“The last two years have been hard for many in our local communities,” says Albert-Eden Local Board Chair Margi Watson who was MC at the recent Albert-Eden Local Heroes Awards 2021 ceremony.
"Acknowledging our local heroes is important as they are some of those that have stepped up and showed incredible strength and selflessness in supporting other people."
Meet our local heroes
Honoured with the Young Local Hero Award 2021.
Toccara would walk to school with a full lunch box every day and return home with most of its contents still remaining, that is, until in 2017, she began arriving home without a single scrap remaining. This is because she began to regularly share it with a gentle giant, who without a home was living rough outside Mt Eden War Memorial hall. This went on for some time, ultimately inspiring her to start Toccara Homeplate - a mini project of making good wholesome food for the homeless.
Craig has provided dedicated and loyal service to Alberton in Mt Albert for 16 years, not only with the management and cleaning of the historic collections within the historic house, but also at Highwic in Newmarket, Ewelme Cottage in Parnell and also other houses within the region.
Craig has managed the cleaning and archiving of over 9000 items at Alberton. It is a very specialised position requiring great skill and knowledge.
Shane has been working for the Auckland Table Tennis Association for more than 10 years. He recently developed the Tables in Communities Project with the vision to make the sport accessible to people from all communities by removing the two major barriers to participation cost and transportation.
Jo has been a key volunteer for the Maungawhau School for six years. Previously she was the Chairperson of Epsom Creche and also works for a not-for-profit.
Jamie is the sole employee of the Mt Albert Toy Library. She is credited with creating a great atmosphere in the toy library by members because of the effort she puts in to personally greet each member and going a step above in bringing kindness to each interaction.
Joanne has brought joy to the Sandringham community during the COVID-19 lockdowns by organising countless local events to keep people smiling and connected.
Joanne has been involved with organising check-in buddies during isolation to leading the "Sandringham Spoonville" art project in the town centre, heading up the Sandringham Community Fun Day and the Sandringham Marigold Festival, and much more. She has organised contactless treasure hunts throughout our parks and natural walkways to help connect people to nature and invite play into their lives during socially isolating times.
Over the last five years, Nilam has shown commitment as a producer working with local artists and putting together events and artistic exhibitions in the Albert-Eden area.
With some funding support from the local board, she creates interactive, inclusive projects and events that are accessible and give people the chance to be creative and watch something that sparks joy. Overcoming challenges in her personal life has not stopped Nilam from helping others.
Patrick has worked with a high level of commitment in setting up the Auckland Central Community Shed at Gribblehirst Park. He works tirelessly as the chair to progressing the project of building a wonderful community space where intergenerational learning can take place.
For the past three years, Sam has coached a group of Pt Chevalier 7–8-year-olds football every Saturday for free. During the first lockdown in March 2020, Sam posted a video to the team’s WhatsApp group, teaching the kids how to do a new football trick every day. He has created a community around the shared love of football and the team are proud to call him coach and friend.
The Panapa Family
During the COVID-19 pandemic’s early days, Te Mahurehure Marae, under the leadership of the Panapa Whanau, led a significant support programme to ensure people were not isolated during the lockdown.
This included coordination and delivery of thousands of food parcels not only to iwi in Tamaki Makaurau but also in the north. Bringing in help from other organisations including the Student Army, Corrections and Sky TV, they coordinated a mammoth task to ensure the wellbeing of hundreds of families. Deliveries of support and food to isolated and vulnerable members of the community in a time of crisis was a lifesaver for many.
Meet the performers
The Lagilagi Meke Group
The Lagilagi Meke Group work together with the Selwyn Foundation Rest Home in Point Chevalier. They have also just recently performed at Pasifika Festival.
Takunda Muzondiwa is a poet who hails from Zimbabwe and an ACG student in her 2nd year of studies. She performs her spoken word poem entitled “Mother Tongues Take Flight”.