Voting is now open for Westfield Geelong’s 2022 Local Heroes with $20K grants up for grabs

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Voting is now open for Westfield Geelong’s 2022 Local Heroes with $20K grants up for grabs

The time has come once again to vote for those in our community who make a real difference.

Celebrating Geelong’s most deserving community role models, Westfield ‘Local Heroes’ has a $20,000 grant to be awarded to our most inspiring local in the region.

Now in its fifth year, the 2022 Westfield Local Heroes community recognition and grants program has selected three finalists for each Westfield centre across Australia and New Zealand, shining a spotlight on role models whose work makes a positive impact to their local community or environment.

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The successful hero for each centre will be awarded a $20,000 grant for the group or organisation they represent, and each finalist will receive a $5,000 grant for their group or organisation. This will equate to a further $1.26 million in Westfield Local Heroes community grants in 2022.

This year’s Westfield Local Heroes finalists represent community role models who create positive benefits for others across a broad range of sectors including emergency services, registered community groups, sporting clubs, not-for-profit, schools, authorities, and the local environment.

Your finalists for Westfield Geelong 2022:

Karen Knuckey, Story Dogs

Go-getter Karen Knuckey and her dogs Penny and Libby have found their calling as volunteers with Story Dogs, a charity that helps students who are struggling to read. Reading to a non-judgmental dog helps the children focus and build their reading confidence. The charity is flourishing in Geelong thanks to Karen, who has built up a 24-strong volunteer team.

Kerry Johnson, Encompass Community Services

Resourceful Kerry Johnson has gone above and beyond in her role at Encompass Community Services to start a new initiative that provides 10 local families a week with home basics packs of bed linen, pillows, towels, pots and pans. Kerry volunteered in her own time to get the program off the ground.

Laura Alice, Bluebird Foundation

Compassionate Laura Alice supports hundreds of young people as a mentor with the Bluebird Foundation, a community arts organisation that brings people together while celebrating their differences. Laura is a talented artist and loves collaborating with young people to create cutting-edge works that improve their mental health and wellbeing.

“Through the Westfield Local Heroes program, we continue to recognise and acknowledge people who have made a lasting impact on the future of our local community,” says Westfield Geelong Centre Manager Lauren Frew.

“It’s with great pleasure that we announce our three 2022 finalists and encourage our community to vote and help us discover our 2022 hero.”

Once the 2022 Westfield Local Heroes have been announced, Scentre Group’s Westfield Local Heroes program will have contributed to more than 600 community organisations, investing a total of $6.14 million since the program’s inception in 2018.

Voting for the Westfield Local Heroes opens today, August 2 and closes on Monday 22 August. Each Westfield centre’s successful hero will be announced on Tuesday 13 September 2022. You can vote here