Voting is now open for Westfield Geelong’s Local Heroes, with $10,000 grants up for grabs to assist their work

Voting is now open for Westfield Geelong’s Local Heroes, with $10,000 grants up for grabs to assist their work

Anthony Woodbury from Feed Me Bellarine

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

Celebrating Geelong’s most deserving community and environmental advocates, volunteers, entrepreneurs and leaders, Westfield ‘Local Heroes’ has three $10,000 grants to be awarded to our most inspiring locals in the region.

Now in their fourth year, Westfield Local Heroes has supported over 363 individuals and their organisations to thrive around the country.

The key takeaways

  • Voting is now open for Westfield Geelong’s Local Heroes, with six finalists from the region
  • Westfield Local Heroes are nominated by their communities, with each of their affiliated organisations awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work to thrive
  • Voting closes Monday 30 August

Keep up with the latest in local good news via our website.

Local heroes can come from a range of different sectors and include environmentalists, innovators, community volunteers and leaders, welfare service providers, first responders, essential workers, health and medical experts, educators, social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. After such a trying year, there’s plenty of love to go around to those individuals who have gone that extra mile.

Not only does this program give a hardworking member of the community the recognition they deserve, but the chance for their cause or organisation to step into the spotlight – as well as potentially scoring $10,000 to go towards their work within the region.

From a pool of 24 local Geelong heroes, the final six Westfield Geelong Local Heroes have been announced with voting now open to the public.

Your finalists for Westfield Geelong are:

Andy Brittain from Geelong Youth Engagement

Committed, encouraging and accepting, Andy Brittain has helped many at-risk high school students turn their lives around through an intensive one-year personal and physical development program he developed while being a police officer. The program is run by Geelong Youth Engagement and is phenomenally successful in boosting the participants’ confidence and improving their attitude to life. Andy is often contacted by program graduates eager to share their subsequent achievements as young adults.

If Andy is successful in taking out the title of Westfield Local Hero, Geelong Youth Engagement will use its funds to train the program participants in first aid and buy a TV and computer for educational presentations.

You can vote for Andy here.

Anthony Woodbury from Feed Me Bellarine

Successful chef Anthony Woodbury co-founded Feed Me Bellarine two years ago to provide meals to families doing it tough, using his skills to create gourmet offerings. His charity feeds about 700 families a week. It also runs a fresh produce supermarket and café where customers pay what they can.

If Anthony is successful as a finalist, Feed Me Bellarine will use its funds to upgrade its kitchen to help more people in need.

Vote for Anthony here.

Barb Speldewinde from Fight Cancer Foundation

Dedicated, determined and invaluable, Barb Speldewinde has volunteered with the Fight Cancer Foundation for twenty years, putting her hand up as a thank you for the life-saving treatment her son-in-law received for leukaemia. She manages the foundation’s Geelong Recycle Shop, which funds accommodation for families who must travel to Melbourne for specialist treatment.

If Barb is successful, the Fight Cancer Foundation will use its funds to provide no-cost accommodation to families who need to stay in Melbourne for specialist accommodation.

Vote for Barb here.

Bronwyn Haskell from Peace of Mind Foundation

Big-hearted Bronwyn Haskell has helped over 235 families deal with a devastating brain cancer diagnosis as a volunteer with the Peace of Mind Foundation. Her partner passed away from brain cancer, and she uses her lived experience to lead online and face-to-face support groups. She recently formed a bereavement support group for women who have lost their partner.

If Bronwyn is successful, the Peace of Mind Foundation will use its funds to cover the costs of a retreat for 30 carers, counselling sessions and the bereavement support group.

Vote for her here.

Claire Faulmann from OneCare Geelong

Passionate, dedicated and empowering, Claire Faulmann was thrown in the deep end when she became CEO of OneCare just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. While other community services were temporarily closing their doors, her non-profit was ramping up support. It provided 500 meals a week and 1.5 tons of groceries to families in need. At the same time, Claire moved its counselling program online.

If Claire is successful as a finalist, OneCare will use its funds to cover the costs of its foodbank and community meal programs for one year.

Vote for her here.

Jennifer Chiu from Eat Up

Volunteer Jennifer Chiu is a local branch leader for the charity Eat Up and helps make thousands of healthy sandwiches for marginalised children who would otherwise go hungry at school. Over the last four years, her team have delivered over 6000 healthy school lunches to students at six schools.

If Jennifer is successful, Eat Up will have enough funds to continue feeding local children for more than six years.

Vote for her here.

Voting closes 30 August. For more info, head to Westfield’s website.