Yarraville’s Dave McNamara is the chief executive of Foodbank, whose warehouse is also located in Yarraville. He speaks with Goya Dmytryshchak.
What’s your connection to the city of Maribyrnong?
I’m lucky enough to have bought a house in Yarraville about 25 years ago, so a long connection to Yarraville and seen a lot of changes in that time.
What do you like about Yarraville?
I think what first attracted me and what still attracts me is the village feel. I grew up in a small country town and Yarraville just made me feel at home, and it still carries that feeling for me. I think one of the benefits of COVID-19 for the village has been, it’s been a real community meeting point. The new pop-up park and on-street dining has really brought back that original community feel of the village that I think it lost a little bit. It’s really great to see that it’s much more like the village that it used to be 20 years ago again.
What don’t you like or what could be improved?
I think everyone around Yarraville would like to see less trucks on our major roads. I think that’s one of the prices that we pay for living so close to the docks. It’s a nice part of being so close to our economy but there are those downsides of traffic, and the village gets quite congested. I would like to see something done about the railway station. There used to be an underpass for cars, so it would be nice to see that the village could be freed up of traffic a little bit some way.
What’s your favourite local restaurant or cafe?
Being an ex-chef, it’s really hard to tie it down to one. I love so many restaurants in the city of Maribyrnong, from Navi at a high end to Advieh if I’m looking for a felafal wrap. Heal.Thy Self, Cornershop. I’ve got lots of little places that I just like to find a quiet spot. Galaxia. Lots of places. Rudimentary, There, Station Hotel, Railway Hotel.
Can you tell me about Foodbank?
Foodbank’s the largest emergency food relief and rescue organisation in Australia. We’ve been operating in Victoria for the last 90 years. What we essentially do is work with the whole food industry to rescue food that’s not sellable anymore. We also purchase necessary food. Then we distribute that through 530 charities around the state – Salvos, St Vinnies etcetera. We, in partnership with the state government, run the country’s school breakfast program – over 100 state schools across Victoria – making sure everyone gets access to healthy food.