Greek Australians named as finalists in the Westfield Local Heroes 2021

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The finalists for the 2021 Westfield Local Heroes have been announced and they are now in the running to win $10,000 grants to support the impactful work they do for their local community.

Among the names are two Greek Australians from South Australia and win or lose, they are definitely making our community proud.

Here’s the list if you would like to vote before Monday, August 30, 2021.

Emma Georgiadis – Enlighten Education (Westfield Marion, SA)

Morning radio presenter, Emma Georgiadis, harnesses her combination of broadcasting skills and experience as a teacher to connect with young women and build their confidence.

She’s doing this through Enlighten Education, a non-profit provider of in-school workshops for teen girls. Her sessions help girls aged 11 to 18 decode the mixed messages they receive about what to eat, how to act, how to look, how to please and how to be liked. 

Emma shares vital tools girls can use to build positive relationships with their peers, parents and teachers. Her fun and engaging workshops cover topics including positive body image, self-talk, social labelling, personal safety, stress, conflict, diversity and healthy friendships.

“My work as a radio announcer gives me the platform to go into schools and have a connection with the girls. It has also provided me with the skills to develop my podcast, Empowerhouse, which builds attitudes of self-love, self-worth and self-belief,” Emma says.

She feels honoured to have been nominated as a Westfield Local Hero and if successful, she will use her $10,000 grant to fund workshops for an additional 500 girls.

“I am so excited by the opportunity to go out into more schools and spread positive messages. I am so pleased to be able to combine my skills to help others realise their potential,” Emma concludes.

Katerina Iliopoulos – HeartKids Limited, South Australia Division (Westfield West Lakes, SA)

Grandmother, Katerina Iliopoulos, is giving back as a passionate and generous fundraiser for families affected by congenital heart disease. 

Over the last three years, she has raised nearly $20,000 for the charity HeartKids by baking and selling mountains of Greek shortbread.

HeartKids aims to give every child diagnosed with congenital heart disease a fighting chance of leading a long and fulfilling life. The charity funds research, advocates for people with the disease and offers guidance, information and support throughout their journey.

Katerina was inspired to support the charity after her granddaughter, Zoe, benefited from their support to travel to Melbourne for surgery. 

Thankfully, Zoe made a quick recovery and is now a healthy and active little girl. But some children require multiple surgeries and trips to Melbourne. HeartKids also provides the families with peer support once they return home, which is often the hardest period. 

“Being able to support others, while in turn receiving support, has created a strong sense of community and reduced the feeling of being alone when it comes to caring for a heart kid,” Katerina says.

She is surprised to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero but “delighted to do my part, alongside many other supporters and volunteers.”

If Katerina is successful, HeartKids will use its funds to continue offering its support programs to families living with congenital heart disease.

*Please Note: The above finalists are those The Greek Herald could identify by their Greek name.

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