Westfield Chermside Heroes Making a Big Impact: Here Are Your 2023 Community Champions

Whether it’s to provide a guiding light, provide comfort in times of need, or spread compassion one meal at a time, these three finalists for Westfield Chermside’s Local Heroes Program are among the individuals who go above and beyond to create positive change within their local communities. Find out more about them.

Guy Mauger – Guiding Light for Vision-Impaired Individuals

Guy Mauger, a dedicated member of Guide Dogs Queensland (GDQ), has been shortlisted as a Westfield Local Hero for his unwavering commitment to assisting vision-impaired individuals. Whilst Guide Dogs are undoubtedly an essential part of the organization’s mission, Guy’s work extends far beyond this. He provides support to those who are newly adjusting to their changed circumstances due to visual impairments. 

One of Guy’s significant contributions involves regularly welcoming new clients arriving from upstate for residential courses at the Bald Hills Campus. He helps them navigate the emotional and psychological challenges associated with their new reality. By the time he takes them back to the airport at the end of the week, their transformation is remarkable – from apprehensive and shy to confident and cheerful. 

Westfield Local Heroes Guy Mauger
Photo Credit: Westfield Chermside

Guy’s efforts aren’t limited to adults; he also engages vision-impaired children in activities that foster camaraderie and self-assuredness. In addition, Guy and his wife, Wendy, extend their support by taking guide dogs to the Queensland Children’s Court. These furry companions provide comfort and solace to children facing difficult situations, making the legal proceedings less intimidating. 

Guy’s work is a testament to the impact that empathy, care, and community involvement can have on people’s lives.

“In the event that my nomination ends up the winner, the $20,000 will make a huge difference, and help to ensure that the many and varied services offered by GDQ can continue to assist those in need,” Guy said.

John Bigmore – Bringing Comfort and Care to Families in Need

John Bigmore’s involvement with Hummingbird House, the only children’s hospice in Queensland, highlights the profound impact of his nomination as a Westfield Local Hero. Hummingbird House offers specialized palliative care services to children with life-limiting conditions and their families. John’s personal connection with the organisation, having experienced their care firsthand with his granddaughter, inspired him to become a volunteer. 

John’s dedication goes beyond personal experience. He recognises the critical role that Hummingbird House plays in providing solace and support to families during unimaginably difficult times. 

Westfield Local Heroes John Bigmore
Photo Credit: Westfield Chermside

If chosen as a Local Hero, John aims to direct the $20,000 grant toward funding more nursing hours, ensuring that the children and their families receive the best care possible. The money would help provide over 300 nursing hours, offering comfort and care to those who need it most.

“If I win, it means the wonderful staff at Hummingbird House will be able to support more children and their families experiencing unimaginable times,” he said.

Olive Volavola – Spreading Compassion One Meal at a Time

Olive Volavola’s compassion shines through her work as the founder of Compassion 4 Community. This volunteer-run charity operates in Nundah, preparing hundreds of nutritious meals for people in need. Olive’s dedication to ensuring no one goes hungry is matched by her commitment to providing companionship and emotional support to those who seek their services. 

Compassion 4 Community isn’t just about feeding the hungry; it’s about creating a warm, welcoming environment where individuals can find not only a meal but also a friendly hug or a chat. 

Westfield Local Heroes Olive Volavola
Photo Credit: Westfield Chermside

Olive’s nomination as a Westfield Chermside Local Hero could significantly impact the charity’s operations. If successful, the grant would be used to acquire essential kitchen equipment, such as a commercial stove and dishwasher. These upgrades would enhance their ability to prepare meals efficiently and continue serving their community.

The Westfield Chermside Local Heroes program continues to highlight the profound influence that individuals can have when they dedicate themselves to making a difference in their communities. These three finalists – Guy Mauger, John Bigmore, and Olive Volavola – embody the program’s values and exemplify the power of compassion, care, and dedication. 

Published 28-Aug-2023