Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists

Story

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 Woden 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 Woden. 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 Woden are:

Tom Campbell: UN Youth ACT


Dedicated. Inspiring. Incredible.
Tom dedicates his time to the operations of UN Youth ACT, a national youth-led organisation that aims to educate and empower young Australians on global issues, equipping them with the skills and inspiration to make meaningful change in the community. As the President of the ACT branch, Tom leads a team of 40 young, passionate members aged 18 to 25. He ensures the ongoing success of the programs that the team deliver and runs sessions himself on leadership, negotiation and public speaking. If successful in becoming a Westfield Local Hero, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would allow Tom and his dedicated team to establish a legacy fund, improving the accessibility of their UN Youth programs. What this means for those attending the programs is reduced costs and increased access to major leadership programs, as well as offering scholarships to students and youth would may have otherwise been unable to access the programs.

Nathan Costigan: Tara Costigan Foundation


Committed. Motivated. Noble.
Nathan is a passionate ambassador and volunteer at the Tara Costigan Foundation, which offers support to those affected by domestic violence. Nathan’s cousin Tara Costigan was murdered by her partner in a shocking incident of domestic violence that shattered their family and the community. He now strives to raise awareness of the devastation caused by domestic violence, and supports those directly affected by raising funds for Tara’s Angels, an initiative that provides up to 2 years’ free support to survivors. Nathan’s ongoing dedication allows the foundation to thrive and prosper, through his fundraising efforts that help the team to supply essential needs and counselling sessions. If Nathan was successful in becoming a Westfield Local Hero, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would enable the Tara Costigan Foundation to continue supporting families affected by domestic violence, and with this assistance will specifically be able to service over 15 families for a month

Danielle Dal Cortivo: Raize the Roof


Empowering. Smart. inspirational.
Danielle is the CEO and driving force of Raize the Roof, an initiative developed to support children who are disadvantaged due to illness and poverty. Danielle’s invaluable commitment to the organisation sees her coordinating activities such as fundraising events, as well as leading the operations of Raize the Roof, to ensure that it can continue to support children in need. If Danielle was successful in becoming a Westfield Local Hero, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would contribute to the construction of a charity house in Bonner, ACT, which will be auctioned off with half of the profits donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, funding the wishes of seriously ill children in the Canberra region. The additional funds will contribute to the enhancement of the Star Wall at Canberra Hospital, where sick children can have fun and reprieve while in hospital.

Malakai Reinhard: Carers ACT


Selfless. Hardworking. Fighter.
Fifteen-year-old Malakai is the primary carer for his mother, who suffers from a brain disease, and his partially blind and partially deaf sister. Malakai selflessly devotes his time to supporting his family and is a leading example of an incredible young man and carer in the community. If Malakai was successful in becoming a Westfield Local Hero, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would enable Carers ACT to establish a young carer drop in session, where people such as Malakai can access a safe and supportive place to garner information on life-skills such as budgeting and employment. These sessions would also provide information including how to cook nutritious meals for themselves and those they are caring for and navigating NDIS applications and plans.

Joshua Schwartz: Make-A-Wish Australia


Caring. Positive. Empathetic.
Joshua is an integral part of the Make-A-Wish team, bringing to life the wishes of sick children throughout the Canberra region. Joshua – who is a former wish child himself - passionately strives to ensure that each wish is achieved, volunteering his time to personally meet with the children and their families throughout the process. He has also shown an ongoing dedication to raising awareness of Make-A-Wish in the local community through fundraising, managing events and recruiting new volunteers. If Joshua is successful in becoming a Westfield Local Hero, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would enable the wishes of 14 children in the Canberra region to be brought to life by Joshua and his team, bringing them and their families precious moments of joy and respite from their illness.

Suzanne Tunks: Stella Bella Little Stars Foundation


Dedicated. Caring. Inspiring.
Suzanne is the devoted manager and founder of Stella Bella Little Stars Foundation, an initiative developed to provide respite care for chronically ill children and offer ongoing support to them and their families. Suzanne’s selfless dedication to these children allows their families and carers to take much needed respite through The Children’s Centre, as well as offering the children small rewards for their medical procedures via the Little Star Beads program. If successful in becoming a Westfield Local Hero, the $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant would allow her to expand Stella Bella Little Stars Foundation to offer free weekly yoga sessions to parents caring for chronically ill children. Suzanne is passionate about this initiative as it would offer these parents a safe space to build physical and emotional strength, as well as facilitating a social network for them.

Recognising all our 2018 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

Travelling with kids: top 3 tech gadgets
Because of her we can: Tanya Hosch

Story

Because of her we can: Tanya Hosch

To celebrate NAIDOC Week, we talked to Tanya Hosch, General Manager Inclusion & Social Policy at the AFL, about her inspiring initiatives to promote equality.

What's happening