A huge congratulations to Leanne, Juno Peer Educator and Program Support Worker, for being recognised by the community as a 2023 Westfield Heroes Finalist for Westfield Plenty Valley.
Westfield Local Heroes is a recognition and awards program that shines the spotlight on individuals in Australia and New Zealand who make a positive impact in their local community.
Leanne was nominated for her tireless work through our Powering Future Choices community workshops, where she generously shares her experience of domestic violence and homelessness to help others get the support they need.
Responding to the growing rate of homelessness among older women, these workshops equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to identify and mitigate their chances of long-term homelessness and poverty in older life through education around housing, money, family violence and health and wellbeing.
On a regular basis Leanne and the group of Peer Educators courageously, skillfully and thoughtfully help women and non-binary people recognise and leave unsafe relationships, develop life skills to apply for public housing and manage their finances.
When we asked Leanne what this recognition meant to her she said:
“I felt like I was seen and acknowledged by Westfield staff. I felt like I had achieved success in getting the ‘lived experience’ part of the work and its importance recognised. It is so important that people acknowledge the value of lived experience and people in the sector not being able to learn this in a book and this award, I think, highlights that.”
Being nominated by the community and selected as a finalist is an amazing achievement, and we are so proud of the work of each of the five Peer Educators facilitating the workshops. Since launching at the end of 2021, more than 51 workshops have been delivered to almost 300 attendees.
To support the continuation of Juno’s work, we are thrilled to announce that Westfield have awarded us with a $5,000 grant. These funds will go towards training and support of additional peer educators needed to expand our service.
Read more about the Westfield Local Hero awards here.
Find out more about Powering Future Choices here.