Keeley Johnson – Westfield Local Heroes 2020

Big-hearted achiever

Keeley’s Cause
Amazing. Exceptional. Inspiring.

At just 13, brave Keeley Johnson set up a charity and raised tens of thousands of dollars to help other kids like her get a good education.

At the time, Keeley, who has autism and an intellectual disability, was dealing with depression and anxiety as she struggled to access the technology she needed to improve her learning.

“If I’m given work on a paper, I get overwhelmed. Put that same work on an iPad, and I get it right,” she says.

After discovering there is no government funding for iPads for children with autism or intellectual disability, Keeley set out on a quest to raise the money herself through sausage sizzles and donations.

Proud Keeley has so far presented 103 iPads to children who need technology to learn.

“We have a right to an education as much as anyone despite our disabilities,” she says.

“If iPads are what we need, iPads are what we are going to get.”

Keeley says her success in setting up an organisation shows that children’s abilities outweigh their academic limitations.

“We can make our dreams come true,” she says.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Keeley’s Cause will be able to buy iPads for children with autism or an intellectual disability.