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Who’s your local hero?

This project led by artist Jean Stewart has become a regular for the Whau Arts Festival. The community is asked to nominate their local hero, and the person who receives the most shout outs gets their portrait painted. Jean has painted three portraits to get the project going. Shes now passing the baton on to other portrait artists to add to series.

So far we have received no shortage of nominations for local heros. While we have had to narrow it down to one person each year, we would like to shout out to all the heros we have doing great stuff in our communities. We see you!

Jean has painted the first three portraits to get the project going. In the future, she hopes to pass the baton on to another portrait artist. In 10 years time we look forward to an exhibition of the entire series.

Jean Stewart

Zarahn Southon

Local Hero 2023

Whaea Jaccqui

“Every year she goes above and beyond, this women will give her heart and world to all People animals around all community. She has stepped up to be more than just a Mother of 6 she is a awesome Mother, manager, leader team worker great Community Support worker awesome teacher within our school.”

“Whaea Jacqui has a huge heart for her Community. I love most that she is patient, empathetic and fair minded. Jacqui is passionate about making Te Ao Maori accessible to all and endlessly gives her time and energy to her students. Kai Avondale is privileged to be able to work alongside Jacqui.”

Portrait artist Zarahn Southon

Local Hero 2022

Henga Amosa

“She represents AAPICA and their 10+ years of service to our kids and to maintaining some connection to our Samoan heritage. She accepts all children into her school not just samoan children. Also, she’s a Nana who was Centre manager for 10 years, she loves the children and treats them as her own. I believe she deserves to be acknowledged for her work in the community especially in the Samoan community.”

“Passionately cared & nurtured our pre-school children for more than 10 years. Despite many challenges and adversity faced by many families of some children attending which sometimes affect children’s attendance to school, e.g. school fees, Henga’s genuine care for children’s education n wellness always wins to allow them to attend. She is a happy and dedicated teacher, parent and we see it in our children’s when they come home from school.“

“Henga took care of my two daughters from the ages of 2 to 5 years of age, at Aoga Amata. She was also my daughters favourite faiaoga! I will always appreciate feeling good knowing that my children were left in safe, caring and loving hands, along with the rest of the amazing staff at AAPICA.”

Portrait artist Jean Stewart

Local Hero 2020

Anne Riley

“Constantly going that extra mile for the community, using her personal car as a taxi/delivery & pick up vehicle, puts in extra time at most if not all community events. Backs our people. She is our angel.”

“Anne has worked tirelessly for the last few years for the Avondale Community and has made an impact on people’s lives. She’s humble, caring, loving & always helping others. She’s my & Avondale’s hero! 😊

“She’s amazing with all she has done within our community with Feed The Streets and everything around the whau.”

“She has a heart of gold, is always giving of her time and energy, wants to support those in need and loves Avondale.”

Portrait artist Jean Stewart

Local Hero 2019

Regina Tovia

“For aunty Regina’s hard work, her dedication and love for her community (The Avondale Community) and the kids she also love The Avondale Intermediate school.”

“A teacher at Avondale Intermediate for over 20years who has helped and taught so many children, some of whom were challenging and were destined for failure. She has lived in Avondale for over 50years and attended the local primary school (St Mary’s Avondale), has been a member of the St Mary’s Avondale Catholic Parish for 50 plus years where she has been an active member of as a parishioner and/or several leadership roles. She has also been a member of the Avondale Samoan Catholic Community that her parents were one of the founding members of. She is currently still teaching at Avondale Intermediate and is a member of the Avondale Community Gardener group. As you can see she has served the Avondale Community for most of her life whether it be in church or work life.”

“Regina is a very humble & strong women who cares about others sometimes more then herself. She will direct you and teach you your rights and wrongs but never judge you. Be stern with you if she needs to be. She is the kind of person you love to have around and when she growls you the disappointment in her voice is enough to make you want to smack yourself haha 😂 & that feeling of disappointing her you never want to do ever again. She will stay beside you and encourage you 💯 %, give you life advice and supports you always. Everyone that know her personally or professionally will totally agree.. She is an amazing women & I’m very Proud to have her as my Aunty x”

Portrait artist Jean Stewart