Damian Ferrie


Damian grew up in Fawkner, one of ten kids in his family. For decades he has worked with and for disadvantaged people. He was instrumental in establishing Victoria’s Neighbourhood Renewal program. Damian now works as the Inner South Community Health CEO. He also volunteers his time as a Board Member with the VPTA.

“I remember in Fawkner there were lots and lots of kids and when we moved in the estate was still being built. It was a time when kids were allowed to have adventures, we would go to Merri Creek in the morning and not come home till it was dark.

St Marks was also a big part of my life; I went to school there and to the church. I have incredibly positive memories of growing up in Fawkner. I never had the feeling that we were worse off than anyone else, I knew other people didn’t live in public housing, but I didn’t feel disadvantaged.

Once I got to university I realised that there were other people out there with more money than us, up until then I had only really mixed with working class people. And it really struck me that there seemed to be few people at uni from public housing, and that was one of the reasons why I became politically motivated.

The notion the postcode should not equal destiny is important to me, and that is because of what I learnt from my parents and from my public housing background. That is where my commitment to social justice comes from.

My message to young people in public housing is that you are no less able to contribute to your community than other people, and all communities need a voice. So be that voice, for yourself and for your community.”