The Reverend David Peake is about to retire as the parish priest for the Uniting Church in Dallas after 12 years leading the congregation. He says the community always inspired him to “get the job done”.

 

What is your connection to Hume?

I have been the Anglican priest here for  12 years, but also I run a not-for-profit business called EQubed, which is a program to address the needs of young people who are disengaged from the normal educational journey.

 

Did you know much about Dallas and Broadmeadows before you came to work in the area?

I have only ever worked in challenging spaces. I came here from West Heidelberg and prior to that I was in the western suburbs and the inner city. For over 40 years, I have been involved in challenging environments. I had a sense of what I was coming to, but it never fazed me. You ponder the challenges that will face you and the changes you can encourage the congregation to think about.

 

What do you like about your community?

The people are great. They are a whole lot of battlers. There are people who are really passionate about getting on and getting the job done. There are people who are passionate about changing the nature of the community and the status of our postcodes. There are some enthusiastic, energetic, kind, thoughtful people in the community who are great contributors.

 

What, if anything, would you change?

Encourage governments to change some of the educational opportunities that might be available for young people. We need some educational opportunities that are more needs-based to meet the needs of our young residents. We also need new employment opportunities now Ford and the support industries have gone.

 

Are you involved in any other community groups?

EQubed has built an curriculum for kids challenged by the normal education system. I started a program in West Heidelberg called the Pavilion Project that taught young people they could work for themselves. When I came to Dallas, I started teaching enterprise education in a number of spaces. I am also the business development manager for indigenous health organisation Malpa. It runs in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT and works with grade 3 and 4
students to change heath outcomes. This year, we will probably graduate 700 school children as health ambassadors for their
communities.

 

What have you enjoyed about your time at the Uniting Church in Dallas?

People have gone to great lengths to help with projects such as our community garden and community kitchen. Local businesses have been very generous in the provision of goods and services. Collectively, we have had a vision and walked through the hard times together. There is still lots of work to be done, but I think the future is bright.