Founder of Diva Charity Incorporated, Christina Iskandar, has been nominated as a finalist for Westfield Eastgardens Local Hero for 2023 in NSW.
Christina has devoted years to helping people in need through Diva Charity and was awarded the Vi Robbins Award in 2021 for Volunteer of the Year.
The Greek Herald asked Christina Iskandar how it feels to be nominated as a finalist for Westfield Eastgardens Local Hero for 2023.
“We truly love what we do and love being able to assist our community,” she says, but “there is so much more we can do.”
“It’s about the people and if we were to win, the $20,000 would go towards a much needed van so we can continue our work within the local community and expand to other areas,” Christina told The Greek Herald.
Diva Charity delivers home cooked meals, groceries, toiletries and blankets with a “no questions asked” motto while promoting community connection.
Generous local Woolworths Matraville and Woolworths Hillsdale provide rescued food for her Lexington food drive and drives in other areas; the local barber even pitches in, offering free haircuts and a BBQ.
Christina has been involved in charity support since 2009, where she started working with children with disabilities in Indonesia.
Upon returning to Australia, Christina found there was a “real need” in her local community, especially post COVID, for people needing food and basic toiletries.
“I thought, oh my gosh, there is a need for this in our backyard and I’m going to do something about it.”
Together with a group of friends Christina formed a committee, and started receiving material donations (not money) to deliver to various charities and people in the community.
This year the organisation did a ‘blanket drive’ donating and distributing 1000 blankets to different charities including indigenous, drug addiction, homelessness and women’s groups.
During Christmas, the group donated 150 Hamper goodie bags and toys in a donation drive for Caring Kids.
One project, which is close to Christina’s heart, is her Sunday food drive for social housing residents in South Maroubra. When asked if Christina cooks Greek food to give to people in need on the charity drives, she proudly says “yes”.
“They love anything that has been home cooked,” and shares the meals she prepares which include spanakopita and hearty traditional fakes soup. They love the fakes.
“The most beautiful thing about this nomination is I was nominated by one of the people we feed,” Christina says. She begins to share her parents story as migrants Australia.
“I wish they were around so they could see this,” she says, proud to be Greek Australian.
Westfield Eastgardens is celebrating the Local Heroes finalists exhibition, open now until September 11 on Level 1, opposite Telstra. The public are welcome to join and can also cast a vote for the 2023 nominees.