Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

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Thank you for voting for your Westfield Local Hero

We congratulate all of our finalists and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community. The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 27 October.

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 2020 nominees for every Westfield centre. Each of the affiliated organisations of the successful heroes will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive. Westfield will award 126 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.26 million.


Your finalists for Westfield Newmarket are:

Alyson de Marco

Tāmaki Budgeting Services
Passionate. Inspiring. Visionary

Alyson de Marco is dedicated to rescuing people on low incomes from financial crises. As CEO of non-profit Tamaki Budgeting Services, she oversees a program that offers one-on-one-mentoring to people who have reached breaking point. Through one-on-one mentoring, the advisers suggest solutions to the most pressing problems and show how small changes can make a big difference.
Alyson’s MoneyMates program, which brings people together to share budgeting tips, is making a huge difference in vulnerable people’s lives.

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 Alyson is successful, Tamaki Budgeting Services will use the funds to improve their facilities and run more community events to reach other people in need of help.

If you need support, please phone: Lifeline 0800 543 354


Debbie Hoskins

Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Zealand Trust
Nurturing. Inclusive. Devoted

Debbie Hoskins goes above and beyond in her role as Volunteer Manager with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Zealand. Her support encourages volunteers to spend many years making the one true wish of children with a serious illness come true. It’s thanks to Debbie’s support and encouragement that many of the 138 volunteers who work to make wishes come true have remained with the charity for years. “The situations they walk into as volunteers can be emotionally challenging, so ensuring they practice self-care and knowing that I am always here to talk them through these challenges is a must,” she 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 Debbie is successful, the Make-A-Wish Foundation will use the funds to train and support volunteers.


Donna McCaskill

The Cookie Project
Inclusive. Intelligent. Inspirational

Donna McCaskill is making a difference for people with a disability. Since starting as a volunteer kitchen manager for social enterprise The Cookie Project, she has improved its efficiency. This has opened the door for more people with disabilities to be employed as bakers. With Donna’s help and leadership, the bakers are overcoming their challenges. “I want them to see they are just as important as anyone else walking down the street. I love that I get to help them grow,” says Donna.

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 Donna is successful, The Cookie Project will be able to provide more work hours for staff and provide them with training and development to be work-ready beyond the project.


Emma Louise MacDonald

Heartfelt NZ
Compassionate. Caring. Generous

Emma MacDonald always puts grieving families first. She is a volunteer with Heartfelt NZ, an organisation that provides free photographic memories for parents who have lost a baby to stillbirth or whose child has a terminal illness. It’s not unusual for Emma to leave work or family dinners to help these families. “Heartfelt families often take a higher priority than friends, family and down time,” Emma says. “We capture the love that is evident in the room, the memories and the details.”

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 Emma is successful, Heartfelt NZ will use the funds to help cover the costs of printing photographs.


Hayden Smith

Sea Cleaners
Focused. Passionate. Generous

Hayden Smith set up non-profit Sea Cleaners to preserve Auckland's marine waterways. His four boats are out on the water every day, removing 160,000 litres of plastic rubbish from the water and shorelines every month. Hayden educates young people about the importance of disposing of waste properly and recycling. "Our vision is to preserve New Zealand's Coastline for the benefit of the marine life and for the enjoyment of all users," Hayden 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 Hayden is successful, Sea Cleaners will put the funds towards the costs of the boats and crew.


Katya Souvorova

Heart Kids NZ
Empathetic. Generous. Kind-hearted

Katya Souvorova is the friendly face of Heart Kids at the Auckland Children's Hospital. As a Hospital Family Support Worker, Katya provides vital emotional support to families while a child is in hospital for a heart-related condition. She also assesses families for petrol, food and coffee vouchers. Katya is known for putting her soul into her work and builds genuine connections with families, who are often at the hospital for long periods at a time and may need many years of follow-up. People know she will stop for a chat, listen and be there as a shoulder to cry on.

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 Katya is successful, Heart Kids will use its grant to buy hospital vouchers for parents and subsidise travel costs.


If you need support, please phone Lifeline: 13 11 14

Recognising all our 2020 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisations

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