What is your connection to Melton?
I moved to Harkness (Melton West) from Newcastle with my four girls and my wife in 2011.
How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve been living here for seven years.
What are you passionate about?
One of my gifts is being a people person. I love getting to know other people and I love getting to understand how they think.
What is your role in The Rock Community Church?
I’m a pastor at The Rock Community Church in Brookfield. I do play a broader role within the church looking after nine Samoan churches across Melbourne where I visit them on rotation. The Rock is a multicultural church.
I understand the church hosts community luncheons. How did this initiative come about?
We hold community lunches once a month. We serve the community on a Saturday and everyone is welcome to come and share a meal that has been prepared by our members. The largest number we hosted was 150 people. The purpose of these lunches is to provide a platform for the community to come together and get to know each other. Today people just keep to themselves and mind their own business. These lunches are not only for Pacific people they are for everyone. We are all the same.
What other outreach programs does the church run in the community?
We recently ran a diabetic health clinic where we provided information about how to prevent diabetes or how to maintain it. We understand that diabetes is not only an issue within our Pacific community but the wider Melton community as well.
What is the best thing about Melton?
It’s multicultural. You can find all sorts of people from all walks of life here. There is a great balance.
If you could change anything about the area, what would it be?
I think I’d like to provide support for the community and bring it together more.
We need to implement some programs to make people feel at home regardless of
your background. I’m Samoan myself.
When I arrived here, I felt lonely but having those programs to make that transition easier would be great.
The Rock Community Church will host its next lunch on June 30 at Botanica Springs Children’s and Community Centre from 1pm to 3pm. Bookings: 0413 345 470