Dave McNamara

Travels from: Victoria

Categories: Motivational Speakers

Full Presenter Profile & Bio

From a chef to a proud CEO of a large not-for-profit organisation, Dave McNamara’s expansive and generous personality has helped thousands of people in need. He is described as an honest, sincere and authentic man who loves what he does and is driven to help those with less. His presentations are motivational and inspirational, and his willingness to help others rubs off onto his audience members.

Dave’s love for food started from a young age, and after working a large range of jobs including taxi driving and working on information technology, he followed his passion and began training as a chef. For many years, he worked at Mario’s on Brunswick St before becoming a restaurant manager at Crown Melbourne.

It was at Crown, where he often witnessed the affects alcohol and gambling can have on families, that he combined his longing to reduce food waste with his newly learnt perspective and decided to make a difference in the world.

He joined the Sacred Heart Mission as Head Chef and began using his skills to feed and nourish those at the soup kitchen. McNamara reimagined the community dining experience for the impoverished, set up new corporate partnerships and brought in new suppliers to provide good quality food to bring back dignity to an often grim or shameful experience.

In 2008, Dave joined Foodbank in the role of Operations Manager, which enabled him to influence greater innovation in the not-for-profit sector. During his time at Foodbank he aimed to improve the capacity, efficiency, sustainability and effectiveness of it supplies, which resulted in an increase in the amount of food rescued from landfill by 6.5 million kilograms, which is the equivalent of 13 million meals. This translates to $149 million of social return by decreasing the environmental impact of the food that is rescued, which ensures that disadvantaged people within Victoria have access to healthy meals, and that Foodbank Victoria’s funds are being used effectively and efficiently.

As well as being Operations Manager, Dave also got involved in the setting up of West Welcome Wagon, which is a relief agency that supports asylum seekers in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. During his own time, Dave would drive around to collect donated food, delivering it to both the agency and the people in need.

In 2013, McNamara was appointed to CEO of Foodbank as recognition of his passion to change the injustice of food security. His tireless work efforts to ensure that every Victorian has access to healthy and safe food have great influence over the cultural, social and environmental impacts that food has on the community. As CEO, he now has Foodbank sourcing and distributing food to many more people and families, and during the 2014-2015 financial year, the organisation distributed 8.5 million kilograms of food, the equivalent of 17 million meals.

A year later, Dave advocated to the government the need for every child in Victoria to have access to a nutritious and filling breakfast, enabling them to concentrate better and learn more in school. Because of this advocating, Daniel Andrews went to the election with The School Breakfast Clubs program being a main policy he desired for implementation. 

In 2015, the Victorian State Government funded Foodbank Victoria $13.7 million to assist in the successful running of The School Breakfast Clubs program, and from commencement this year, they have fed breakfast to 25,000 school children each day at 500 of the state’s most disadvantaged primary schools.

As recognition of the positive change to children, their families and the community, Dave was nominated and was a finalist in the 2016 Australian of the Year Awards.

Dave McNamara is a motivational man whose passion for food led him to make a significant impact on the lives of disadvantaged individuals. He is a passionate individual who enjoys making a difference in the world and seeing an improvement in the lives of others. He can speak to any audience about the importance of following your desires, and the effects that helping those less fortunate have on both the community and life. 

Dave McNamara - Motivational Speakers

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