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 Albany. 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 Albany are:

Anita Hinton

I Got Your Back Pack
Inspiring . Passionate . Selfless

Anita Hinton escaped domestic violence without any personal belongings. Once she found her feet, the single mother came up with a way to support other survivors; back packs filled with essential items so women and children have something of their own in their time of need. I Got Your Back Pack (IGYBP) is run by volunteers, many of whom are abuse survivors and find working together and helping others cathartic.“I work as a cleaner to live and eat, but my passion is IGYBP and being a positive role model for my daughter,” says Anita.

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 Anita is successful, I Got Your Back Pack will use the funds to buy more back packs and essential items and will also invest in volunteer training.


Arletta Van Den Bosch

The Children's Autism Foundation
Compassionate . Driven . Steadfast

Social worker Arletta Van Den Bosch strives for a community where children and young people with autism have the best chance of achieving a meaningful life. As a family consultant at the Children's Autism Foundation, she uses an engaging combination of humour and practical, evidence-based strategies to help people achieve meaningful improvements in education, socialisation and community engagement. “Children and young people who are adequately supported are resilient, happier and more confident,” says Arletta. The foundation aims to provide families with the tools to manage on their own. But they can always call for help.

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 Arletta is successful, The Children's Autism Foundation will put its grant towards an Autism Awareness Art Exhibition in collaboration with students at Kristin High School.


Chercara Thompson

Care for Families
Selfless . Caring . Determined

Chercara Thompson is kept busy looking after her three children, who were all born prematurely and need special care. Her other passion is helping people in need and she supplies them with care packs of donated essential items through Care for Families NZ, a charity she set up. Most of the packs go to parents of premature children, but they are available to any family with a child aged up to five. “No matter how challenging things get at home, being able to help others is a passion that helps me get through each day,” says Chercara.

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 Chercara is successful, Care for Families NZ will use its grant to buy prem clothes, toiletries and boxes.


Eliette Roslin

The Green Room
Positive . Passionate . Exciting

Eliette Roslin knows the healing power of music. It has helped her through difficulties like nearly losing her father to cancer when she was nine and fighting for her life at the age of 16 when she had Guillain Barre syndrome. Now, aged 25, she is the director of The Green Room Charitable Trust, which encourages children aged eight to seventeen to play music to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and cope with bullying. “Music has accompanied every small and big moment in my life. It is so healing and a fantastic tool,” says Eliette.

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 Eliette is successful, The Green Room Charitable Trust will use its grant to market its programme and buy more instruments.


Elizabeth York

Feeling Fab
Nurturing . Innovative . Optimistic

The day after Elizabeth York’s grandmother died, she lost her husband, Alan, in a car crash. She and her three young sons were grief-stricken and, for her sanity, she had to do something to help others. She took over the Women in Grief counselling charity. But after nine years, she needed a way to bring some joy to women experiencing grief, and started Feeling Fab. “I know the hole you get into when you lose a loved one. We all deserve to feel fab, especially in the midst of grief,” says Elizabeth.

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 Elizabeth is successful, Feeling Fab would be less reliant on donations and would be able to offer the sessions to more women.


Lorraine Owens

North Shore Women's Centre
Committed . Giving . Skilled

Lorraine Owens has spent the last 30 years volunteering and working for organisations that help others to build potential and resilience. In her current volunteer role at North Shore Women's Centre, she leads a group called Age with Flair, which helps women aged 60 and older who are facing adversity. The volunteers provide support, education, friendship and networking, which contributes to family well-being. Lorraine also volunteers for De Paul House, which works with vulnerable homeless families. “The highlight of my career has been working with women in all aspects of their lives,” says Lorraine.

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 Lorraine is successful, North Shore Women's Centre will provide free counselling to people experiencing family violence, provide school holiday activities and invest in education programmes.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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