Australia's Local Hero finalists from South Australia

Ian Cox
Ian Cox

Ian Cox - Community advocate (Morphettville)

As the driving force behind Hutt Street Centre, Ian Cox leads a passionate team of people who serve over 50,000 meals each year to nearly 2,000 people experiencing homelessness in Adelaide. Each day, 200 people walk through the doors of Ian’s workplace, wanting showers, laundry and locker facilities, housing and health support, employment and education pathways, legal aid or simply a friendly face. Ian started at Hutt Street Centre in 1992 as a social work student. From a crew of six on the frontline, Ian has grown the organisation into a team of more than 220 staff and active volunteers. Highly-respected throughout the community sector, Ian believes that each person has a story to tell and deserves to be heard and works hard to ensure Hutt Street Centre is a place of hope and opportunity for people to rebuild their lives without judgement. With infectious energy and enthusiasm, Ian encourages everyone he meets to make the world a better place.

Helen Edwards

Helen Edwards

Helen Edwards - Diabetes innovator (Rostrevor)

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12 years old, Helen Edwards has used her life experience and training as a social worker to establish a suite of support tools and resources for thousands of Australians living with diabetes. Understanding how diabetes can engender anxiety and depression, Helen established an online counselling service to help others live fully with the disease. Gathering a team of healthcare professionals and volunteers, Helen provides online support for a range of groups. Despite being told she’d never have children, she is the mother of three sons and developed apps to help women with diabetes through their pregnancies. The author of an inspiring children’s book, Diabetes Can’t Stop Me, Helen has developed toys – Diabetes Dino andDiabetes Dragon – to be used as play therapy. An award winning blogger with a number of blogs on the go, Helen is passionate about helping all people live happier, healthier lives.

Claire Foord

Claire Foord

Claire Foord - Stillbirth educator (Glenelg North)

Stillbirth is a devastation that no one should endure, but sadly it is something that will live with Claire Foord forever In February 2014, Claire and her husband had to say goodbye to their daughter Alfie who was stillborn at full term.  Alfie was a perfect baby, with no illness or issue, but without breath. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Claire established Still Aware to bring attention to the fact that 2,500 babies are stillborn each year in Australia – that’s one baby every four hours. With awareness, Claire hopes to bring about prevention. Since then, Claire has bravely told her story to the media and driven a campaign to help people understand how stillbirth can be prevented by ‘counting the kicks’. She has opened the doors for other people suffering from the same heartbreak to share their stories and has turned up the dial on a long-silent subject in the community.

Lavene Ngatokorua

Lavene Ngatokorua

Lavene Ngatokorua - Community champion (Port Augusta)

In her many roles – as a community police constable, a youth program coordinator, sportsperson, artist or activist – Lavene Ngatokorua inspires her people to be the best they can be. Growing up in the Umeewarra Children's Home and now living in the nearby Davenport community, Lavene's attachment to the former mission buildings, the people and the history is enduring. A proud Aboriginal woman, Lavene’s culture underlies everything she does. A forthright negotiator, Lavene always puts the needs of her community before her own. With energy, passion and trademark humility, Lavene inspires the respect of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike. Lavene has led rallies to highlight injustice and sits on many committees –not there for talk, but for action. Her steadfast commitment makes a daily difference in the lives of everyone she meets. Whether it’s one person needing a helping hand, a grieving family wanting a shoulder to cry on or the whole community seeking a voice, Lavene is there.