Real people supporting unreal efforts in our community.


Laing+Simmons established Real Heroes this year to give support to those in our community who are local heroes. Those people making a positive difference to the lives of others, quite often regardless of the challenges they may be facing themselves. These are the deserved recipients of Laing+Simmons Real Heroes Community donations for 2019.

TAMARA… is an inspirational Mum to 4 beautiful boys. Tamara, her wonderful husband Grant and their 4 boys, have endured more in 10 years than most do in a lifetime. Her boys have battled cancer, multiple brain surgeries and cerebral palsy. Yet despite everything going on in her life, Tamara is the first person to put her hand up to help others in need. That is the sign of a Real Hero!

Connect with Tamara
Watch Tamara’s surprise presentation

MONIKA… is an incredibly selfless woman who has been saving and rehoming dogs for the past 20 years. Monika takes in the animals that society has cast out and loves them until they are strong enough to love themselves. Then she works with them and her army of volunteers to find their forever home. The feeding, cleaning, walking, and rehabilitating she does with them is truly an act of love!

Connect with Monika
Watch Monika’s surprise presentation

SHIVA… is a humanitarian dedicated to helping others, a passion that started at the very early age of 16. His latest project is aimed at helping young girls in the slums of India secure an education. With this project – Empowering Girls, One Slum At A Time – Shiva hopes to make a difference in the lives of thousands. He truly demonstrates that one person really can make a difference.

Watch Shiva’s surprise presentation

GLENN… is a matchmaker; an apprenticeship matchmaker that is! He connects young people with businesses looking for apprentices. Utilising his social media network, he helps match young people with potential apprenticeships, mentoring them from initial interview through to apprenticeship completion. He’s passionate about working to prevent youth suicide by giving these young people a focus.

Connect with Glenn
Watch Glenn’s surprise presentation

HELEN… and her partner Herman have been working tirelessly for the RDA (Riding for the Disabled) for many years. Floods over the past few years have taken a huge toll on the centre, both with resources, with horses (many who lost their lives in the floods) and with volunteers (who didn’t return due to the emotional toll that the loss of life caused) but the horses are their lives so they never give up!

Connect with Helen
Watch Helen’s surprise presentation

JO… is a wonderfully empathetic woman who has heard many a story of loss and sadness. Jo’s husband is a medical oncologist so she has seen firsthand the toll that cancer takes on both individuals and family members. Jo has created a medium for people to capture their own memories for their loved ones, ensuring they’re never forgotten. ‘It’s About Us’ is a passion project and Jo is a Real hero!

Connect with Jo
Watch Jo’s surprise presentation

RICKY… epitomises what the Real Hero awards are all about…helping others in the community! He can be found on the streets night in night out, distributing food, sleeping bags and care packs; providing a beacon of light for those who have nothing. Ricky is a man for the people and his passion for helping others is not only inspirational, it’s relentless!

Connect with Ricky
Watch Ricky’s surprise presentation

APRIL… has overcome great adversity. A single Mum of 3 children, one with disabilities; she is the first in her family to attend university (currently studying at Charles Sturt Uni), she’s overcome the stigma of teen parenting, had the courage to leave a domestic violence relationship, and is a role model to many with her work for the Indigenous. April is a true Aussie battler and is without a doubt a Real Hero!

Watch April’s surprise presentation

SISTER2sister… is a life changing mentoring program for teenage girls (Little Sisters) at risk of abuse and/or neglect. It provides young girls with access to professional female role models (Big Sisters) who aim to inspire and motivate them by providing guidance, education, mentoring and a safe-haven for these Little Sisters, to break the cycle of abuse and neglect and help them turn their lives around.

Connect with SISTER2sister
Watch SISTER2sister’s surprise presentation

DONNA… experienced pain the likes that no one should ever have to endure…the loss of a child. Her beautiful daughter Shannon passed away in a tragic accident back in 2006. Donna’s grief was all consuming but the release she found in painting, eventually helped her pull through. It was from here that Heart To Heart was born. Donna’s work definitely puts her in our Real Hero status!

Connect with Donna
Watch Donna’s surprise presentation