Makerita Siaosi - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Helping young women
A Girl Called Hope
Empowering. Passionate. Dedicated.
Armed with specialist post-graduate studies in Family Therapy, a hearty laugh and a steadfast belief in people's potential, Makerita Siaosi is the ideal person to help young women through times of crisis.
Makerita is the Programme Manager at A Girl Called Hope and offers the residents in her care a safe place that respects each person as an individual and helps them make wise choices.
Makerita has worked at the charity for 10 years and is known as a warm and kind leader. She has built her 19 employees into a professional and caring team.
Together, they support young women with issues including depression, anxiety, suicidal thinking, self-harm, disordered eating and unplanned pregnancy.
"I work with each resident to develop their personalised programme," Makerita says. The aim is for everyone to re-enter society and make a positive contribution.
Makerita draws on her family’s struggles with economic hardship and navigating the health system for her mother, whom she lost at an early age, as motivation to help others.
A reward for Makerita is to meet past clients and see they are enjoying life, have paid work, are raising their families or are in voluntary roles.
"Seeing changed lives and people living with purpose helps me know I'm doing my bit for our community and gives me my sense of purpose," Makerita 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. A Girl Called Hope will invest its grant in training and professional development of staff.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here