a much valued and admired member of the Berkeley Vale Rural Fire Brigade, where he currently serves as Deputy Captain. Les is always there on the frontline during emergencies such fires, floods, storms and car accidents. His commitment to putting the community above his own safety was on show during the recent bushfires where his brigade faced the worst and most dangerous fires in living memory. “Our payment is not monetary. We get satisfaction from doing what we do for others,” Les 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 Les is successful, the Berkeley Vale Rural Fire Brigade will use the funds to purchase safety and protective gear, firefighting equipment and to complete a safety haven for the community.


Mel King

We Care Connect
Genuine. Resilient. Respected

As a child, Mel knew what it felt like to go without, so she always goes the extra mile for children and families in need. Mel volunteers for 20 hours a week at children's charity We Care Connect, helping put together packages of clothing, linen and baby items for caseworkers helping disadvantaged local children. She can't help but be touched by the children's stories and takes extra care to include special items that meet individual needs. "It's wonderful when caseworkers tell us their clients are so relieved and overwhelmed on receiving the items we gave them," she 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 Mel is successful, We Care Connect will use the grant to expand their programs to meet the increased need in these difficult times.


Pauline Maniskas

Disabled Surfers Association of Australia Inc Central Coast
Tireless. Dedicated. Awesome

Pauline Maniskas is passionate about helping people with disabilities enjoy surfing. She is volunteer secretary of the Central Coast Branch of the Disabled Surfers Association and has dedicated the past 15 years to helping people experience the restorative effect of the ocean. Pauline is a whirlwind. She helps organise surfing events, sources donations and visits schools to speak about the value of being inclusive. “My passion is to nurture a sense of inclusion and belonging for those less able in the community and provide a safe and happy environment for participation in our surfing events,” she 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 Pauline is successful, the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia Central Coast will buy a beach wheelchair and other equipment such as rash shirts and surf boards.


Tanya Macfie

SHINE for Kids
Dedicated. Empathetic. Inspiring

Tanya aims to reduce the risk of young people reoffending as they transition back into the community. She is the program coordinator for Stand as One mentoring program run by SHINE for Kids. Tanya matches young people from the Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre with a caring adult mentor, starting four to six months before they are released. After their release, the mentor stays closely involved for up to nine months, when they are at the highest risk of reoffending. “The program has had massive success in reducing the likelihood of reoffending,” Tanya 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 Tanya is successful, SHINE for Kids will use the funds to support the young people with housing, education, food and transport.


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

Recognising all our 2020 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisations

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Please note, due to COVID-19 certain centre services are currently unavailable