Kotara: Local heroes

Now in their fifth year, Westfield have announced their Local Heroes for 2022 as nominated and voted for by their community. Each Westfield centre awards the successful hero a $20,000 grant for the group or organisation they represent, and each finalist receives a $5,000 grant for their organisation and to continue their work.

Hillary Milton has been awarded Westfield Kotara’s top prize. A psychologist by training, she has spent five years giving local parents and educators essential skills they can use to help prevent child maltreatment and domestic violence. Through her work at the Child Abuse Prevention Service (CAPS), she has helped to build up the child protection capabilities of more than 40 organisations across the Newcastle and Hunter regions.

Dawn Lambert has been recognised for 45 years of community service with Lions Australia, but the highlight of it all is her contribution during the COVID pandemic. As Vice President of the Lions Club of Valentine, Dawn leads a partnership with Survivors R Us that has helped over 2500 people who have been experiencing homelessness, domestic violence or unemployment.

Another winner of a $5000 grant, David Gaghan has dedicated hundreds of Friday nights to providing a warm meal and a compassionate listening ear to people doing it tough. With a welcoming smile, he has spent nearly every Friday night since 2014 supporting 100 people at a weekly BBQ run by Reach Homeless Services.

Congratulations to all the winners and their organisations!

Go to westfield.com.au/local-heroes for more information.