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 St Lukes. 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 St Lukes are:

Genevieve Mora

Voices of Hope
Passionate . Visionary . Selfless

Genevieve Mora life’s mission is to help others by sharing her story of fighting anorexia nervosa, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder during her teen years. Aged 24, she is a co-founder of Voices of Hope, which promotes mental well-being and recovery. The organisation supports young local people, works within the community to destigmatise mental illness and produces internet videos that tell healing stories to an international audience. “If sharing my story and vulnerability can help make someone else's journey easier, then my years of fighting my own mind were so worth it,” says Genevieve.

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 Genevieve is successful, Voices of Hope will fund a video campaign aimed at reminding adults that children learn from their behaviours, and it would help if they were more open about their feelings.


Jonathan Hughes

Pasadena Intermediate School
Power . Supporting . Inspiring (Mana . Taituarā . Whakahihiko)

The number of students at Pasadena Intermediate School has doubled since Principal Jonathan Hughes was appointed four years ago, largely because of his family and student-first approach to education. An example of his philosophy is the Māori-medium class he introduced at the request of a group of parents. Although there was no government funding, he found a solution and worked with others to establish a best-practice model that is more than just a Māori version of an English-medium classroom. “Our full-immersion classroom is a huge success and something we are very proud of,” says Jonathan.

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 Jonathan is successful, Pasadena Intermediate School will be able to buy digital educational material, new furniture and electronic devices for students unable to afford them.


Jason Dodunski

Morningside Urban Market Garden
Generous . Conscientious . Passionate

Jason Dodunski is a sustainable food advocate, keen gardener, chef, all-round foodie and generous volunteer. He is putting all those attributes to good use at the Morningside Urban Market Garden, which is a social enterprise that develops business skills among women with a migrant or refugee background by growing edible flowers and vegetable shoots for use in local cafes. “Having studied business management and sustainable enterprise at AUT, I am inspired by the possibility of social enterprise transforming our neighbourhoods and developing a just and regenerative food future,” says Jason.

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 Jason is successful, Morningside Urban Market Garden will invest in a tunnel house, garden shed and water tank.


Nicholas Loosley

Everybody Eats
Committed . Passionate . Humble

In two years, Nicholas (Nick) Loosley has saved 15 tonnes of good food from landfill and provided more than 15,000 restaurant-quality meals to people who could not afford to pay. Thousands more have paid a reduced rate at his Everybody Eats restaurant or have paid enough to help subsidise others’ meals. The volunteer-run restaurant promotes connection by using communal tables and breaks down social barriers with people from all walks of life enjoying a meal together. “We invite anyone and everyone to join us, and they all get treated and served equally,” says Nick.

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 Nick is successful, Everybody eats will buy a restaurant grade combi-oven.


Peter Leilua

Global Hope Missions
Determined . Dedicated . Selfless

Peter Leilua left the security of his full-time position at the Department of Justice to work in community and youth development with Global Hope Ministries. Supported by his wife, Tiliilagi, his work involves after-school programmes, health workshops, academic mentoring, home visits and connecting youth and families to social services for help. Their team also advocates for local people at the courthouse and school board meetings. “I knew it was going to be challenging, especially when both Tiliilagi and I have left our full-time jobs,” says Peter. “But we believe it will benefit the whole community.”

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 Peter is successful, Global Hope Missions will buy laptop computers for its courses as well as sport and art equipment.


Sheridan Jackson

Recreate NZ
Kind . Caring . Determined

Sheridan Jackson started at Recreate NZ five years ago as a volunteer and now oversees the educational aspect of the charity’s programmes that push the boundaries of what young people with disabilities can achieve. One of her roles is the work-experience programme known as MOXIE, which bridges the gap between school and employment. Through experiential training, Sheridan and her team help the participants gain confidence as they learn different skills and protocols. “Often our young people are not work ready when they leave school, so this project helps them to become more employable,” says Sheridan.

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 Sheridan is successful, Recreate NZ will use its grant to reduce its funding shortfall and continue with its various projects.


Recognising all our 2019 nominees

View all of the nominees and their organisation

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