Spotlight on role models in Local Heroes program

Derryk Klarkowski of We Care Connect

Jillian Hogan, Derryk Klarkowski and Vicki Carr are finalists in the Westfield Tuggerah 2022 Local Heroes program which shines a light on role models whose work makes a positive impact on the community or environment.

Derryck Klarkowski of We Care Connect has created a local charity that’s supporting more than 10,000 Central Coast children with hundreds of thousands of high-quality donated items.

With a vision that no local child should go without clothing, a cot or a pram, Klarkowski founded the We Care Connect Charity six years ago with like-minded friends.

Jillian Hogan, of San Remo Neighbourhood Centre, has worked tirelessly for 33 years as a catalyst of transformation for the San Remo and surrounding communities.

As the Manager of the Epicentre she has built communities from the inside out, building relationships, building infrastructure and developing programs that value people and give them the opportunity to succeed. 

Vicki Carr of Southlakes Incorporated

Vicky Carr lives to help people doing it tough and has supported thousands with food, clothing and housing over the past 10 years as Vice-Chair of the charity Southlakes Incorporated.

She is admired for going the extra mile for people such as her work through COVID, helping to compile and deliver free food packs to 16,000 people.

Now in its fifth year, the Local Heroes community recognition and grants program selects three finalists from each Westfield centre in Australia and New Zealand.

The successful hero for each centre will be awarded a $20,000 grant for the group or organisation they represent, and each finalist receives a $5,000 grant for their group or organisation.

This year’s Westfield Local Heroes finalists across the nation 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. 

Westfield Tuggerah Centre Manager, Melanie Smith, said that through the Local Heroes program was an opportunity to recognise and acknowledge people who had made a lasting impact on the future of the local community.

“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,” she said.

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 $6.14M since the program’s inception in 2018.

The voting period for Westfield Local Heroes closes on Monday, August 22 August and each Westfield centre’s successful hero will be announced on Tuesday, September 13. 

To view your Westfield Local Heroes finalists, visit or your local Westfield centre’s website to read about the finalists and cast your vote.

Media release, August 2
Westfield Tuggerah

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