Westfield Local Heroes is our flagship community recognition and awards program.
The program discovers and celebrates individuals who make a positive impact in their local community or on their local environment.
Every year, Westfield Living Centres across Australia and New Zealand awards up to three, $10,000 grants to deserving individuals and their organisations who are nominated and voted for by the local communities.
Announcing the Heroes and presenting the grant is not the end of the program though, it’s just the beginning of our relationship with our Local Heroes and working to support them, support our local communities.
In 2018, Todd Meyn was a Westfield Local Hero for Westfield Carousel.
Todd is a BMX professional who volunteers as a bike mechanic with BikeRescue, the flagship mentoring program of the Dismantle youth organisation. The outreach program seeks to re-engage at-risk young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through hands-on bike building in a supportive mentoring environment.
In 2019, Dismantle founded another social enterprise to support at-risk youth: ReNew Property Maintenance.
ReNew is a commercial landscaping and property maintenance enterprise that employs at-risk young people to work alongside ReNew’s maintenance staff to gain paid employment, training, support, and that all important first step into the workforce.
Having kept in touch with Westfield and understanding our genuine focus on connecting and enriching communities, three years after Todd was a Westfield Local Hero, ReNew’s Business Development Manager, Darren Thomas, reached out to our Community Experience team to see if there was any opportunity for us to support ReNew expand their program.
Our Regional Facilities Manager in WA & SA, Matt Holmes met with Darren to discuss how we could work together to support the local community.
Matt said: “Our local community had nominated and voted Dismantle as their Westfield Local Hero, highlighting the importance of the youth work they are doing. That validation from the community that this is an important support service for them, coupled with our focus on serving the community in which we operate, meant we were immediately interested in exploring how we could support ReNew.
“ReNew was looking for maintenance work that youth could complete on a regular basis around our Westfield Living Centre. We focused on finding work that would also allow for a sense of pride and accomplishment at what they had contributed at the end of the day.
“Westfield Innaloo has an outdoor area as part of our cinema complex and ReNew is now managing a restoration process of this area. The team has just commenced an initial clean up project which will also assist us in scoping a long-term recurring engagement. The work they are doing is incrementally enhancing our Living Centre’s gardens and extended grounds, at the same time as supporting our Westfield Local Hero alumni’s amazing work and engaging our local youth community with our Living Centre in a positive way.
“Working with ReNew is a win win win for us all.”
Dismantle CEO, Pat Ryan, said he is thrilled to be partnering with Scentre Group again: “It’s fantastic to continue and expand our working relationship with Scentre Group; they are wonderful champions of community and that is evident here.
“ReNew is currently providing award-wage employment for close to 80 disadvantaged young people a year. For our young people, the challenges and barriers they face are significant and often debilitating. Employment is one of the most effective tools in breaking the cycle of disadvantage and giving these young guys a better shot at a future. Working with community-minded clients like Scentre Group helps us to help more vulnerable young people into their most important job; their first one.”
In addition, our other WA Living Centres are exploring opportunities where it may be possible for them to engage ReNew to deliver an improved customer experience as well as a positive social outcome for their communities.