Meet your local hero finalists

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Meet your local hero finalists

Read about your Westfield Local Hero finalists

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 2019 nominees for Westfield Tuggerah. Each of the affiliated organisations for the successful three heroes will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive. In total, Westfield will be awarding 120 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.2 million.

Your Westfield Local Heroes will be announced here on 1 October

Your six finalists for Westfield Tuggerah are:

Angela Thomas

Musicians Making A Difference
Generous . Compassionate . Kind

Angela Thomas is a former international gymnast, a surfer, a youth mentor and all-round local legend. By day she is a teacher’s aide, and in the evenings she runs the Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD) dance department. She coaches 100 at-risk, disadvantaged or marginalised youth at her popular hip-hop classes. This gives people aged eight to eighteen a creative and positive way to express themselves and feel believed in. Each class starts with a discussion in a peer-supported safe space, allowing the students to talk and know they are not alone.

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 Angela is successful, MMAD will continue covering the costs of the popular Street Dreams workshops and invest in new dance equipment.


Bryan Dorfling

Camp Breakaway
Exuberant . Patient . Caring

Guitar in hand and an enthusiastic smile on his face, Bryan Dorfling is the kind of role model you want on a youth camp. The Camp Breakaway youth leader connects with people through his love of music; removing barriers and encouraging people to socialise and join in activities. Dorf, as he likes to be known, volunteers at every camp and shares his love of life with children and adults with disabilities, children with high medical needs, young carers and disadvantaged youth. “I love putting a smile on people’s faces,” he 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 Dorf is successful, Breakaway will invest in its six-week Stepping Forward Program, which teaches children the interpersonal and cooperative skills they need to transition to training or employment.


Dylan Brassington

Top Blokes Foundation
Empathic . Purposeful . Impactful

When Dylan Brassington walks into a local school, you can be sure many students will be running up to him to say hello. As a mentor with the Top Blokes Foundation, he has helped thousands of young people over the years. He embodies healthy masculinity and shows young men how he can be gentle and nurturing and still feel powerful and strong. People know he will give everything he has to make a difference. “I’m passionate about being a mentor to young men to help them to grow into top blokes,” he 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 Dylan is successful, Top Blokes will run extra eight-week programs for 30 boys aged 10-13 who are on its waiting list.


Mike Harrison

Riding for the Disabled
Personable . Patient . Driven

Mike Harrison is retired and could be spending his time on any number of pursuits. Happily, he thrives on helping children with special needs experience the therapeutic benefits of horse riding. Mike first learned to ride bareback on retired cicus horses in the UK and volunteers at Riding for the Disabled, where he helps care for the horses and assists children during their lesson. His payback for seven dedicated years of volunteer work is seeing the children’s happy faces as they overcome their fears, increase their self-confidence and achieve their goals.

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 Mike is successful, Riding for the Disabled buy new horses as some of its 16 horses are nearing retirement. The money would also go towards vets’ bills, feed and other maintenance costs.


Rebecca Law

Shoebox Revolution
Caring . Selfless . Committed

The plight of homeless people on the Central Coast touched Rebecca Law to such an extent that she founded a charity. Through the Shoebox Revolution, the part-time chef and full-time mum supplies care packs of food and other necessities to people in need. The food is carefully selected to suit someone with no amenities and is intended to last 24 hours. Other items include feminine hygiene products, personal grooming products and comfort possessions such as socks. “I’m just hoping to make a difference in our backyard while teaching our children empathy, kindness and compassion,” Rebecca 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 Rebecca is successful, Shoebox Revolution will buy non-perishable food and other items for the care packs and invest in a better storage and packing area.


Rhonda Doyle

Central Coast Kids in Need
Selfless . Caring . Incredible

Retired hairdresser Rhonda Doyle volunteers for 30 hours a week at Central Coast Kids in Need, where she and 17 others help the families of seriously ill children who must travel to Sydney or Newcastle hospitals for treatment. The need is high and growing. The charity has helped more than 2500 families since Rhonda joined 16 years ago and has raised and distributed more than $3 million. “I call it my love job,” says Rhonda, whose title is treasurer but is effectively the co-team leader with her sister Lorraine, the charity’s secretary.

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 Rhonda is successful, Central Coast Kids in will use the money to continue paying for accommodation and travel costs for families in need.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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