Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists


Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists

In the first year of the Westfield Local Heroes program, we have received an overwhelming response and many heart-warming stories after asking the Northern Beaches community to nominate individuals who they believe promote social wellbeing and harmony in their communities.

We congratulate every one of our nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.

The community has now cast its vote, the outcome of which will determine the three successful 2018 Westfield Local Heroes for Westfield Warringah Mall. Each of their affiliated organisations will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work, program or activities.

The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 13 August.

Your six finalists for Westfield Warringah Mall are:

Caroline Ghatt: Play For All Australia

Visionary. Vibrant. Inspiring.
Caroline is a Co-Founder of PFAA and their driving purpose is for every child of any ability to be able to visit their local community play space and be able to equally participate and enjoy the social, cognitive and emotional benefits that play brings. Caroline planted the seed by starting the community Facebook group and then vigorously campaigned for the unprecedented change to the council to make inclusive design the starting point for all their playgrounds. She leads community advocacy for inclusion, design thinking sessions, and empathy workshops. The $10,000 grant will enable Facilitation of Discovery workshop with Disability advocates and Disability employment experts, co-development of Master training program, supporting materials and equipment and promotion of model to Disability organisations and Local Government.

Louise Hall: NBI

Compassionate. Tenacious. Committed.
NBI is an organisation supporting people with disabilities and their carers on the Northern Beaches and in Northern Sydney. Louise is a coordinator, whose role includes running the carer support program. This program includes the 'Carers Cafe' which started almost 3 years ago and brings together 15 mums each month to have morning tea, a chat and a wellbeing activity. Louise arranges the events, speakers and facilitators, or facilitates some events herself with a colleague. Organisation includes organising space, researching and planning content to meet current needs, providing the refreshments, advertising and facilitating the event, and any follow up. The $10,000 grant would allow NBI to offer more carer support events, reach people who are not able to access currently, and grow the male carer support program for which there is a great need.

Daniel Peterson: Community Northern Beaches

Compassionate. Persistent. Creative.
Daniel is employed as the Outreach Homeless Worker with Community Northern Beaches. He is the first response person that the Council and Police call upon to assist and assess the needs of rough sleepers in public spaces. He attends to homeless people's immediate needs such as food, shelter, clothing and transport whilst also considering more complex issues including long term housing, mental health and addiction problems. Daniel works in an extremely challenging environment dealing with complicated situations and people, who have very complex needs. He visits the places where people are sleeping rough, which can be both mentally and physically confronting. The $10,000 grant would be put towards supporting the immediate and practical needs of rough sleepers in the Northern Beaches; material aid. The main use for the grant would be to purchase food, storage, transport, phone facilities and pharmacy vouchers. In addition the money can be used to purchase washing and drying facilities so that rough sleepers will be able to wash and dry their clothes on a more regular basis.

Rosy Sullivan: Northern Beaches Women's Shelter

Irrepressible. Authentic. Impressive.
Rosy Sullivan works tirelessly in a voluntary capacity as a longstanding Board Member and current Acting President of the Northern Beaches Women's Shelter (NBWS), formerly Manly Women's Shelter (MWS). Rosy's passionate involvement at the governance, fundraising and process levels embeds her personal values of community support, outstanding professional standards and operational due diligence to every aspect of the critical work of NBWS. Rosy's reach extends across chairing the committee for the annual Gala Dinner (NBWS's primary fundraiser of the year); manning fundraising stalls on weekends; attending local networking functions day and night on behalf of the Shelter; preparing NBWS's Annual Report; regular operations meetings with the Shelter and Business Manager; assisting with lease renegotiations to secure the Shelter's ongoing, and much more. The $10,000 grant would be dedicated to installing hospital-style room dividers for the Shelter's bedrooms. The impact for the Shelter's residents into the future will be instant and enormous. These are grown women living in necessarily cramped, twin-share accommodation. They are deserving of the basic privacy and dignity afforded by such room dividers.

Mitchell Wallis: Heart On My Sleeve Movement

Passionate. Authentic. Inspiring.
Mitch is the founder of Heart On My Sleeve - an early intervention mental health initiative revolutionising our understanding & application of authentic interactions in a digital world. Mitch runs the day-to-day operations such as marketing, brand, social media, public speaking and fundraising. He also leads the strategic vision of the company where he builds and creates new mental health programs, manages key strategic relationships and oversees the governance and compliance of the organisation. The $10,000 grant would go towards launching a range of new programs including the eLearning platform and an online counsellor support service. It will also help to grow the awareness of Heart On My Sleeve so more people can gain access to the community.

Warren Welsh: The Burdekin Association

Caring. Altruistic. Committed.
The Burdekin Association undertake work with young people on the Northern Beaches in Sydney. Warren Welsh's role in The Burdekin Association is to manage the supported accommodation service and provide much needed support to enable the successful service provision. Link Housing work very closely with Warren and he always has the client's best interests and needs at heart and works tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for the young people. Warren is personally responsible for the management of the supported housing team of caseworkers and is also heavily involved in the active case management for a number of young people. The Burdekin Association could use the $10,000 grant to deliver a client support initiative that would enable young people to learn important skills including budgeting, food preparation and cooking or emotional resilience. The $10,000 grant would also be spent to assist young people to successfully manage a tenancy. The money could be used to purchase white goods for between 10 and 20 clients.

Recognising all our 2018 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

Denim wardrobe essentials for the whole family
Combat the winter blues with bright home decor

What's happening