Westfield Local Heroes is a recognition and awards program that connects and enriches communities. The program discovers and celebrates individuals who make a positive impact to their local community by awarding a $10,000 grant for finalists' affiliated organisation to support their work and programs.
We are pleased to announce that we have three finalists this year. If successful we will be granted the opportunity to fund 2 projects - A camp for Victorian families living with NF and an empowering resource in the form of a book created for young people, developed by young people.
Shelly is mum to 9yo Alex who has Neurofibromatosis (NF1).
It was suspected that Alex had NF1 as early as 6-months of age following the appearance of multiple cafe-au-lait spots, among a number of other indicators. Since then, Alex has only ever known a life of appointments, surgeries and disruption.
Despite these set backs, he is a bright, affectionate and resilient young person and Shelly is on a mission to draw attention to this complex and often misunderstood genetic condition.
Shelly wants more young people living with NF and their siblings to have new opportunities to make friends with others who understand what they are going through.
If Shelly wins we will run an NF Family Camp in VIC to enable children with NF, just like Alex, and their siblings the opportunity to bond with other kids, it will provide a safe environment to play and learn, free from bullying and discrimination.vote for shelly READ shelly & alex's STORY
Josh Langley was told he would amount to nothing in life, having failed high school (twice) and being unemployed for several years, but that didn’t stop Josh from becoming an award-winning radio copywriter and author. His quirky and inspirational books have inspired thousands of people of all ages around the world to see life from an entirely new perspective.
Josh is a passionate advocate for both kids and adult mental health having experienced childhood trauma, and being diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Positive mental health themes feature across his books, public talks, workshops and interviews.
If Josh wins, CTF will invest in the development of a new resource for the NF community; a book created by young people, for young people with a lived experience of NF. It will create a platform to tell stories of genetic diversity, while also serving as an educational resource and motivational guide for anyone facing a difficult life journey.
vote for josh READ his STORY
Kirsty's eldest daughter 17yo Shelby and her brother 13yo Jackson both have NF1. Kirsty has been advocating for her children for a long time, lending her strength and keeping her own emotional battles hidden – to relieve their anxiety and to give them hope.
Over the years hospital has become the entire family’s second home.
Kirsty is also mum to two younger children who have never experienced a life where their siblings are not sick and don’t require continual medical attention.
Kirsty has bravely shared her experiences and become a staunch advocate for people living with NF not only in Adelaide but throughout Australia.
If Kirsty wins, she and her family will support the development of a book filled with real-life stories of teens and young adults with NF to help fill a gap in the Children’s Tumour Foundation’s toolkit.vote for kirsty READ HER STORY
how to vote
The community vote for Westfield Local Heroes runs from 10 August to 30 August. Follow the steps to vote for your hero. One Email = One Vote!
- Click on the link of your chosen candidate
- Fill out the voting form
- Share with your friends and family so that have the best chance of winning and ensuring these projects move forward.
It's as easy as that! Don't forget, you can only vote once per email address.
For more information about the program, visit www.westfield.com.au/local-heroes.